Podcast

Ep 19: Leadership In Orthopaedic Surgery with Cory Calendine of The Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee

About Cory Calendine, MD:

 

Cory Calendine, M.D., is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing anterior hip replacement, robotic joint replacement, and partial and total hip and knee replacement. Dr. Calendine received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He completed his fellowship training in adult reconstruction of the hip and knee at the world-renowned Anderson Orthopaedic Research Institute in Alexandria, Virginia. He has expertise in Mako RIO robotic-arm assisted surgery as well as revision hip and knee replacement, knee arthroscopy (knee scope) and treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.

Dr. Calendine currently serves as chief of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery for Williamson Medical Center, where he often hosts national and international visiting surgeons who come to learn about latest techniques and advancements in orthopaedic surgery. He also serves as an elite reviewer for the Journal of Arthroplasty, a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and is one of only eight surgeons chosen to serve on the international Mako Champions faculty.

In 2018, he was selected to serve as a member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Blueprint Development Exercise Work Group, which creates content for national credentialing exams. He also lectures nationally and internationally on joint replacement, most recently at the 2018 Chinese Hip Society in Guiyang, China.

When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Calendine enjoys golf, movies, racquetball, youth ministry and weightlifting. He also dedicates his time to various nonprofit groups, such as Mission UpReach, City of Children and the Sarah Walker Foundation.

Click On Your Preferred Podcast Platform Below to Listen or Watch the Interview on YouTube.

To connect with Dr. Calendine, reach out to him through his channels:

LinkedIn

Instagram

Twitter

Transcript

All right. And we’re live. Everyone is Omar. And Khateeb your host with journey to private practice. I’m joined by a good friend, somebody that I’ve been connected with on LinkedIn for a while, it took a hiatus. Ma made everybody miss him, but then came right back. So we’re happy to have him back, but it’s great to finally meet that core account that Dr.

 

Paul callback. Thanks so much for joining us. How are you doing. Man. Everything’s great little rainy here in Tennessee, but, uh, can always, uh, can always find some good things to talk about. Thanks for having me on tomorrow. I appreciate it. Oh, absolutely. And just for myself, unless there is a calendar count, Dean, Carolyn dine.

 

I mean, that’s how I say it. You know, I’ve never really searched out my roots, you and I, before we came on, we’re talking about your rich heritage and, and, and, and your wife being from Turkey. Yeah, you you’ve, you’ve got the story we want to hear, but, uh, Katlyn, dine, I’ve never really investigated, but that’s how I say it.

 

Well that’s yeah, that’s perfectly fine. Look from, from my last name, it’s Katina, you know, I’ve been told it’s pronounced huffy, but, um, but I’m like, you know, look, I’m a boy from the south and Texas it’s it’s good.

 

So that’s kind of that, there’s so many things I want to ask you, but I think the first thing that. A lot of our listeners are going to want to know about is, you know, they see you on LinkedIn. I mean, you have an Instagram had a, really the handles for, for you, uh, for everyone in the show notes, but your origin story, like who is Corey calender now?

 

Where are you? Where’d you, where’d you come from? Where did you, how did you get it? Yeah, it’s a great question. And I’ll, I’ll try to be direct with it. You know, um, the, the reality is I have two older brothers and they chose medicine and in a very real way, I followed my two older brothers into medicine.

 

No question, you know, interestingly, the three boys are all totally different. The oldest one trained as a pediatrician and the middle brother radiologist. You know, doesn’t really help people is what I always like to say, but they just like to hang out in a dark room and look at patients. Fine. Yeah.

 

They’re worried about, they’re worried about the patient interaction, but, uh, but, but for me, that was key for me. So, so medicine, I had massive influences at a very young age. In truthfulness. I wanted to be Stanley steamer, the carpet cleaner. Uh, it did mark out. Uh, there was a brief time in my very young childhood that I wanted to be wonder woman.

 

Uh, I’m still confused by that, but I just have to own that origin, but, but medicine for me very early, uh, was a focus. My dad was a priest. And so, you know, I knew I wanted to do something to, to, to help. I wanted to be in a help or a service type of field. And there’s a ton of amazing fields. But with my brothers going into medicine, that was a natural draw.

 

And then early in med school, I don’t, I don’t know how common knowledge this is, but early in med school, you figure out if you’re. Or not a cutter. So if you’re a surgeon, you’re not a surgeon. Um, and, and, and I think it, it largely has to do with attention span. You know, I want it to be able to effect change and, and really see people’s life in a very, uh, very, uh, sudden way.

 

I was so influenced in college, uh, by one of my good buddies who played college baseball for awhile. And he would always tell the story about one of his coaches. He was pitching and the, the game was not going well. He was doing horrible and the coach came out there and just wore him out. Man just wore him out and it just devastated him.

 

And obviously he got pulled from the game, but you know, what stuck with me was if you want to make an impact in people’s lives. You need to touch them in their time of need, right? You need to touch them when they’re hurting. Right. Physical pain is what I deal with, but you want to touch them in their time of need.

