I was born and grew up in Edmundston, New-Brunswick, Canada, but now live in Philadelphia, PA.
I went to college at Yale, then medical school at the University of Toronto. I subsequently completed my residency in neurosurgery at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and then did a fellowship at Shriners Hospital for Children Philadelphia and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
My practice has changed over time, but most recently my move to Shriners has allowed me to focus my time on pediatric spinal surgery. I primarily treat spinal deformity such as scoliosis, but also other pediatric spine conditions ranging from trauma to spinal dysraphisms.
I joined NASS in 2009 as a resident after hearing about the annual meeting and its impact nationally. Originally I was most excited about NASS' emphasis on evidence-based medicine and the courses available to help educate myself, but over time I have come to appreciate NASS for its advocacy and health policy impact.
Definitely! I think one of NASS' greatest strengths is its diverse and encompassing membership which allows it to carry more weight with policy and insurers. Everyone contributing to the committees is volunteering their time and effort to help guide policy regionally and nationally which helps all of us in spine care. It is very gratifying to see policy change come about after NASS input is weighed.
Lack of evidence is a common limitation when trying to determine guidelines for treatment given the paucity of literature sometimes or the abundance of contradictory outcomes. Overall, the committees do a tremendous job by defining an appropriate question and then perform a thorough review of the literature to conclude what the best treatment is based on available literature. All this is possible due to the infrastructure available as NASS and all the help we have from staff at NASS.
I use social media personally but have tried to only maintain a tangential professional social media profile. I mostly maintain any social media presence through the hospital's PR department and occasionally post small updates on Facebook.
I think that the current political turmoil within the US has made fertile ground for the media and I personally have never been more attuned to the daily news. As always, the health care industry is a hot topic and is used for political goals, unfortunately.
I love to travel and discover new foods and things to do when I get a chance, but on a more daily basis I try to boulder or exercise to relax.