C'mon—Are You Going to Read This?
What can I do to make you read this arti- cle? A better question is—why should
you read this article? Everyone is busy. You
have patients to see, procedures to perform,
family responsibilities—and then there are
the administrative meetings, CME meetings
and whatever else consumes the precious
minutes of the day. What will you gain from
reading this article in SpineLine? By now, I
hope you’ve decided to keep reading, even
if only out of pure curiosity.
This is my introductory SpineLine article
leading up to my NASS presidency which
officially starts in October 2015 at the Annual Meeting in Chicago. About now, I am
supposed to start telling you about what
I expect out of the year, what I hope to
achieve and outline a bulleted list of my
“agenda.” Guess what, I have no agenda. I
have only a vision.
We Need to Come Together as Spine
Let’s get everything out in the open. NASS,
as a society, has some real work to do. The
past few years have been a bit tumultuous.
Whether justified or not, past events have
created a noticeable rift between NASS and
other societies and some of its members.
There has been a perception of uninhibited
and full endorsement of polarizing events,
like the “BMP issue.” There have been allegations that NASS has actively blocked
the approval or coding of new technologies.
There has been a general sense that NASS is
no longer a “spine surgeon’s society.” I have
lived through all of these events. In fact, I
can take some responsibility via involve-
ment in some of these events. Taking the
next (and most difficult) step, I can tell you
that I can understand the reasoning behind
each of these complaints.
Lest you think this is only about surgeons, it is not. As much as our “
multidisciplinary” society boasts equal treatment of
nonsurgical and surgical issues, there is a
tendency (I hope unintentional) to address
nonsurgical issues with less fervor. As the
membership growth has been more from
nonoperative practitioners, greater attention must be paid to making sure things are
as equitable as possible.
So what do we hear “on the street”?
"NASS no longer supports surgeons."
"NASS is just a surgical society."
"NASS is so pro-industry it’s disgusting."
"NASS has turned its back on industry."
While I might not be able to convince
everyone reading this, I can tell you that
NONE of these four comments are true
(and neither are the authors’ Twitter sig-
natures, in case you were wondering). As
a CME question writer for many years, I
can confirm that only two can possibly be
true, as the other two directly contradict
the others (excuse the nerd-like rationale).
Christopher M. Bono, MD
First Vice President, North American
Brigham & Women's Hospital
Editor's Note: In this issue, NASS President Heidi Pather, DO, hands over her regular column
to First Vice President, Chris Bono, MD, for an introductory message from Dr. Bono whose
presidential year begins in October. Dr. Prather returns in the next issue.