 

And so man, to call that a job, Omar, I mean, it’s incredible for orthopedics is for me, obviously I do a lot of hip and knee replacement. You see people go from a wheelchair to walking. It’s, it’s incredible. And I’m so thankful to, uh, to, to, to, to, to be able to do that every day. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

 

You know, I hear that there’s a lot of medical students listen to this funny enough in a former life, I was in medical school in Texas. Uh, and very much like you, I decided, you know, I wanted to go as medicine. You know, to heal people, to, to, you know, to affect change everything. Father was a surgeon, you know, by about halfway through the, you know, I just saw more passions of mine in technology.

 

And so I went into medical technology, but you’re so right. What’s funny is that you go into med school thinking about, well, I’m going to look at each specialty based on, I don’t know, my research interests or whatever, but you know, what ends up happening? Everybody goes into the thing that their personality.

 

And that was the craziest thing. Every guy that I, that we started out in medical school with, uh, you know, most of the guys, he wants to be surgeons. Right. But like halfway in, I think only one of the people, one of the guys, cause it was a small class. We were, we were at Texas tech, the new school, I think only one or two of the guys actually wanted to serve.

 

And when I look back, I’m like, oh, that makes sense. Like, this person wants to psychiatry. Like they’re a psychiatrist. The other person wants radiology. It makes complete sense if it was so funny that you go where your personality and mindset fits. Yeah. It’s a good point. I actually entered med school thinking I do cardiology.

 

I had a mentor, this incredible. I had a mentor, um, who. Gave all the, he picked one high school student a year, uh, in Knoxville. That’s where I grew up. Uh, and he gave the, gave out this Martin Luther king Jr. Community of man and God scholarship. So it was a needs-based scholarship. Uh, dude, my dad was a preacher.

 

We didn’t have any money. My mom worked at Winn-Dixie. Um, you know, uh, look, I had everything I needed. I’m not complaining, but we didn’t have money. When I, when I graduated high school, my parents were like, Hey man, Good luck out there. Uh, and that was it. There wasn’t like sign for my student loan. Um, it w that wasn’t gonna happen.

 

So I had a mentor that gave me a scholarship that paid for, um, undergrad and medical school, which is like bizarre. Right. I mean, that’s, that’s amazing, literally out enough. Yeah. As a cardiologist. And so I thought, well, my goodness, obviously I’m going to do cardiology. But again, cut or not cutter. Right?

 

And so cardiologists are proceduralists, but man, I needed to be a cutter. The reality is when I picked orthopedics, I had done one week, your medical student listeners will know this. I had done one week of ortho one week and I decided that I’m going to do orthopedics for the rest of my life. I didn’t have.

 

Clue what I was getting into. Um, but it was a personality fit, man. There’s saws and hammers. And I could talk to these guys and, and they were, uh, th th th they seem to know what they’re doing. They’re reasonably smart. Um, but they were also very approachable and men that connected with me. I think it’s a great point.

 

Personality fits. Absolutely. Well, you don’t talk, speaking about personality. So one thing that’s interesting to me in the culture of medicine, culture medicine is pretty, pretty pragmatic about things and, and definitely can be dogmatic and in this new age, right. Um, you know, for one, whether you’re private practice or inactive or hospital setting, you know, there is an importance around developing brand, right?

 

Because you know, whether, whether you like it or not, that’s how patient. Uh, find out about you. That’s actually how you put yourself in a better position to move up in the, in the, in the medical world, whether it’s at conferences or anything else. And so this is a very new mindset for physicians, you know, especially, I would say historically for surgeons, surgeons are very much.

 

From the, from a historical standpoint, but I need to protect, and he’s very secretive things, but you have a very sort of giving and growth oriented mindset. How did you first get on social media? Cause being an orthopedic surgeon, you’re extremely. So, what was that moment that you said, you know what, I should really embrace this and start taking to the planet?

 

Well, you’re right. And, and it wasn’t intuitive to me. I mean, you know, I, I don’t know how old you are. Uh, Omar probably far younger than I, but, uh, you know, I got my first email address in college and I had to go to the campus computer lab to log on like all the tech stuff is just in my lifetime has been.

 

Just shot and you’re right. You’re in residency and you’re just trying to have time to eat. And then you’re starting to practice and you get so busy, but really after about 10 years in practice for me, we were with, uh, I trained at Vanderbilt, uh, for my residency, uh, did a fellowship, but came back to the greater area.

 

I joined a private practice, but we were acquired by Vanderbilt. So we were Vanderbilt bone and joint for 10 years. And, uh, that, that was a great partnership for a lot of reasons, but because we were operating as a separate cost center, we ultimately decided to partner with our local hospital. So, so that’s the model that I’m under now.

 

So we, we left Vanderbilt bone and joining created this bone and joint Institute of Tennessee. Well, that was a new thing. Uh, that would have been two and a half, three years ago. So, so that was a new venture. And I said, wow, you know, I’ve kinda been hiding beneath the Vanderbilt umbrella, you know, Vanderbilt trained and obviously Vanderbilt kind of led the marketing thing, but boy, now we’re building something special, something.

