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Oh, yeah – who's your surgeon anyway?

I'm basically done now, I don't think there's much more I'd want to tell a spine surgical patient. Except for one thing. Who's your surgeon?

Really. Not every person with an MD is the same. Find out, not just where he or she trained and what certifications and licensing they have, but have they actually done spine surgery before? How often? Alone, or just with some professor along to bail them out?

This will be difficult. Doctors are not used to being challenged and we often don't react well to it, but we should be able to. You won't feel comfortable doing this either, because we are all culturally inclined to look up to the doctor without question. But if your doctor won't give you straightforward answers to any of your questions, be careful. If he or she is not comfortable in his or her own skin, they won't be comfortable in your spine either so don't let them go there.

Quitting time

I've been writing this thing for well over four years now. I'm a full-time surgeon in an academic practice. I have a young family who are much more important than work to me and I try real hard to spend a lot of time with them. I haven't had time to write this. This work is a product of nights and weekends and what-to-do-on-the-plane-on-the-way-to-the-meeting. If it's been helpful, you owe my kids and my wife the better part of the free time in this past first three years of the millennium that I used up doing this. I owe to their love the compassion that lead me to start writing in the first place.

I hope it works. Please understand your spine problem and the proposed surgical solution before going under the knife.

Good luck, and God bless!


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