21 smart spine surgeons with gifted business minds


These spine surgeons excel outside of the operating room, driven by their entrepreneurial spirit into the business of medicine.

Please send nominations of spine surgeons excelling in business endeavors to sbecker@beckershealthcare.com and mwood@beckershealthcare.com.


Todd Albert, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City. As surgeon-in-chief, medical director and Korein-Wilson Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at HSS, Dr. Albert has a strong presence in treating cervical spine disorders and performing minimally invasive and image-guided techniques. He is a former president of Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Albert has various industry relationships, designing DePuy Synthes' Expedium Spine System and Swift and Eagle Anterior Cervical Fixation Systems. He is the designer, inventor and consultant for Facet Link's Expandable Cage for Lumbar Spine and serves on Gentis' medical advisory board. Additionally, Dr. Albert invented and helped design Zimmer Biomet's Solitaire Cervical Cage as well as invented the patented Lieum Cervical System and Polaris Spinal System. Dr. Albert completed his spine surgery fellowship at Minnesota Spine Center in Minneapolis.

John Caruso, MD, Parkway Neuroscience & Spine Institute, Hagerstown, Md. A co-founder of "Save Our Doctors, Protect Our Patients," Dr. Caruso helped present liability reform in Maryland, resulting in a special legislative session. He is a leading advocate for physicians to dedicate more time to healthcare economics and policy, and has become immersed in the economic, financial and business components of the industry. Dr. Caruso completed his residencies at University of New Mexico Medical School in Albuquerque and Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.


Michael Gleiber, MD, Michael A. Gleiber MD PA, West Palm Beach, Fla. Dr. Gleiber founded a concierge spine surgery practice in Florida focusing on minimally invasive and motion preserving spinal procedures from simple to complex disorders. His practice is listed among the top 21 physicians in the United States by Concierge Medicine Today and he is the Concierge Spine Surgery trademark owner. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc.com, and he has been published in the Huffington Post. Dr. Gleiber also recently became a brand ambassador for Rolls Royce. Dr. Gleiber earned his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC and completed his residency at Columbia University in New York City. His additional training includes the Kenton D. Leatherman Spine Surgery Fellowship. He is a member of several professional organizations and participated in the American Orthopaedic Association’s Emerging Leadership Program.

Richard Guyer, MD, Texas Back Institute, Plano. Dr. Guyer co-founded Texas Back Institute and director of the Spine Fellowship Program. He is also the co-director for the Center for Disc Replacement at TBI and previously served as the chairman of the board for the Texas Back Institute Research Foundation. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Guyer is a past president of the North American Spine Society and an editorial board member for several professional publications. Dr. Guyer earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a spine fellowship under Henry Bohlman, MD, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Stephen Hochschuler, MD, Texas Back Institute, Plano. As co-founder of Texas Back Institute and founder of Dallas-based risk management company Back Systems, Dr. Hochschuler has made his mark in medical business. He served as a founding chairman of Mansfield, Mass.-based Innovative Spinal Technologies as well as on DePuy Spine's business advisory board. In addition to his 30 years of medical experience, specializing in the lumbar spine, Dr. Hochschuler is a founding member and past president of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery — formerly known as the Spine Arthroplasty Society. He also served as past chairman of SpineMark, for which he currently serves on the board of directors. Dr. Hochschuler completed his orthopedic surgery residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

Jim Lynch, MD, SpineNevada, Reno. Founder of SpineNevada, Dr. Lynch has positioned himself as a minimally invasive spine surgery and outpatient spine surgery expert. A partner and director of Regent Surgical Health's Spine Services, Dr. Lynch helps the company develop ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals. Dr. Lynch also serves as an Orthopaedic Implant Company board member, contributing to spinal device innovation. Additionally, Dr. Lynch gives back to the community by serving as the medical director for High Fives Organization, a Truckee, Calif.-based nonprofit foundation raising money for injured athletes. Dr. Lynch completed his neurosurgical international fellowship and spine fellowship at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic as well as a spine fellowship at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, all in London.

