NASS Insider

December 20, 2022

The NASS Backbone: Section Chair Edition

Welcome again to The NASS Backbone, the series bringing our NASS volunteers to the forefront. NASS has a multitude of committees, sections, workgroups, and task forces working hard to bring the best spine education, research, and advocacy directly to you. But who are these volunteers, and why do they do what they do? This series highlights various volunteers from all areas of NASS, showcasing their experiences both within and outside of NASS.

In this edition, we talk to Zachary McCormick, MD, Co-Chair of the Section on Interventional Spine and Musculoskeletal Medicine (ISMM).

Zachary McCormick, MD
Zachary McCormick, MD
NASS: Tell us a bit about yourself ...
Dr. McCormick: My name is Zack McCormick. I am a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician. I currently practice at the University of Utah with phenomenal partners and surgical colleagues based in both orthopaedic and neurosurgical spine. My wife and I moved to Salt Lake City about 5 years ago to pursue unique career opportunities (for both of us). We now have both a daughter and a son who are both under 3 and keep us very busy! I chair the NASS Interventional Spine and Musculoskeletal Medicine (ISMM) Fellowship Program Committee and have done so since its inception in 2019. I also co-chair the Section on ISMM.

NASS: How long has the Section been around and why was it formed?
Dr. McCormick: The NASS ISMM Fellowship Program Committee was formed to fill an unmet need in high-quality fellowship training for non-surgical, interventional spine and musculoskeletal care, vetted by leaders in the field and based on a rigorous scoring system to achieve "NASS-recognition" status, such that both applicants and prospective employers can effectively differentiate very high-quality fellowships from large number of training programs that exist nationally.
NASS: What are key goals of the upcoming year? Challenges?
Dr. McCormick: We are focused on growing the quality and offerings of the NASS ISMM Fellowship Program. With NASS's help we have operationalized a match system and online platform for common application submission as well as rank list submissions for both applicants and program directors. We have launched a national ground rounds series with lectures delivered by NASS-recognized ISMM Fellowship program directors and faculty. We have also begun building an electronic library of educational resources for NASS ISMM fellows.

NASS: What projects are you excited about? How are they of benefit to NASS members and spine professionals?
Dr. McCormick: In addition to the above, I am most excited about launching our first Advanced Interventional Spine Bioskills Course for NASS ISMM Fellows, which will occur at the annual meeting in Chicago this fall (2022). We have traditionally taught a basic lumbar bioskills course at the NASS Annual Meeting, so this will be an exciting shift. We will be teaching medial and lateral branch radiofrequency ablation, basivertebral nerve radiofrequency ablation, vertebral augmentation, spinal cord stimulation, and dorsal root ganglion stimulation techniques.