William J. Sullivan, MD
SpineLine Medical Editor
University of Colorado School of
Rites of Passage
n Commentary | Message from the Medical Editor
“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”
“Old age and the passage of time teach all things.”
This is an exciting time of year for many of us in academic practices because
we are getting ever so close to the match.
In fact, I have been spending a significant
amount of time in medical student advising
related to schedules for next year, picking
electives and making plans for interviews
in anticipation of Match 2018!
By the time you read this, the 2017 Match
Day may have passed. Even for those who
are not involved in medical student training, resident education and/or the resident
selection process, you likely remember the
process. There were interviews, and the
anxiety and uncertainty related to how
good a program really was. Would you fit
in? Would they pick you? Later, filling out
your rank list included more anxiety and
uncertainty related to how good a program
really was. Again—would you fit in? Would
they pick you? By the time I got my envelope (that’s how they did it in the good old
days), all I really wanted was to know was
where (luckily, I already knew I matched
somewhere and was not scrambling).
Our current medical students at the
University of Colorado have spent months
preparing for their Match Day. Like Match
Day many years ago when I was finishing
medical school, their big day this year is a
glorious combination of Match Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and opening round of the NCAA
basketball tournament games!
How does this affect us? Soon enough,
these students will graduate and begin
residency. This time will pass quickly, and
some, we hope, will be encouraged to join
us as spine care physicians. Some will
choose surgical careers, others nonsurgical.
We'll also welcome graduating trainees in
physical therapy, PhDs, chiropractors, PAs,
nurse practitioners and others who will join
us working in the spine care field.
This edition begins with the President's
column from NASS President, F. Todd Wetzel, MD. As you may guess from the title,
"Really Very Useless," he has an interesting
viewpoint on the acronym RVU. Having
been the NASS advisor to the AMA/RUC
(RVU Update Committee), I understand
some of the issues related to this system.
In addition, Dr. Wetzel outlines some of the
(faulty?) arguments brought on by those
who attempted a lawsuit in 2013. Overall,
it will interesting to see where we end up as
we move forward with health care changes
and Relative Value Units.
Our Current Concepts section provides
three articles that fit our desire for regular
submissions in each of the following categories. In Spine in Sports, Ellen Casey, MD
and Nicole Becker provide an overview on
spine conditions in gymnastics with “How
to Score a Perfect 10 in Caring for Gymnasts
with Low Back Pain.” I am not an expert in
this area, and not sure how much I watched
in the last Olympics, but I thought the grading was no longer a “perfect 10” a la Nadia
Comaneci? Anyway, you get their point on
what you should look for to be successful.
Radiology Rounds provides an overview on
“Spine Trauma Imaging” by Bharti Khurani,
MD, Chris Bono, MD, Mitch Harris, MD