Dan Murrey, MD, Transformant Healthcare Solutions. Dr. Murrey was a founding member of OrthoCarolina in 2005 and served as CEO for eight years. He stepped down as CEO earlier this year to focus on his work with Transformant Healthcare Solutions, a management company focused on value-based care with seven clients in addition to OrthoCarolina. During his time with OrthoCarolina, the practice grew to around 130 physicians and moved toward value-based care by implementing bundled payments. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Murrey was the chairman of the Charlotte host committee for the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Frank Phillips, MD, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Chicago. A pioneer in minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Phillips is a founder, former president and current board member of the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. He had participated in various MIS spinal technique developments and continues to lecture on the topic nationally and internationally. He also served as a principle investigator in FDA trials for cervical disc replacement. Dr. Phillips completed his orthopedic surgery fellowship at Cleveland-based Case Western Reserve University.

Ralph Rashbaum, MD, Texas Back Institute, Plano. Dr. Rashbaum is co-founder of Texas Back Institute and concurrently founded one of the first back schools in the United States. He is involved in the Texas Back Institute Spine Fellowship Program and member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Rashbaum focuses on research and received the Volvo Award for low back pain research. Dr. Rashbaum earned his medical degree at Chicago Medical School and completed his fellowship in spine surgery at Philadelphia Hospital under Richard Rothman, MD, and Frederick Simone, MD.


Thomas C. Schuler, MD, FACS, Virginia Spine Institute. Dr. Schuler founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 to advance the development of contemporary neurological and orthopaedic spinal surgery. As the Founder and CEO of this multi-disciplinary specialty practice his knowledge, leadership and innovative techniques have revolutionized spinal healthcare and restored the lifestyles of thousands nationwide. In addition, his visionary leadership as President of the Spinal Research Foundation (a national 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization) fosters the pursuit of improving spinal healthcare for all Americans through research, education and patient advocacy. Dr. Schuler is also an Officer for the World Presidents' Organization, a global community of leadership. He demonstrates his thought leadership through speaking engagements on a national platform as well as published articles in medical journals and online sources.



Stefano Sinicropi, MD, Midwest Spine & Brain Institute, Stillwater, Minn. Dr. Sinicropi joined Midwest Spine & Brain Institute in 2006 and was named president and CEO in 2012. Under his leadership, the practice has expanded its vision of “Right Diagnosis allows the Right Treatment.” Since 2006, Dr. Sinicropi has performed more than 5,000 spine surgeries. He has a professional interest in minimally invasive outpatient surgery and total disc replacement and built his reputation on giving real answers to patients, even those who are diagnostically challenging. Dr. Sinicropi earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons Medical School and completed his residency at Columbia University’s Presbyterian Hospital. His additional training includes a spine surgery fellowship at the University of Louisville (Ky.).


David Schwartz, MD, OrthoIndy, Indianapolis. Dr. Schwartz found his entrepreneurial spark when he invented the Antares, Legacy Dual Rod, Leverage Cervical Laminoplasty, Archon Cervical Plate and Anterior TLIF Implant. Surgeons use these various systems when treating spinal fractures, scoliosis, tumors and cervical myelopathy and when performing spinal fusions. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Schwartz is director of the OrthoIndy Spine Fellowship. He also conducts research and received the North American Spine Society's Outstanding Research Award in 1994. Dr. Schwartz completed his spine fellowship at the Leatherman Spine Center, Kosair Children's Hospital and the University of Louisville (Ky.).

Nick Shamie, MD, UCLA Spine Center, Santa Monica. Dr. Shamie commits much of time educating medical students, residents and fellows in addition to participating in spinal disorder clinical research projects. He received the Scoliosis Research Society's Dawson Traveling Fellowship and UCI School of Medicine Award for Excellence in Research. In addition, Dr. Shamie has a presence in his state as a Qualified Medical Evaluator for the State of California and is an Expert Reviewer for the Medical Board of California. He completed his two fellowships in spine surgery and biologics at the UCLA School of Medicine.

John Shim, MD, Florida Sports, Orthopaedic & Spine Medicine, Westchase, Fla. Dr. Shim is in private practice specializing in outpatient spine surgery. He created the website, Shim Spine, to offer educational materials on spine surgery for patients. He stresses the site contains no medical product advertisements, but rather offers patients comprehensive information about neck problems, back problems and scientific research. Dr. Shim completed his spine surgery fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital and Tufts University School of Medicine, both in Boston.