 

And so we really, when we started the bone and joint Institute, Tennessee, I started to get interested in, you know, how can, how can I connect to people? You know, the reality is, is Omar. We’re all busy right now. Nobody has time to do a whole bunch of extra stuff, but, but 

 

I’m just driven by this desire  to make an impact to help somebody, largely because so many have helped me. Like, it’s just, it’s such a beautiful thing to be a part of. 

 

So I started getting into LinkedIn a little bit. I’ve been there a little bit longer. I think I did start that when I was at Vanderbilt, but then I branched out into Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I try to do a little bit of all of it,  and have a little bit different voice based on the needs of the platform. But what I think is so important is: being authentic, right?

 

 You and I were talking before we came on, I took a little LinkedIn hiatus. Um, I I’m, um, I don’t know that anybody noticed, but I put a post up that said I’m back.

 

And so then they were like, oh yeah, maybe he’s gone. But, uh, But, but, uh, the reason why is because I was trying to build out some Instagram stuff, I really wanted to lean into it. So, so for all those guys out there thinking about social media, look, there are all kinds of guys that can help you with it. And it’s great.

 

And I got a guy that kind of puts some filters on my video. It makes them look cool. But, but for me it was about how can I authentically reach out and touch more people. And it’s been great. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s how I’ve connected to you and, and, and, and so many others, uh, it’s been, it’s been incredibly rewarding and, and I don’t know how to monetize it.

 

Omar, that’s the other thing. Yeah. Surgeons are busy and they’re like, oh, if I’m going to put all this effort into patient education online and give it away for free, you know, how am I going to justify that time? I don’t know a way to monetize it. Nor did I get into it to monetize, right. I got into it to add to the fullness of life.

 

Right. That, that, that thing, that, uh, that, that thing that I always say, you know, savoring life to the bone, like, dude, I didn’t have any help with the marketing guy that like, I th that’s really my approach. And hopefully that comes across. No, it absolutely does. And I think that’s, that’s the thing is that, you know, he forget, you know, even within medicine, even within the technology world, there’s a lot of these platforms where companies, you know, the easy thing is like, well, what’s the ROI of this activity, right?

 

And I think, you know, when you think of it like that, there, you, you leave a lot of, you know, you can call it quote unquote money on the table, because for one, if it is very easy and transactional and you can map it directly to something that’s monetary. Then there’s really nothing valuable about it.

 

Believe it or not is something that can be replicated. Everybody can do. But you know, when you put, when you put this kind of content out there, right, you don’t know how it travels, right. You don’t know how it’s going to be used. And you know, we know the kind of impact it will have, you know? So for example, these days, and you know, for, you know, for physicians, you have to keep in mind.

 

I mean, my father is a 75 year old surgeon. He uses Facebook more than I. And anytime he has to meet with somebody, right. Or I have to meet with somebody, you know, we check, we Google it, see like, oh, do that Facebook page. So they have an Instagram LinkedIn as well. They don’t have any listings. It’s really sketchy, very sketchy.

 

It’s like, I don’t know. I don’t know who this person is, you know? And so I think, you know, just taking these platforms and say, Hey, you know, I’m not, nobody’s great at it. Assign it to it for everybody. But just saying, I’m going to just make the, have to at least. You know, engage in communicating through it.

 

It doesn’t have to be like amazing videos at the beginning. He used very simple. My, you know, I’ve been doing a book review show on LinkedIn for almost three years now, every week, first year and a half of that was like iPhone video on edited, you know, and none of these things have monetized. However, changed my life brought, got me into my career, uh, out in Silicon valley.

 

Right. Got me connected to great, you know, uh, people like you. So you never know the impact of these things until you start getting them. Well, th that’s exactly right. You, you, you, you, you just don’t know, but, but I think you’re right. I think people are, people are looking at, you know, the brand word is very uncomfortable for surgeons, you know?

 

Like, what’s your, why do you think that is? I, I think, I think because we think it means fabricated. Right. Like we think it means what is your master plan to deliver a certain picture to your audience? Um, and I think for some people, maybe it does mean that. Um, but, uh, but, but I think if you lead with authenticity, all that falls out, you know, there’s, there’s, I don’t know where you’re going to put this Omar, but you, you know, I’m going to get, I’m going to get a call from my brand person.

 

Cause I work with somebody that kind of helps me think through. How I appear to others, uh, or, or we’re going to get a call from, uh, you know, Matthew, Ray, Scott, you know, he, he talks about brand. He he’s great. Listen, Matthew, raise it. Awesome. He simplifies it a little bit and, and it kind of speaks to me because dude, I’m not very smart, man.

 

I’m a man of a narrow skillset, you know? Your brand is like, what, what people say about you? What Google says about you, you know, however, he breaks it down. I wish I could quote him better, but, but, but that makes sense, right? I mean, what do people see? And, and we all need to be cognizant of that. And I try to use that information as feedback, right?

