Career-defining watershed moments for spine surgeons

Written by Anuja Vaidya | October 02, 2014 | Print  |


Three spine surgeons share landmark moments in their career.

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 are some of the ways in which spine surgeons can improve bedside manner?

Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at by Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 5 p.m. CST.


Question: What is the proudest moment of your career?Stephen Hochschuler


Stephen Hochschuler, MD, Founder, Texas Back Institute, Plano: My proudest moment was in 1971, when I met my co-founding Texas Back Institute partner Ralph Rashbaum, MD, at Shepard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.


Neel AnandNeel Anand, MD, Clinical Professor of Surgery, Director, Spine Trauma, Cedars-Sinai Spine Center, Los Angeles: There are so many moments. I once treated an 18-year-old who had a fracture dislocation of the spine and neurological deficit. She recovered and had a complete recovery. She went on to live a full life. That was probably one of the most satisfying moments of my career.


Ara Deukmedjian, MD, CEO, Medical Director, Deuk Spine Institute, Melbourne, Fla.: There is a deeply rooted belief by nearly all spine surgeons and neurosurgeons that chronic back pain and neck pain cannot be cured. My greatest moment was when I learned, without a doubt, that they were wrong.

Ara Deukmedjian



Deuk Spine Institute specializes in curing back pain and neck pain through a multidisciplinary approach using medical specialists from synergistic disciplines including therapy, interventional pain management, spine surgery, physiatry, neurology and behavioral sciences.

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