WHO is the BEST Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay? That answer should be a simple one. It is the physician who will be operating on YOU. Having been in practice in the Tampa Bay area since 1993, I am happy to say that there are many excellent spine surgeons, and many of them are both my friends as well a colleagues. The BEST Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay is the one that make you feel the most comfortable.
There are general guidelines that you should consider.
2. The BEST Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay usually had fellowship training in the Surgery of the Spine.
3. The BEST Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay has hospital privileges. While many procedures are now done on an outpatient basis, a prudent physician always prepares for the rare situation that may arise. In urgent circumstances, a hospitalization is necessary. A surgeon that does not have hospital privileges cannot care for the emergent situations that happen after hours, and on the weekends. Best Surgeons of any kind always prepare for this contingent situation. Surgeons that do not prepare for the unexpected, are not the BEST Surgeons.
4. The BEST Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay will have at least 5 years of practice experience. I am not saying the new, recently fellowship train physician is not competent. Often they have excellent training, and may be more up to date in some of the new techniques. But, like anything else, experience matters. In my opinion, you get better and wiser with each year of practice. The steepest learning curve is in the first 5 years. I do not think I need to explain this in more detail.
After those 4 parameters are met, there are more intangible factors that will determine if your surgeon is the BEST Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay.
1. The Best Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay usually will develop a good trusting relationship with you and your family. Usually, there is at least a few visits (for elective surgery) to first obtain an proper physical exam, as well as a review of all pertinent history of your problem. Then, there is a detailed review of all the diagnostic tests. Often, non-surgical options will also be pursued. During these initial visits, either you will trust that physician to make the right decisions, or not.
2. The Best Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay will discuss your surgical options in simple terms and in great detail. Questions will be answered. Risks, benefits and alternatives will be discussed.
3. The Best Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay also understands that his/her staff is very important to the process. The Surgeon will make sure to hire and train friendly, competent and compassionate staff. The staff will do as much as possible to minimize your anxiety about the surgery. That includes helping you navigate the visits to the hospital or surgery center, visits with the anesthesiology team, coordinating post operative instructions, as well as inform you about the insurance and cost issues.
4. The Best Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay will also respect your time, and will make efforts to see you on time for all your appointments.
In the end, The Best Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay is the one that will do your surgery. Why? Because, this Surgeon has met all the critical points we discussed above. The bottom line, is you like this Surgeon, and feel confident he is well trained, has experience, and will go the extra mile to improve your problems. The Best Spine Surgeon in Tampa Bay will treat you like (s)he will treat his/her family.
This blog is the personal opinion of John Shim MD with over 20 years experience as a spine surgeon.