What are spine surgeons' favorite vacation spots?


Here six spine surgeons discuss their favorite places in the world to go for a holiday.

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.

Next week's question: What is the best news you have received over the course of your career?

Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at avaidya@beckershealthcare.com by Wednesday, May 25, at 5 p.m. CST.


Question: What are some of your favorite vacation spots?


Rojeh Melikian, MD, DISC Sports & Spine Center, Marina del Rey, Calif.: Italy is one of my favorite vacation spots. It's a country that offers both sight-seeing and beach vacations in close proximity to one another. Cities like Rome and Florence have a wealth of art and architectural history to explore, for example, Michelangelo's David, the Colosseum and the Vatican, whereas places like Positano and Capri offer beautiful beaches and sunbathing opportunities.


Richard Kube, MD, Founder, CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): For a warm retreat, we like Aruba and St. Thomas. If you are going to simply chill and go out to dinner, Aruba can't be beat. It never rains there and the weather is the same all year round. The sun is incredibly strong though. There is a mix of island cuisine with the Dutch and the South American grass-fed beef makes for great dining. If we want more time in the water, snorkeling, etc., then we head to St. Thomas.

If you want a winter sports destination, head to Saratoga Resort and Spa in Wyoming. Best snowmobile experience, period. Great trails, great boondocking into the powder and you can also climb a few mountains on your sled. After a hard day of riding, sit at the onsite microbrew and have a few cold ones. Finally hit the hot springs before bed to feel good as new for the trails the next day. The staff couldn't be nicer.


Kern Singh, MD, Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, Chicago: Hands down Florida. While not being the most exotic of destinations, Florida is a place where my whole family can go with ease. I love spending time with my wife and two children.


Amir Vokshoor, Neurological Spine Surgeon, DISC Sports & Spine Center, Marina del Rey, Calif.: I enjoy places that combine nature, history and culture, and also anything around the ocean! Hawaii and the islands of the Caribbean top my list, followed by cities with a profound impact on culture and history, such as London and Paris, and places of historical significance, such as Istanbul in Turkey. I also really like it when there is an educational meeting in an interesting place, so one can combine work with vacation.


Plas T. James, MD, Atlanta Spine Institute: My favorite vacation spot, without a doubt, is Paris. Because of all of the turmoil in the area, it has been difficult to visit, but it is a wonderful place. The architecture is beautiful, and the food is fantastic. Not only that, but I think it is the most romantic city in the world. Paris is definitely my number one vacation spot.


Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: Vacation? What’s that? My wife and I love going to Palm Springs in the winter. I also go back to my hometown, Chicago, to spend time with my parents and childhood friends. We are planning on taking a trip to South America at some point and would love to see Iguazu Falls.


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