 

So somebody trolls me on LinkedIn. I said, you know, it was I coming across a little harsh or, you know, you know, I, I use it. I think it’s good. So, so bring on the good stuff. And bring on the criticism because I want to use that as, as value. So. Absolutely. And you know, that’s the one thing I think a lot of people get worried about.

 

Even companies, big companies. I know I speak to that marketing teams are like, oh, we’re posting on LinkedIn. We’ve disabled comments. And I asked Mike, why don’t you just say them constantly like, oh, well, we’re going to prove a competitor. Someone says something negative. Like, well, that’s nice that you think someone cares enough to make that big of a public post.

 

But if they do. That’s even better it’s engagement, but you know, the bad is going to be there. Right? It’s like, if you look at some of the, uh, like there’s a saying with, with, uh, like, uh, um, very, uh, highly published authors who are best bestsellers, they say like, you don’t have a best-selling book until you have like, One-star Amazon reviews.

 

If no one cared enough to leave a bad review on your book, you didn’t really write anything. Good. I liked that. I liked that. I mean, I guess there’s some guys that try to be divisive, right. And try to get those negative reviews by saying inflammatory stuff. That’s obviously just to be clear, it’s not what we’re talking about, but it’s absolutely true.

 

You know, I, obviously I do a lot of stuff in the robotic space, um, for robotic joint replacement, it’s about precision and all these kinds of things. And there’s one guy in particular and I won’t name him. Uh, but you can, you can look him up. You can look him up on LinkedIn. This guy like hammers, every thing that is ever said about robotics and inevitably, this guy will potentially say, don’t say his name, Omar, don’t say this, this guy, this guy will say something negative or inflammatory on a post of mine or somebody else’s.

 

I love the guy. Like what people don’t realize is he and I message privately all the time. I’ve talked to him on the phone, like, like I love it because it generates an important conversation. And now we can do this virtually. Exactly. Exactly. I don’t know who it is, but I’m not going to go look at your posts.

 

I got my career star bias. I’m very pro robotics. So I’m going to have to, I’m going to have to check it out. Well, let me ask you this. So for, you know, so a lot of my friends, uh, who are, I was either in medical school with, or we were in college, you went to another med school. Some of them did actually go into, uh, either, you know, just straight orthopedics where they related to doing ortho spine.

 

They’re listening to this. What’s your like, sort of. You know, short advice for how they should think about each platform. Let’s just start with the basics of LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook’s, it’s kind of like its own thing, but LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, what’s your take on it? Where should they start?

 

And how should they think about each one? Yeah, it’s a good question. I mean,

 

I think the key, it sounds so cliche to say, but I think the key is just to start. Just start. I would not wait on some formulated master plan. I would just start. If you have a thought, then you should just share it and if it comes with a pretty picture, fine.

 

And if it doesn’t that’s okay. So the first thing I would tell you is just start sharing. The second thing I would say is, start absorbing, right. Just look at what’s on. If they’re surgeons, we’re talking to the guys that are buddies with you that are surgeons.

 

They have an opinion, dude. I know them. Okay. I know them already and again, here down the hall. Yeah. And so, so, so yeah, so, so just start sharing and just start contributing, right? I mean, you, you don’t have to have some masterful posts to start. You can, you can say, oh man, I really thought that post was good.

 

And you can comment, or you can say, boy, I’ve never thought about it like that. What do you think about this? So the engagement is really important, so just start both posting and interacting, uh, but the platforms are different and I kind of mentioned that a little bit. So, so for me, LinkedIn is more professional connection.

 

Uh, for me it’s about, uh, a business motivation because I’m kinda like a. You know, that’s how I get my energy. Honestly. I don’t want to pump it up buddy up and rah, rah, rah, uh, okay. For me, it’s fuel, right? The, the interaction is fuel. And so believing in something bigger than yourself in a professional business way, that’s LinkedIn for me for Instagram.

 

Uh, it’s it’s it’s for me, it’s really more. And so surgical videos are awesome and filters are cool. And like, it’s, it’s much more casual, you know, I do joint replacement, but there are all these, uh, uh, people that follow me there that are, uh, well, their parents need joint replacement, you know? So, so they’ll send me their parents.

 

Um, so it’s a different, it’s a different age group. It’s a different focus, uh, for sure. Twitter for me. Uh I’ve I probably put less effort into Twitter. Twitter is. Kind of trolled more, there’s this thing called ortho Twitter. So hashtag ortho Twitter. And so it’s a bunch of ortho guys. Sometimes there’s some sharing cases, sometimes it’s very good pithy and kind of clever.

 

And like, that’s not really my game. Like, um, but there are some great guys on there putting out great content. Yeah. And so it can be right for some people. So mainly that’s a professional link for me. And then you mentioned Facebook, Facebook for me is largely been. Patient facing. And so that’s where I park a lot of just the, the patient, the education stuff.

