Spine surgeon 1 of 9 physician billionaires on Forbes' 2022 list


Nine U.S. physicians made Forbes'' "World's Billionaires List" in 2022, including spine surgeon Gary Michelson, MD.

Three things to know about Dr. Michelson:

1. The retired spine surgeon and inventor has a net worth of $1.8 billion, according to Forbes.

2. Dr. Michelson has more than 340 U.S. patents for spine and orthopedic surgery instruments, including minimally invasive spine implants, anterior cervical plating systems, interbody spinal fusion systems and systems for implanting spinal motion preservation devices, such as artificial discs.

3. He became a billionaire in 2005 after he reached a settlement with Medtronic. After the medtech giant sued Dr. Michelson for allegedly trying to license his inventions to competing devicemakers, the surgeon countersued Medtronic, accusing it of failing to develop his inventions and pay him royalties. Dr. Michelson agreed to a $1.35 billion settlement and sold Medtronic many of his inventions.

Editor's note: The list of 2,668 billionaire entrepreneurs, heirs and inventors included 33 U.S.-based billionaires in healthcare. Here are the nine U.S. physician billionaires on the list and their net worth.

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