When the work day ends: What do spine surgeons do to relax

Written by Anuja Vaidya | March 02, 2016 | Print  |

Here four spine surgeons discuss the activities they enjoy outside of their careers.

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: Other than the PPACA, what piece of legislation in the last decade has had the biggest impact on healthcare?

Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at avaidya@beckershealthcare.com by Wednesday, March 9, at 5 p.m. CST.


Question: What are your favorite hobbies outside of medicine?


Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: I love hiking, working on my house and building new things, discovering new music and bicycling with my family.


Richard Kube, MD, Founder, CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): I like spending time in three other categories — health, family and mental stimulation. Health is important, so I hit the gym for 60 to 90 minutes every morning except Sunday. I've always been a bit of a gym rat, and if I don't stay healthy, I won't be able to spend time with family. I have three kids in sports, so many of you know what a time commitment that can be. I also try to give my wife some individual time as well, but we honestly like sharing the time with the kids.


I love strategic planning and building businesses. I am currently involved as an advisor to a data securities company with some truly innovative intellectual property. I am also an advisor to Twisted Sun Innovations. This company focuses on hydrogen energy storage and is currently expanding military and commercial applications. I get to crack out some of that math I figured I would never use again.


Plas T. James, MD, Atlanta Spine Institute: My favorite hobby outside of medicine is sports. I live in Atlanta because it's a great sports city. We don't win all the time here in Atlanta, but we like our sports! I was a team doctor for the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Thrashers for 10 years. I used to attend all of the home games for the Atlanta Falcons and half of the home games for the Atlanta Hawks.


I also like to play golf, and it's my favorite outdoor sport and hobby. In Atlanta you can play golf nine or 10 months out of the year without a problem, because it doesn't get very cold here. Also, since my kids are grown, I'm able to have more time on the course when I'm not in the office. I'm a spine and sports kind of guy!


Thomas A. McNally, MD, Medical Director, Chicago Spine Center at Weiss Memorial Hospital: Snow skiing and water skiing with my family help to bring balance to the hectic pace and life-altering decisions that need to be made in spine surgery. My wife and I just took a trip to Northern Michigan this winter with our now young adult children for some downhill skiing. And we look forward to some boating on Lake Michigan in Chicago as well as water skiing on various lakes in Wisconsin and Michigan in the summer.

When our kids were growing up, we enjoyed attending their sporting events. Our son, now 24, was involved with hockey. Our two daughters, now 21 and 18, were involved in gymnastics and soccer. There's nothing like spending time with family to add perspective to your work life. It's good for patients to see that you have interests outside the clinic setting.


More articles on spine:
8 things for spine surgeons to know for Thursday — March, 3, 2016
BCBS recognizes Cabell Huntington Hospital's spine surgery program: 3 notes
HSS names Dr. Joel Press new physiatrist-in-chief: 5 things to know

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