In my practice, as Chief Medical Officer and Surgeon-in-chief, I am the person who spends the most time with my patients. While I do have a medical assistant and other staff responsible for daily operations within the practice, I am the only one who sees my patients and I spend over 60 minutes with each new patient consultation.
We see patients from all over Florida, across the United States, as well as from other countries. We see many patients for second, third, fourth, or even fifth opinions or those who require revision surgery. We have earned our reputation as being leaders in minimally invasive spinal surgery and have been at the forefront of modernizing spinal surgery operations while remaining highly conservative in our clinical judgment and determination of who is a candidate for surgery.
In performing minimally invasive spinal surgery, almost all of my patients leave the hospital the day after their operation. While in the hospital, patients are constantly followed by me personally, as well as the nursing staff, internal medicine doctor, cardiologist and other consultants that I deem appropriate. This ensures that we have not only provided the best surgical care, but also the best aftercare. I employ a team approach method with other physicians to make sure that all surgical/medical matters are treated in the best interest of my patients.
My day typically begins at around 4 AM when I make my rounds in the hospitals. I personally do these rounds instead of a physician assistant or nurse practitioner as my patients only want to see me after surgery. I can understand this. If I were a patient undergoing spinal surgery and putting my trust in the doctors hands, I wouldn’t want to see anyone but the surgeon.
During the day, I am in constant communication with the physical therapy and nursing staff to make sure that my patients are on track and progressing. I also make sure to incorporate conversations with family members throughout the day to make sure they are aware of their loved ones progress. Incorporating loved ones, family members, or close friends into the care of my patients is very important, not only to address any of the concerns they may have, but also to empower them with the knowledge of updates on the progress being made. I learned a long time ago, while still in training, that by not hearing from your doctor, a tremendous amount of worry and concern can quickly develop. In my practice this never occurs. No patient’s family members, loved ones, or friends are ever “left in the dark” and they know to call my office or me for regular updates throughout the operative period.
Another special characteristic about my practice is my wonderful staff! My staff is extremely caring, professional, and diligent. They take great pride in making this important difference for patients to make sure that this process not only goes smoothly, but is done efficiently and in a timely fashion. My staff arranges everything for our patients during the pre-operative process and post-operative process. All appointments including MRIs, medical clearance, and other appointments are all arranged by my office. My patients only have to show up at the time that is arranged for them.
My staff also files ALL insurance claims for patients who are out-of-network. We file all of the proper coding fees and reimbursement goes directly to the patient. Most practices simply provide patients with the codes and then the patient has to fight with the insurance company. In my practice, it’s exactly the opposite – we fight with the insurance companies to make sure our patients are reimbursed their maximum amount.
I take great pride in being the Surgeon-in-chief at the the practice that I have built. Our results demonstrate that spinal surgery either in the neck or back can be done safely with minimal downtime. Our reputation has brought us many awards and recognition across the country, but it is the ability to help a patient who is in pain and restore their normal function by removing their discomfort that is the most fulfilling part of what I do.
–Dr. Michael A. Gleiber