Here two spine surgeons discuss what they wished they had known before deciding to open an independent practice.
Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. We invite all spine surgeon and specialist responses.
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Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at email@example.com by Wednesday, April 13, at 5 p.m. CST.
Question: What do you wish you had known about independent practice before you chose that career path?
Richard Kube, MD, Founder, CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): Spine does not always work in a general orthopedic group. Had I known that, I mean truly know that, I would have probably taken a different position when I completed training. That being said, it did provide a launching pad to open my own practice. It would have been nice to have more background in human resources and law, but you can't spend 40 years in school. I really have no regrets about the decision, and really anticipated many of the struggles and challenges we have faced. Ultimately, I am more successful than I would have been had I not gone out on my own.
Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: I could probably write a book of questions I should have asked. There are three basic things to know that are absolutely necessary. First, have a vision of how you want to practice. Second, gather your team — a good attorney; a talented, but honest, accountant and a banker — and third, keep costs down, but don't starve the baby.