“I wish I had a nickel for every time … Maybe I was a yogi in another life (laughing). I tend to calm people down in cases of extreme anxiety. I try to see who and what’s in front of me. Sometimes I’m a little slower in clinic because I like to sit down and spend the time with patients that they need. I would want someone to do that for me.”
Finish this sentence: ‘If I weren’t a doctor, I would be a …’
Chef! I love cooking and putting together a meal. I’m getting into pastas and breads lately. I have an ice cream maker and two InstantPots! I’m here (at work) a lot, but when I go home it’s fun to play in my kitchen.
What do you think about UT Southwestern opening in Frisco?
“I think it’s phenomenal. I’m honored to be part of the inaugural team to go there. The facility will be taking things to the next step in terms of innovation. I’m looking forward to partnering with primary care doctors in the community and being at the forefront of the growth in DFW.”
What types of patients will you be treating in the spine clinic in Frisco?
“I suspect the initial set of patients will be people with pain disorders of the neck or back pain – people that might benefit from a discectomy or a simple decompression, for example. Once people realize who we are, and that we treat the full gamut of spine pathology, I suspect we will see tumors, vascular pathology, complex deformity, adult scoliosis, and other challenging cases. We can handle them all under the UT Southwestern aegis.”
What advanced technologies will you have at UT Southwestern Frisco?
“We will have intraoperative navigated spine capabilities, which allow us to visualize the spine in three dimensions while we’re working on it. This helps with any instrumentation that goes into the spine, as well as with decompression surgery and advanced reconstructive techniques. We view a CT scan on a monitor in real time, so it’s a live roadmap. A spine GPS, if you would. It can make the procedure more accurate and reduce complications.”
Do most back problems require surgery?
“The first thing I tell people is that I like to work from the least invasive, most conservative treatment on a spectrum up to more aggressive measures. I will be working very closely with our PM&R (physical medicine and rehabilitation) and Anesthesia colleagues to make sure patients have exhausted all conservative treatment modalities before they need a surgical consult. As we become part of the community, I hope that patients will trust in our care and know we’re not just interested in doing big surgeries. Our Spine Center, part of the multidisciplinary care model at UT Southwestern, will treat the whole person.”