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 answer a few questions. Check out Dr. Richard Kube’s responses, below!
Question: What advice do you have for spine surgeons who want to continue to grow professionally?
Richard Kube, MD, Founder, CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): Seek out the right mentors, and keep an open mind. Most of the time you will discover that there is a lot you don’t know. Expand beyond your mentors in terms of surgical skill and technique.
Some of the most professionally rewarding growth I have had is related to business strategy and human resources. Of those two, human resources is incredibly valuable. Gaining insight into how people think and what drives their actions will help you relate at work and in a social setting. You will also gain a different perspective for your patients and better understand them which will help you improve communication. It will make you a better doctor as well as a better boss and professional.
Question: How do you maintain your health while still running a successful practice?
Richard Kube, MD, Founder, CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute, (Peoria, Ill.): You have to make health a priority. I purchased a refrigerator and put it in my office. At any given time it is stocked with nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as lean meat from my smoker. We are all busy and it is hard to eat well when trying to cram lunch into a few minutes. Bad choices are often made. You also need to adhere to an exercise regime. I hit the gym for more than an hour at the start of each day, except Sunday. I do it first thing in the morning before anything has a chance to derail me. That allows me to be with family in the evenings and cart three kids to their activities. There is typically wasted time with television or some other activity that can be substituted with exercise. If you can’t trim any fat from your schedule then I say sleep a little less. You can run fine with a good six hours of sleep instead of eight, and there is your time to exercise. Anyone still creating excuses should go back to the couch with their bag of Cheetos.