How 1 spine leader overcomes the many unexpected challenges of COVID-19

Andrew Gitkind, MD, serves as vice chair and associate professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York City-based Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine and as medical director of Montefiore Spine Center.

Dr. Gitkind will serve on the panels "What Interventional Pain Management Will Look Like in 10 Years" and "What it Takes to Build a World-Class Orthopedic, Spine Program" at Becker's 19th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place in Chicago from June 16-18. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Question: What issues are you spending most of your time on today?

Dr. Andrew Gitkind: Half my time is spent getting patients back in, making sure they are comfortable, and giving the care they need. Then, the other half of my time is spent within the hospital and the department picking up where we left off two years ago. 

Q: What are your top challenges and how will they change over the next 12 months?

AG: We used to predict what was coming, or at least with somewhat greater certainty than what we can now. We're always changing. We continue to be faced with unexpected challenges like waves of COVID. As you start to hit a stride, you get interrupted unexpectedly in terms of creating and growing and program building, and we never know when that's coming. But the challenge now includes rebuilding confidence, helping patients feel comfortable, and offering the highest quality of healthcare that we can do given this really new and continually changing landscape and environment. 

Q: How are you thinking about investments and growth in the next two years?

AG: We will continue to invest in our programs and invest in new and innovative ways to deliver healthcare and effectively get as many people the best level of spine care that we can in our practice. Here at Montefiore, we focused on our delivery of spine care years ago in a multidisciplinary fashion. We have practitioners from a variety of all different spine care backgrounds working collaboratively in one office environment. So for me, we continue to invest in that type of growth of spine practice. 

Q: What are you most excited about right now?

AG: I'm most excited about getting back to normal, like seeing colleagues, having conversations and creating relationships. 

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