Spine surgeon side gigs: Expert witness, venture capitalist & more


Many physicians take on nonmedical sige gigs, with real estate, investing and consultant opportunities being the three most common areas physicians are drawn to.

Two spine surgeons shared the projects they're involved in outside of their practice, ranging from expert witness work to advocacy on Capitol Hill.

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: Which country's healthcare system do you think the U.S. healthcare system can learn from?

Please send responses to Alan Condon at acondon@beckershealthcare.com by 5 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Sept. 8. 

Note: The following responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: What side gig, if any, do you have outside of your practice?

Chris Kager, MD. Lancaster (Pa.) General Health: I try to always keep learning, and I developed an interest in angel investing and venture capital many years ago. I have made various investments in many verticals, and have advised companies in early strategy and raising funding. This includes companies as varied as technology startups, food and beverages, medical companies and a recent green hydrogen startup. After joining the Global Health Impact Fund, which is a physician-led venture fund focused on medical technology and digital health, I also decided to return to "school" and finish my MBA next month. Our first Global Health Impact Fund is almost closed at $10 million, and we will start a second fund shortly.

Brian Gantwerker, MD. The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: I do a small amount of expert witness work that I find very interesting. Genuinely, it really has you keep up with current issues and boning up on medical/surgical topics, and can make you a better diagnostician. I am consulting with a medical gaming company that has built out over a half-dozen procedural and cognitive based games. Helping design an exciting game that could change the way residents and fellows learn has been fantastic. Lastly, I have been active in two different political action committees related to spine and neurosurgery. Physician advocacy has been so rewarding for me, and continuing to help push back against the morass of disinformation about how physicians take care of patients and facilitate patient protection has been a watershed moment as I enter my midcareer years.

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