Becker’s Spine Review is a publication for orthopedic and spine surgeons and surgery center administrators. Each week, Becker’s releases additions to their Ask Spine Surgeons series, and earlier this month, spine surgeons were asked to share what they think are they essential traits that make up a successful spine surgeon. Check out Dr. Richard Kube’s answer, below!
Richard Kube, MD. Founder and CEO of Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.)
Perseverance, confidence and charisma mixed with empathy are all important traits. The road to becoming a spine surgeon is long and it doesn’t really get easier once you get there. It will take perseverance to deal with the ever-increasing administrative tasks and issues we have. One has to be confident in the work they do and the advice he or she provides. Spine surgery is high-stakes surgery. Up-to-date clinical knowledge and confidence in its application are paramount.
Last, and probably most importantly, is the empathy which helps to create charisma. You have to connect with the patient. This requires listening and really treating the whole person. If you can empathize, and add the confidence and perseverance you will appear charismatic to the patients and they will trust you. It is important that they trust you and follow your advice to obtain the optimum outcome.
It all boils down to leadership and demonstrating it in a way that connects with the folks who trust us with their care.