 

And obviously there’s some exchange right between those, you know, there are some patients that you’ll find on LinkedIn and, and there are some, uh, business connections that you make may, may make on Facebook. But for me, that’s kinda how I, how, how I break it down. I think that the key though is just to start and how I started was, you know, LinkedIn, I just kind of started with.

 

And then I added, I think you can do too much at one time. How did you do it? I mean, what, what, what are your keys to being the man you want. That’s oh, I appreciate. That’s a great question. Um, so believe it or not, I’m part of the like original generation of Facebook. So in 2004, when I was in college, I was part of the group that they rolled it out to.

 

I wasn’t, I was not at Harvard. I was at a state school, but I did adopt Facebook back then. I added as I went and I think right around, you know, I actually started different groups on Facebook, so I had some knowledge of it and. With my personal, with my like professional personal brand, a lot of people are surprised to hear this, but I didn’t really start any of that until I’d say 20 14, 20 15.

 

Right. And it started on LinkedIn and the way it started was I, my, I worked through Zuora robotics, the great, you know, first, first great robot spine company, we got acquired by Medtronic. And so, you know, there’s some layoffs. Yeah, layoffs, you know, job jobs is off. And so 

 

I was trying to find a job and I was a young guy in Orlando, Florida, and I said, you know, I have this experience in robotics and this marketing, but nobody knows about me.

 

And every interview I went to or I applied to, they were like, oh, you don’t have enough. I was like, yeah, but there’s so much more beyond just like, what number of years you spent in a job. So I said, why am I waiting for people to discover me? Or why am I waiting to do all this interview? I’m just going to go and do this on LinkedIn and let people find it.

 

So I would add, and this is what I recommend to people who are looking for a job, whether you’re a physician or not, I would add, you know, a lot of people every day, random people, marketing people, salespeople, and every week I said, okay, Aside from posting, what article can I write this week that would really be impacted.

 

So I started writing articles on leadership and marketing psychology, and eventually there’s a company that of, I really wanted to work for and they would not interview me. It was, it was, it was verb surgical at the time who was a joint venture between Johnson, Johnson, Google. And I said, you know what, I’m going to publish their marketing plan.

 

What I think they should do strategic marketing, what are they going to do? Get mad at me. So I did that. The article went viral and then. Many articles later. I mean, I did, I never ended up working with them. I interview with them many times. They just took too long to make a decision. Um, but those articles paid by way out to San Francisco and Silicon valley.

 

And you know, a few years later and a couple of a couple of companies later, this is where I’m at. Is it? Yeah. Isn’t that something, right. So you just did what you were passionate about. You did what you already were interested in, uh, but we’re willing to share it, right? I mean, because if you do all that and like hand it to the guy beside you, man, you don’t have the reach.

 

So I think incredible. Yeah. And what I love again, this is why I really resonate with how, you know, how you put, put your posts out there because I. I see myself in those posts. And I appreciate the vulnerability, the break, the bravery, because it does, it does take some vulnerability and you do have to be brave when you put these posts out there.

 

But I think that’s the way this all works, which is nothing great ever came from something that was easy. Right. There has to be this thing where, when you’re about to do these posts, And it still happens to where you feel this like hesitancies, like, ah, you know, what’s someone going to think about this.

 

Like if someone’s going to make fun of, and you have to really just push through that because you never know how far these things travel. I have people who find my post today, years later and you know, it inspires them to change their job, you know, go into a certain career, you know? So you just, you never know, including this interview.

 

How far this is going to travel. What kind of difference is going to make in somebody’s life? Yeah, it’s, it’s absolutely true. I I’ll tell you, you know, people mentioned that to me from time to time, uh, about, you know, the vulnerability and my posts. I just need to pause just for a second and clarify, I I’m too dumb to realize that I’m being vulnerable.

 

Like I think the cure for that is just don’t think. Right. Um, put something out there that is authentic to you, and then you just don’t, you just don’t have to worry about it too bad. Not, not everybody’s gonna like you, but, but, but I wish I could tell, I wish people would say that to me, Omar, and be like, yeah, man, I’m not vulnerable.

 

I’m tough. Um, I actually don’t realize it. Um, and I don’t mean it like that. I, I don’t think about it. And I think, I think people realize that I’m not. Trying to perfect or, you know, broadcast a certain brand. I think that’s what they’re talking about with vulnerability. I think they’re saying Corey, we, we, we see your imperfections and your honesty.

 

Um, well, yeah, cause I’m not smart enough to put gloss over it. Um, and, and that’s okay with me. So I, uh, back to what we were saying, I mean, just, I just encourage people to just be authentic with it and get out there. I, I want to hear it from him. Absolutely. And I think, you know, you know, on one side it’s, you know what I mentioned, vulnerability it’s, it’s about, you know, if you proud of something, right.

 

It’s kinda like, you know, we all have this, this, this, uh, this voice of shame in our head. You know, when we were kids in high school, we put an outfit on we’re really excited to wear or about to walk out the door. No, I don’t want to, I don’t want to wear this. Maybe, maybe my buddy’s going to give me a hard time that that voice stays there.

