“Dr. Ty” Thaiyananthan, MD, is a neurosurgeon, researcher and the co-medical director for the Southern California Center for Neuroscience and Spine (SCCNS) at Chapman Medical Center in Orange, Calif., an outpatient department providing treatment for spinal and cranial surgery, which opened in Dec. 2009.
Dr. Thaiyananthan discusses the concept of a “privademic” model of care, seen at SCCNS, and identifies some of the reasons he prefers it over the academic model and what he misses from his previous work at University of California, Irvine.
Q: What is a “privademic” model?
Dr. Gowriharan Thaiyananthan: The “privademic” model is the safe and effective practice of academic medicine within a private practice setting. This is an increasingly popular form medical practice that involves a physician’s participation in cutting edge research outside of the spectrum of a university. Presently, there are numerous novel treatments and clinical trails that are offered by practices that are not formally affiliated with a university medical center.
There are very prominent programs in the country that have switched to the “privademic” model and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is probably one of the most prominent examples of where the clinical aspects function of the same level of the individual physician and provides an environment that fosters high-powered research and clinical programs. I believe this practice model will continue to be replicated in the future, and as a result, it will help us provide patients increased access to today’s most innovative clinical studies, back surgery procedures, and pain treatment.
Q: You recently discussed with Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review some of the reason why you left UCI to join SCCNS. What are some of the other benefits you find in this privademic model?
GT: Since entering private practice, my clinical volume has continued to grow exponentially because of SCCNS’ ability to develop strong relationships with referring providers and affiliated hospitals.
We see a lot of patients that are looking for second opinions. They’ve been to universities and other private practices and they have come to the realization that they have several options for good care. It simply comes down to a personal preference of where they feel most comfortable. We realize patients are becoming increasing selective about where they choose to have their medical care.
In order to address this at SCCNS, we ensure our patients receive individual attention from the second they walk in through our doors. They are immediately provided a “personal liaison” from our office that walks them through every step of their medical care with us. Also, if they qualify as a patient, we inform and educate them about the ongoing clinical studies we are principal investigators in so they can make an informed decision about whether or not they would like to participate. Our practice model provides individualized care that is made possible by this “privademic” model.
SCCNS’ vision is to become a national leader in neurological and spine care by providing patients innovative and compassionate care within a private and personalized setting.
Q: What do you miss from UCI?
GT: I miss teaching residents, walking them through surgical cases, and witnessing their transition from interns to surgeons. It is extremely rewarding for me to help educate these residents about not only their specialty, but about the complex business of healthcare. Fortunately, I continue to collaborate with the university and its students in a teaching capacity that I find to be both inspiring and rewarding.