3 perks of being a spine surgeon


From learning to helping patients get back to their day-to-day lives, being a spine surgeon has several perks. 

Philip Louie, MD, spine surgeon and medical director of research and academics at the Center for Neurosciences and Spine at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in Seattle, told Becker's his three favorite parts about being a spine surgeon. 

Question: What is your favorite part about being a spine surgeon? 

Dr. Philip Louie: 

1. Get people back to what they enjoy! For many of these patients, we, as spine surgeons, have the opportunity to play a role in a major health decision and potential surgical intervention. Pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness can be debilitating. We may not be "saving a life" in its literal form, but we get to help people regain their lifestyles. 

2. We are always learning. Spine care continues to evolve and our understanding of anatomy, and pathologies continue to grow. We are always working to get better at what we do and find ways to improve the care that we provide. This motivation to continually improve allows us to be lifelong learners in a field that will never become dull. Both from a physical and mental standpoint.

3. We get to lead/teach and work alongside teams. Taking care of spine patients requires a village. It is incredibly rewarding to work alongside colleagues who share similar passions and are working in different ways to accomplish similar goals. Some team members are trainees (students, residents, fellows, etc…). The ability to impart knowledge to the next generation of spine surgeons (and providers in general) is fulfilling on so many fronts. 

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