Kern Singh, MD, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Chicago. Dr. Singh teaches minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques to surgeons around the world, and serves as co-director of Rush's Minimally Invasive Spine Institute. A surgeon entrepreneur, Dr. Singh co-founded Avaz Surgical in 2010 to develop next-generation neural guidance and quantitative imaging techniques. Through Avaz Surgical technology, Dr. Singh and his colleagues are currently striving for a footprint in the lateral spine surgery market. He principal researcher in FDA trials focused on cervical disc replacement and motion-preserving spinal technology. Dr. Singh also actively participates in MIS spine instrument design. Dr. Singh completed his orthopedic and neurosurgical spinal surgery fellowship at Atlanta-based Emory University.

Paul Slosar, MD, SpineCare Medical Group, San Francisco. Equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset, Dr. Slosar serves as president and partner of SpineCare Medical Group. Dr. Slosar also lectures on spine care nationally and internationally, and is involved with various spine companies developing new spinal technologies. He conducts clinical research with the San Francisco Spine Institute. Dr. Slosar completed his spine surgery fellowship with SpineCare Medical Group and San Francisco Spine Institute.

Gil Tepper, MD, Miracle Mile Medical Center, Los Angeles. Dr. Tepper is director of the Valley Spine Center in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and The Spine Institute at Miracle Mile Medical Center. He is CEO of Miracle Mile Medical Center. He speaks and lectures nationally and internationally on spine technique and is CEO of the new start-up Prime Surgeons. He has been a principal clinical investigator in several FDA investigations for spinal fusion and disc replacement devices. Dr. Tepper earned his medical degree at Chicago Medical School and completed his orthopedic residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Larry Teuber, MD, South Dakota. Dr. Teuber founded and served as physician executive of Black Hills Surgery Center. He has spent time as president of Medical Facilities Corporation and managing partner of The Spine Center in Rapid City. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Teuber provides consultative services and speaks to physician organizations and developing surgical facilities and centers of excellence. He earned his medical degree from the University of South Dakota and completed a neurosurgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Alexander Vaccaro, MD, PhD, MBA, Rothman Institute, Philadelphia. Dr. Vaccaro is president of the Rothman Institute as well as the Association for Collaborative Spine Research president and American Spinal Injury Association past president. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Vaccaro is the Richard H. Rothman Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, and Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, co-director of the Spinal Cord Injury Center and co-chief of spine surgery. He received the North American Spine Society's Leon Wiltse award for his leadership and research excellence. Dr. Vaccaro completed his spine fellowship at the University of San Diego, and obtained a doctorate degree in spinal trauma.

Richard Wohns, MD, JD, MBA, NeoSpine, Puyallup, Wash. Dr. Wohns earned his master of business administration degree from Seattle-based University of Washington in 1997. He founded NeoSpine in 2001, after he established an outpatient spine surgery program in Puget Sound. Following Symbion's acquisition of NeoSpine in 2008, Dr. Wohns became a chief consultant to Symbion for developing outpatient spine surgery centers. In addition to these business endeavors, Dr. Wohns also co-founded U.S. Radiosurgery, which develops Gamma Knife and Cyberknife Radiosurgery centers. Outside of his clinical practice, Dr. Wohns dedicates much of his time to lecturing on the business, legal and clinical components of outpatient spine surgery. Dr. Wohns completed his neurosurgery residency at University of Washington.


Anthony Yeung, MD, Desert Institute for Spine Care, Phoenix. Founder of DISC, Dr. Yeung began performing endoscopic spine surgery in the 1990s. Dr. Yeung is among the first surgeons to use endoscopic-guided lasers and developed the Yeung Endoscopic Spine System. He teaches this unique procedure to fellows in the practice's Squaw Peak Surgical Facility. Dr. Yeung served as a past president of the World Congress of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons and is the executive director of the International Intradiscal and Transforaminal Therapy Society. Dr. Yeung completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Maricopa County General Hospital in Phoenix.


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