NASS On Spine

March 01, 2016

Q&A With Ian Madom, MD

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

I am originally from Port Jefferson, NY (Long Island) and I currently live in Cazenovia, NY, a small lake town outside of Syracuse.

2. What is your educational background?

I attended New York University for undergraduate where I studied political science before going to medical school in Syracuse at SUNY Upstate Medical University. I then went on to Brown University for my internship and orthopedic surgery residency. I stayed at Brown for one year to complete an orthopedic surgery trauma fellowship and then spent one year at the University of Utah for my spine fellowship under Darrel Brodke, Mike Daubs and Alpesh Patel. I am currently at Yale School of Management in the Executive MBA program with an expected graduation of May 2017.

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

I am an orthopedic spine surgeon in a mixed private/academic practice. My practice encompasses all areas of spine surgery including degenerative, deformity, traumatic and oncologic conditions. I would say my practice is slightly weighted toward cervical spine conditions but I certainly care for all regions of the spine.

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

I’ve been a member since residency. I joined for greater engagement with the spine care community.

5. What do you think is the most pressing issue or issues in spine care today?

I believe we need to be become more proactive as a spine care community in how we respond to changes in the payment models and measures of performance. Taking an active role to implement outcome measurement, reduce variability of care through collaboration and evidence-based initiatives, and create partnerships among the many channels where patients access care, will allow us to adapt to the changes on the way.

6. What advice would you give to a young, aspiring spine doctor?

Practice your craft, every day. I am a big believer in deliberate practice. Once you get into a good pattern, add another layer, then another. Eventually you can handle quite a lot. But at first, practice your craft and make your patient care paramount!

7. Do you think it’s important to get involved with health care advocacy/political issues? If yes, what has your experience been with this?

Yes. At first just exposure is important, and you need to understand the language and the variety of issues. Early engagement will allow you to become more nuanced over time. Health care policy is quite complex and is constantly changing. Small incremental doses at first will help build confidence over time so that you can become more engaged.

8. Why should members attend NASS meetings?

For connection to other members and to continue to expand the experience and discussion among spine care providers.

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

It is mixed. What is more important is that we as spine care providers become more engaged in the process so that we drive the discussion and its content. If not, others disseminate information that may not represent the entire story.

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

I enjoy running, skiing and sculling. Time with my wife (who is an Ob/GYN) and four children is my favorite thing to do. They keep me busy!


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