Interestingly, a few of our bloggers commented that rather than focus on the negative in spine, how do we change the public's perception and police the industry ourselves, especially in light of the controversy swirling around POD's and INFUSE? First a few observations. Why do bloggers attack one another with senseless insults when it comes to critiquing others strategic plans, ethics, products, and performance of specific spine companies? Does it make any sense? Where is Dr. Drew Pinsky when you need him? Defending oneself only adds credibility to one's culpability. Rather than directing your high levels of testosterone at one another, isn't it time to use some of that testosterone to call out the executive management teams at some of these companies? Don't you have any gonads boys and girls? The leadership skill of some of these executives are no different than what we are witnessing in our own government. Blame everyone else for the current state of affairs rather than being held accountable for your past actions, lack of vision and innovation. Does anyone drive looking over the horizon rather than what is in front of the hood of the car?
The constitution of this industry is a microcosm of a larger phenomena, and at present we have the opportunity to either be heard, or end up as collateral damage. We can have a generational debate, but the reality is that tenured professionals were once young, and the young eventually end up being tenured professionals. It's a cycle, we can either stand united or fall divided. You can either demand accountability or continue to drink the kool-aid. The only difference between the spine industry and Jonestown is hopefully you will live to talk about it. Forget about AdvaMed, a self-serving lame duck joke at best, forget NASS, they can't even keep their own house in order, what we need is a manifesto that outlines acceptable behavior to preserve our own existence. You can blame the Government, you can cast blame on the FDA, you can call out the insurance industry, you can call patients irresponsible, you can even call out surgeons that manipulate the environment to line their pockets with a few shekels, yet, until we change our own behavior and accept accountability for our contributions to this industry, nothing will change. If you want to do something right, do it yourselves. Think about the absurdity of our industry. Companies continue to hire the Usual Suspects with the belief that those individuals can bring some secret formula from a Medtronic, DePuy, Stryker, Synthes (RIP), Zimmer or Biomet. The industry regurgitates the same individuals over and over, and what are the results? How insane is it that companies rely on an idiotic poll or survey to determine whether an individual will succeed or fail? If ever there was a time to establish a precedent for the future, the time is now. Whatever happened to getting to know someone for who they are, for what they have accomplished and whether they have an excellent work ethic? We do love self-promoters, don't we? Are there any real leaders out there? Can anyone make a responsible decision without worrying about being fired? You would think the shareholders run our companies. Are we experiencing the death of common sense? Have we become so specialized that we have rendered ourselves insensible?
Division and uncontrolled greed is not good. It serves no purpose. Some of you will argue that greed is good, but greed is only good if it serves a greater purpose. Some will say that the end justifies the means, keep rationalizing your actions. As the heart and soul of free market enterprise, your attacks should be directed at the management teams rather than one another. So why do some comments offend some bloggers? Because your portfolio sucks? Because your R&D department has no talent? Because the new management team that was brought in from one of the giants in the industry continues to do the same thing over and over expecting different results, pirating their former employers distribution network in hopes of a major windfall? Now there's creativity at its best, or, is it insanity at its best? The fact is that we all have to earn a living, and the only way we will survive is if take our own action. How many consultants can we hire so that they can change the design of another screwdriver? So what does all this mean? How do we do create a change? Who leads? Who follows? Do we call out those organizations and surgeons that use nefarious and unhanded schemes for their own benefit, or do we idle in neutral and watch while Rome burns? Why are we supporting organizations like NASS, CNS, AAOS, and AANS if they themselves continue to do the same thing over and over again? Why don't trade industry professionals have their own forum at NASS, AAOS, CNS, or AANS, we are the foot soldiers that contribute to the temples that each company builds to pay homage to their slavish followers, or are we the slavish followers? TSB can only be your forum, as my great grandfather once said, "when a man's back is to the wall, you can either roll up your sleeves and fight, or you can roll over like a puppy dog."So TSB wants to know how do we effect change?
My blood's so mad it feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of senators can't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect in disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'
45 years later, and things still remain the same, insanity? You make the call.