 

It gets worse when you’re adults. And so what I tell people is like, look, if there’s something that you have to say, just, just say it, like, forget about the haters, forget about those who are gonna, you know, be the critics. Like they’re going to be. But what about that one person that you, that you’re putting this out there for?

 

So a lot of times when I make a video or a post, I just have one person in mind where I’m like, you know what? I know that this person would really like it a lot. So when you put out your posts, I’m sure you you’re thinking about somebody or some group of people. Who do you, who do you usually write for?

 

Like what, what is your, your work on, on, on LinkedIn? Who’s it usually. Yeah. Um, I don’t know, Omar. I wish I had a better question. I wish I had a better answer to your question. Cause I think it’s a great question. Like who, who, who is your, who’s your target? But honestly, I feel. The, the brand people aren’t going to like this.

 

I feel the absence of me knowing some specific target for all of my posts, um, is probably good, you know, um, because, because not every post is going to hit every person. And I think this is what you’re saying, you know, not, you know, it’s not one person that I’m always talking to. Um, it’s, it’s, uh, with a specific foot post, uh, what is your target?

 

Uh, you know, I, I, I put some out earlier than that. You know, telemedicine? Well, what is my point? Well, a lot of my posts in on LinkedIn anyway, are focused around tech. I mean, I want to be Omar when I grow up, like, I want to leverage into tech in a way. I mean, man, I’m a knuckle dragger. I use like saws and like malice and you know, but I see the power of technology.

 

So a lot of my posts are around. Guys, look, things are great. The way they are. But what if right. But, but, but what if we did it better? I was reading an article, uh, at a Bloomberg. I had a lot of pictures, so, uh, I enjoyed it, but, uh, ortho comment true, but four out of five, four and a five. I told you it’s a personality thing.

 

No, you told me. The four to five are in the tech space, right? It’s like mosque and, uh, Elon Musk and gates and Zuckerberg and, uh, uh, Bezos. And, and then, and then, and then there’s the CEO guy from Louis Vuitton, right? Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and all that. He’s got an ass Bezos for net worth. It’s incredible.

 

So, so the, the point of the article was like, uh, you know, tech is where it’s at, unless you’re in really nice handbags. Um, so, so, and maybe that’s the brand piece, so maybe you’ve got it all figured out in tech and brand. Yeah, I think, you know, I think the biggest thing that what I’ve noticed in Silicon valley, if I can say this about them is Silicon valley is great when it comes to building.

 

You know, products, it’s very product led. The problem though, is this concept around, if you build it, they will come. It’s a farce, right? It’s just not the way it works. And for those people who are wondering, I think they, they quote thorough when they say that that was actually a ma this is a hundred percent.

 

Made up by an advertising man, back in the early 19 hundreds, just to sell products that if they, if you build it, they will come. So it’s a fake thing. And I think at the end of the day, that no matter what, whether you’re a physician or you’re a tech or anything, we’re all human beings, the best story wins.

 

Right. And so I think when, you know, like for me, I, I, I’m not too, I brand is super, super important, but I put that aside. I think about it. It’s just like, what’s the reputation. Right. And I think that’s what a lot of physicians have to think about when it comes to the patients, their peers, which is when someone sees my name, what are they going to think about?

 

Right. So for my father, you know, and using in practice, um, you know, he, he had a reputation of being. Like a surgeon surgeon, right? He wasn’t, you know, the president of any big societies. He was, he was chief of surgery for, for a while. It was hospital, but he was just a surgeon, surgeon. He, he really focused on that.

 

And then a lot of patients in the community would always I’d run into people and they’re like, you know, your father saved my life. Your father saved, you know, so-and-so. And so when the digital age came out, I think back then, I mean, he just saw it as a way to extend that story about him. And so he made, made a few videos and everything.

 

And so I think that’s, I think that’s the big thing, which is, you know, everyone is going to have some story or narrative in their mind and they need some kind of story to come to you for either surgery or health or whatever that might be. So how many different versions of that story can you put out there?

 

And for it to enter somebody’s mind for it to make sense. I think that’s what does, what it’s really all about, because otherwise, if you don’t put that narrative out there, somebody else will, you know, and it may not be the kind of narrative. Yeah, no, I think it’s absolutely true. And we all are storytellers, you know, there, there’s no question about that.

 

You know, some, some of us have better stories. Some of us, uh, can tell the story better. Um, you, you, you know, in fact you said, if you build it, they will come. Legit man. I thought that was from field of dreams. My boy, Kevin Costner, like, because I remember the story, right? I remember the story of, uh, if you build it, it will come.

 

That is the only connection, uh, for me. Uh, again, you’re in the 19 hundreds, some marketing guy. It’s awesome stuff, man. But it’s the story I remember. And so you’re right. If you don’t fill in the blanks, somebody else will, um, ensure, I guess, for, for a surgeon, you know, you talk about Google, Google reviews and all that kind of stuff, you know, like.

