How high-energy spine surgeons start their day — 5 things to know

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

How you start the day is important; it sets the tone for everything to follow.

Five spine surgeons discuss what they do to begin there day:


Brian Gantwerker, MD, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: I wake up early, walk my dog, check my email, and call my brother on the East Coast. He is a pediatric ENT surgeon in Boston. He's already been up for three hours by the time I call! I think it's really important to reach out in the mornings if nothing else to check-in. A cup of coffee, egg whites and some sautéed mushrooms is a good, low carb start. I also always take the stairs at the hospital to get my heart pumping.


Richard Kube, MD, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute, Peoria, Ill.: I have the benefit of a full gym at the office for our physical therapy services. I have added some other equipment to make for a better body building routine. My PA and IT company CEO join me around 6 a.m., six days per week for 40 to 50 sets in about an hour. That is typically enough to make it a bit of a cardio challenge, and it helps keep the size of the weights down. My 40 year old shoulders can't handle the 100s of pounds they did at 25, so cranking up the intensity still allows for us to get a good pump.


Nima Salari, MD, Desert Institute for Spine Care, Phoenix: I strive to get to the gym in the morning. Consistency has been an issue. A solid breakfast is key. I don't drink coffee.


Nick Shamie, MD, UCLA Health: When I can manage it, I go to a friend's house at 6 a.m. where a group of us gather together for an hour of solid workout.


Kern Singh, MD, Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, Chicago: I wake up at 3:30a.m., in the gym by 4 a.m. Then, showered and off to work by 5:30 a.m. I feel like I have accomplished more at 7 a.m. than most people.


If you would like to share your morning routine, contact Laura Dyrda at


More articles on spine surgery:
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