5 things spine surgeons should know about devicemaker partnerships

Spine

Some spine surgeons are involved with devicemakers to support and develop new technologies. 

Working with vendors can be mutually beneficial for surgeons, but they can also be complicated.

"In general, industry and surgeons have a symbiotic relationship," Lali Sekhon, MD, PhD, said. "Industry provides amazing products and services but without surgeons to innovate and use the products, industry doesn't survive."

Dr. Sekhon shared five pieces of advice for spine surgeons considering devicemaker partnerships.

1. Use products that are the best for patients and that you would want in your family if it came to it.

2. If you are offered financial arrangements with industry make sure it is legal and ethical with no reimbursement related to volume.

3. If a consultancy leads to nothing then drop it. Some companies offer consultancies in hopes of retaining work. The lack of engagement will become apparent.

4. Consult where you think you have something to offer. If it doesn't smell right, it probably isn't.

5. There is no 'easy money.' Working with industry should be for the betterment of patients. If we as surgeons are privileged enough by industry to be engaged as consultants then it's a two-way street of compliance. 

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