 

I, I, we, we always talk about it on our side is the bad people will find you, you know, the, the people that are angry with you, uh, and you can’t please, everybody they’ll find you, but, but what are you doing to tell the other side of the story? Happy patients don’t always speak. And so I think you’re right.

 

I think it’s about stories. Um, what stories do you have and, and how do you tell it? Um, and can you be authentic about it? That’s the key for me? Absolutely. And I think again for the, for the physicians who are listening, I mean, when they think about marketing and storytelling, it’s, it’s very overwhelming.

 

But, you know, the one thing I do say, I think LinkedIn is a really good place for that, which is it’s a way, if anything, forget about marketing, it’s just a way to keep, keep yourself sharp. Because when you do write about these topics, whether it’s technology or medicine, it’s a way to keep yourself sharp.

 

You know, we don’t get to go to conferences like five or six of them a year. And yeah, no, I think it’s a great point. You know, I do some consulting work, you know, again in the robotics space. And so the way that that company is set up is every surgeon has to be certified by a licensed trainer, uh, before they can use it on a person.

 

So it’s a cadaver lab demonstration. So pre pandemic, man, I would go all over the place and, you know, I mean, Omar, how many times can I give them the same feel like, you know, I’m just teaching in the foundations of, uh, the, this, uh, this particular robotic platform. How many times can I give the same dad gum spiel, right.

 

To tell the same lecture every time, you know, make sure I’m hitting those critical points. But the reason why it was so stimulating is the interaction. Just like what you’re saying, it would keep me sharp. I would say, Hey, what about this? And they would say, well, have you ever thought about that? And I’d be like, holy smokes.

 

I’ve done hundreds of these and never crossed my mind. So the interaction is key and it doesn’t have to be in person anymore. Really, really cool. Um, I’m, I’m I’m working with, well, I don’t professionally work with them, but kinda got it in more to, uh, procedural telemedicine, uh, with one of the companies they found me through LinkedIn and, uh, they were like, Hey man, would you, would you want to do something with us?

 

And it’s been very stimulating. I’ve connected to all kinds of people. Um, you know, the, the, the, the fact that. Not only this conversation can be remote and virtual, right. And recorded and blown out. But now surgery can too. I mean, it’s pretty awesome. Absolutely. Well, and look, you know, I want to be mindful of our time.

 

So this last sort of, you know, part of the, of the podcast, I like to do something a little fun, a little different, and this is rapid fire questions. So I’m gonna ask you some questions and you can answer them as quickly as you want, or you can take as long as you want. So you answer them sooner. I’ll go to the next question.

 

Okay. You ready? Uh, okay. You did not prepare me for this. Yes, I’m ready. And that’s the whole point is you got to go with whatever comes to mind. Okay. First, first question is during COVID. What was the coolest thing that you bought for yourself? Uh, it’s a good question. Um, I’m, I’m, I’m not a material guy. I don’t think, um, coolest thing I bought for myself.

 

Um, you know, honestly, probably this microphone. Oh yeah, baby. Yeah, same here. Yeah. Preach. Um, no, really. I, I bought like some AVP equipment and cause I was doing all these zooms and um, I, uh, I look crazy and so, uh, it sounded kind of weird and so, yeah, so I bought some, uh, technical stuff as boring as that.

 

Nice. Nice. Can you hear me still? Yep. Gotcha. Okay. Perfect. I thought I was having a. I thought I had a little technical difficulty. Okay. So we’re good. We’re definitely gonna cut that one, that part out. Okay. So next question to you is that, you know, along the way in your, your surgical career, no doubt in medicine, there’s, mentorship’s a big thing who was a big influence in your life as a surgeon from mentorship standpoint.

 

Yeah, I have a ton, but, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably pick Charlie eating. He was, uh, he was my senior mentor at my fellowship. So Charlie, in, you know, in the hip replacement world, you guys have probably heard the word, uh, John Charnley, he was this guy out of the UK and he was cementing, which is kind of like gluing the femoral prosthesis into the thigh bone.

 

And, uh, Charlie. Again, my mentor in the space, uh, years in the eighties said, you know, I don’t think we should glue them in. I think we should put some rough and metal in there. People’s own body grows in to the prosthesis. And he did some work with dentists, you know, and, oh, there’s all this rivalry between our dentists, real, real doctors that, you know, it was very controversial at the time that, uh, but the dentists were putting, uh, uh, in-growth implants into the jaw or T3 construction.

 

So anyway, Charlie yang was like, man, I think this makes sense. And he was honestly ridiculed broadly. Across, uh, orthopedics for years, it turns out that now virtually every hip replacement done is cementless without cement. Um, and it turns out he made a, I don’t know, a kazillion dollars cause he was the first guy in the space.

 

Um, but, but he was such a, a down to earth guy, right? So he was this bigger than life guy in space. By the time I met him, you know, the, the, the really. The father of cementless hip replacements in the U S he was this, he was the godfather man. Uh, but to me, he was Charlie. And he tell me funny stories and tell me about getting ridiculed.

