NASS Insider

February 21, 2023

The NASS Backbone - Section Chair Edition: Joseph H. Schwab, MD

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 Joseph H. Schwab, MD, Co-Chair of the Section on Spine Oncology.

Joseph H. Schwab, MD
Joseph H. Schwab, MD
NASS: Tell us a bit about yourself ...
Dr. Schwab: My name is Joe Schwab and I'm a Mayo Clinic-trained orthopedic surgeon with a spine oncology fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and spine training at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dan Sciubba and I have been co-chairs since the Section’s start, which was originally formed by Chris Bono. My wife Christina is a hepatobiliary surgeon and is currently the chair at Cedar Sinai Hospital, and together we have three children: Peter (14), Anna Maria (12), and Joe (10). My hobbies really focus on my children, though we do have a cat but I'm not a cat person. I would prefer a dog but it was overruled.

NASS: What has been your favorite part about being part of this Section? What interested you in joining in the first place?
Dr. Schwab: My favorite part of being in the Section is spending time with other members. This is particularly true in and around the in-person meetings where we can really get to know one another and also share like experiences.
NASS: In your opinion, how does this Section further NASS' mission to provide multidisciplinary evidence-based healthcare to members?
Dr. Schwab: It is helpful to have a multidisciplinary membership which is really the key to having a multidisciplinary evidence-based approach.

NASS: What projects are you excited about? How are they of benefit to NASS members and spine professionals?
Dr. Schwab: Our Section has developed multiple modalities geared towards education including webinars, podcast, symposia, white papers, and review articles for The Spine Journal. A recent article published last year on nerve sheath tumors about the spine was notable because of its multidisciplinary approach.

NASS: Are there any recent webinars, podcasts or courses you'd like to direct members to listen/watch/attend? What makes them unique?
Dr. Schwab: Many of our brief podcasts that have occurred in and around the national meeting have been very fruitful. These are quite exceptional because they bring together individuals who have concentrated experience in spine oncology. Having an open forum with two or three of these experienced clinicians can be quite interesting.

NASS: What does the future hold for this Section?
Dr. Schwab: I believe the Section on Spine Oncology will continue to grow. I suspect prospective clinical trial will come about through this group, and I’m very excited about that.