NASS On Spine

November 06, 2018

Q&A With William Hunter, MD

1. What is your hometown and where do you currently live?

I was raised in Rockville, Maryland, and currently live in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC.

2. What is your educational background?

For my undergraduate education, I went to Denison University in Ohio and then Georgetown University Medical School and finally Georgetown University Medical Center for my neurosurgery residency. Finished in 1998 and went into academics at University of Wisconsin. I was there for two years and then in 2000 came to Gastonia, NC, a suburb of Charlotte.

3. Tell us a little bit about your practice/specialty …

I am still at same office for last 18 years (The Spine Clinic at Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas) in private practice and currently, solo practitioner. My passion is working on the spine, particularly using minimally invasive techniques.

4. How long have you been a NASS member and why did you join?

I joined NASS back in 2009 – I had always heard that the topics at the conferences were up to date. Since then I have come yearly, and have enjoyed the time spent during the national annual meetings. I like the joint collaborations with neurosurgeons and our orthopedic colleagues. Since my membership, I often find information that will be helpful with my private practice, including information for my staff to improve efficiency and productivity. That included this year, while I was at the Los Angeles meeting, I purchased a reimbursement book that NASS publishes and describes the current surgeries and shows coding advice.

5. How come you make a point to attend NASS Annual Meetings? What about the meeting brings you back?

I think the overall size of NASS is much larger than the other national meetings I go to. And I am impressed with the amount of technology that is shown at the exhibits. I return with excitement to provide the best care I can to my patients.

6. Social media is becoming more prevalent every day in our world. Do you use social media at all professionally and if so, which platforms do you prefer?

I think social media is only going to become more widely used. My practice has accounts with the different platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Patients are using social media more and more, and I feel we need to stay on the forefront of technology. Everyone has a cell phone and access to the Internet and therefore able to gather information quicker.

7. What is your opinion of the way the health care industry is currently covered in the media?

I am concerned about health care in general. It seems that the insurance companies are making the patients more responsible for their care and services that are provided. Insurance companies are passing the financial responsibilities back to the patient. The patients need to save money for the deductibles. It is getting harder and harder for individuals and families to care for themselves in a “preventative” condition. So when they show up in my office or the ER, often times, they are sicker, or they have multiple medical conditions that increase their morbidities during our surgical treatments.

8. What do you do for relaxation in your down time (example: hobbies, sports, travel)?

I try to de-stress myself with playing racquetball, going to the movies and traveling at times. I try and spend as much time with my wife, and my two sons. The boys are growing up fast and I want to enjoy their High School and Middle School sports teams as much as I can.
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