 

And he was just a good person that had a good idea that he believed in and he stuck with it. And for him, it paid off financially, which was fine, but that’s not really the story of Charlie it’s that he had an idea that went against the grain. And he, he just kept talking about it because he believed in it.

 

So whether he was right or wrong, the guy made a huge impact in my life, turns out he was right. That’s amazing. And it kind of goes back to the theme we were talking about, which is this idea of shame, which people are going to come out and really cool. And if anything, maybe it’s this thing about the universe, which is if you’re really, really on to something there’s going to be even more obstacles and pressure in front of you, that you just have to push.

 

Right. I love that story. So that leads me to my next question, which is as a, as a person, whether it’s from your surgical career or your personal life, what was the most memorable, but painful thing? But someone ever told you, and how did it change your life? Um, golly, that’s a good question, man. Um, you know, honestly, the, the, the most, I think this is a little bit cheating because they weren’t speaking of me, but, um, w w w when my, when my wife, when my wife was 36, we had two kids at the time.

 

So, um, my son was two, my daughter was five. She was diagnosed with colon cancer. So, you know, I’m a surgeon, Omar. So I was in clinic bra and, uh, she was going for a colonoscopy that we thought was routine. And, uh, the surgeon called me and he said, uh, you know, you need, you need to get to the facility. Um, I think your wife has cancer.

 

And, uh, dude, I know a ton about colon cancer. I took the test. I aced the test. These words meant something very different to me that day. Uh, but, but, uh, I realized that no matter what comes at me, it’s kind of what I do with it. Right. And so, um, people have certainly been negative to me, uh, uh, you know, personally and attacked me and honestly, 

 

How you react to those negative attacks like we were talking about earlier relevant, but, but I think it’s how do you respond to the stresses in life?

 

This is true when I have a wife with colon cancer, and this is true when I have a patient that hates me. And this is true when I have a surgical complication, I tell people all the time, the biggest struggle for me as a surgeon is knowing that I’m not immortal and perfect. Um, the fact that I’m fallible is the biggest challenge with being a surgeon.

 

So, you know, that’s not gonna make it on a t-shirt Omar, but that’s the truth. Um, this life is imperfect. We, as individuals are imperfect, but it’s what we do with it. So hardest thing, um, that any anybody said to me was your wife has cancer and how did it change me? Uh, it changed. Everything. Um, with regard to my focus in life, she’s 10 years out now, she spends, um, like crazy money on really expensive Louis Baton purses, which is why that one guy is doing so well.

 

Um, and, and I, and I, I couldn’t be happier about it. That’s amazing what a great story. Thank you so much for sharing that. I was not expecting that. Wow. I got to take a second for that one. Yeah, that’s really great. Well to kind of wrap things up. Um, I want you to imagine again, you know, a lot of physicians are listening to this med students residents.

 

So I want you to imagine that next year I come to you and say, Hey, we’re going to take out a billboard across the entire country is billboards. And to go in front of every major hospital, every major city, every small seat, and every physician, every surgeon is going to walk by this billboard and see it every single day.

 

What’s the message you put on that billboard. Uh, for me, man, it’s gotta be savoring life to the bone. Um, that, that, that for me sums, it sums it all up, you know, savers, not really a common word, but you see it on LinkedIn. Oh, it’s some hashtag out there. I don’t even know what a hashtag is still, but, uh, um, but, but really for me, the ability to cherish.

 

What is in front of us is the key. Um, and, and honestly, like we were talking about earlier, you gotta cherish the good stuff. You got to cherish the bad stuff, because the reality is, is we’re still here. And so if I had one message, uh, for everybody. That’s what it would be, man. Save her life to the bone. Um, cause I’m an orthopedic.

 

So I would get that reference in there and some brand awareness. Um, but really it would be about man’s savor everything. That’s right in front of you. This conversation Omar’s been so cool for me. Uh, I still don’t know where Silicon valley is, but I’m stupid impressed that you’re there and successful.

 

And my goodness in preparation, I read through your bio and it’s incredible, man. It’s incredible. Created, uh, it’s clear you’ve, you’ve, you’ve savored it. It’s clear that you’ve followed your passion to, to outstanding success, but I’m telling you, man, I truly believe if you ripped away all your success and you still did all your same steps, you would have a full life, my friend, because you figured out how to save her stuff, man.

 

So for me, savoring life to the bone with maybe a big fish picture of my bald head up there, um, you know, Peace sign or something. I don’t know, man. I can’t think of a better way to wrap, wrap up the interview. Thank you so much for joining us. Uh, stay on for a second. After, after I hit hit the stop button.

 

Thank you all for listening to another episode of journey to private practice. I’m your host, Omar Bettina, and we’ll see you next time.

 

Don’t close the computer. Yeah.

Get Podcast Updates

5 Must-Know Metrics To Build A Thriving Medical Practice

With this free guide, you’ll learn the key metrics that inform your practice’s financial performance and how best to optimize them to support practice growth.