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  • boondoxy
    Post count: 1

    Hello, Dr. Corenman. I’m reaching out to you because I’ve always been interested in your specialty and I want to learn as much as I can about it. I’m able to shadow and ask spine surgeons questions at my school but there are other things I want to know. I was wondering if you could tell me what a typical week is for you in terms of hours and how your schedule has changed from the time you started as an attending. Also, would you be able to tell me a range of what an orthopedic spine surgeon can expect to earn with respect to hours ie 60 hours – $__, 80 hours – $__? Finally, is it feasible to work many hours for many years and then tone it down after some time in this field?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8465

    You question has to be answered based upon what type of person you are and what type of practice you want as you can tailor your practice to fit your personality.

    I am an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist. That makes me want to have perfect results and perfect results take time. I could try to take only 10 minutes with each patient but I really can’t do that as that would short change the patient and drive me crazy. This means that with my PAs and I, most new patients gets at least an hour of face to face time. Of course this also means late hours (my normal day is at least 12 hours long).

    A good week would be 60 hours of my time and a long week could be up to 90 hours. Reimbursement is dropping and the need for more employees is greater as insurance companies place more demands for information and also deny many requests.

    I paint a tough picture for a spine practice but it really is one of the most satisfying practices in medicine. Patients are really grateful. Where other profession do you get to reduce people’s pain and get paid for the service? Voltaire once stated “the lower back is where the psyche meets the soma”. This is quite true. You take away a patient’s neck or back pain and you will have a friend for life.

    As to slowing down, if you can get away enough to recharge your batteries, you will always look forward to returning to your practice.

    Dr. Corenman

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