Dr. Zeshan Hyder, based out of Northwest Indiana, is a specialist in the field of minimally invasive spinal surgery. He currently works at Bone and Joint Specialists, one of the foremost facilities for bone and joint pain in the state of Indiana. Dr. Hyder has always been interested in the medical field and has wanted to be a physician since he was a kid. He graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign, and then went on to complete his medical school residency at Midwestern University. After becoming interested in the field of minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Hyder completed his spinal fellowship at the Texas Back Institute, a facility renowned for its expertise in both motion preservation and minimally invasive surgery. Throughout his career, Dr. Hyder has been actively involved and engaged in the development and testing of new products and techniques aimed at enhancing spinal surgery. In addition, he has also become very committed to teaching his minimally invasive surgical techniques to other spinal surgeons around the world. The Northwest Indiana Times has bestowed upon Dr. Hyder the Best of the Region Award for the past three consecutive years, an achievement that he is very proud of.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
Becoming a physician was a goal for me for as long as I can remember. Then came the decision of what avenue to choose and how to help people. I decided to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery because I loved the concept of fixing something that is broken. During residency, I decided to further specialize in spinal surgery because I felt that there was improvement needed in the field and because there was still so much we had to learn. I didn’t like the dogma that came along with spinal surgery. When I discovered minimally invasive spinal surgery, I decided that not only could I help patients, but I could help change the field of spinal surgery itself.
How do you make money?
Money is important, but it’s the wrong reason to pursue a career in medicine. If money drives you as a physician, then you are in the wrong field. Helping someone in need is a much better reward than any amount of money. Whenever I give advice to anyone seeking a profession, I always tell them to do something that they are excited to wake up and do every day.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It takes a while to become successful in private practice. The average physician takes about 5 years before they have a well-established practice. I had some advantages that helped me get there much faster. I joined the right group of orthopedic surgeons. At Bone and Joint Specialists, all the surgeons are not only excellent surgeons and clinicians, but they are also good people with strong morals and great reputations in the area. Having done a fellowship in spinal surgery where Minimally Invasive Surgery and motion preservation was stressed, I brought a concept to an area where that was not being performed.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Everyone has doubts when they first start their practice. Approximately 50 percent of new orthopedic surgeons that join their first group, wind up leaving their first practice after two years. I was actually lucky enough to pick the right practice. I looked at numerous areas to live and work all around Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. When it was finally time to make a decision, we couldn’t ignore all the pros of practicing in the region. The biggest of which was the patients being down-to-earth and the great group of doctors at Bone and Joint.
How did you get your first customer?
I still remember my first patient and my first surgery. She was originally seen by one of my partners and was referred to me. Even though it was six years ago, we still keep in touch. I have treated multiple family members and friends of hers as well. The beauty of the area where I live and practice is the tightness of the community.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
The best advertising is word of mouth, but I am also very active on social media. We post pre- and post-op x-rays and instructional videos. The internet is great resource and tool for both doctors and their patients.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decisions we make are always choosing a new doctor to hire to our group and practice. Anyone we hire has to have strong moral and ethical characteristics along with the traits that come with being not only a gifted surgeon, but a personable one as well.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My family and their support make me the most successful. Being a spine surgeon, the hours can be long. Not having a family that supports you can be extremely difficult and can affect your professional career.
I also believe what makes me successful, is how I treat my patients. I try to treat them how I would want to be treated. My biggest pet peeve is waiting in the waiting room. We try to minimize wait time. We also try to establish a trust relationship with not only the patient, but with their family as well.
Finally, in surgery, what makes myself successful is keeping up with the newest technology. The world of spinal surgery is evolving and improving every day. By helping in the development process of these products and improving them, it allows us always to be on the forefront of medicine.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment is when we won the Best of the Region Award. There are numerous great spinal surgeons in the area and winning it after three years in practice was a nice achievement. By continuing to provide excellent care to our patients we have successfully won the award for the last three years.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Currently what we are looking most forward to is opening a new state of the art office in Munster, Indiana. This will be a great opportunity to serve more patients in an innovative, comfortable space.
What business books have inspired you?
I spend most of my time reading spinal journals or reading children’s books to my kids. My absolute favorite is the Tickle Monster.
What is a recent purchase you have made that has helped with your business?
We’ve recently purchased a new software for reading MRIs that converts any MRI done in any hospital to one format. This has significantly cut down on our time reading and showing patients their MRI findings.
What is the biggest misconception patients have about seeing a spine surgeon?
The biggest misconception that patients have is that seeing a spine surgeon automatically means surgery. The fact is, in most cases, we can treat your symptoms conservatively. Conservative treatment options include physical therapy, chiropractic and injections. Surgery is always the last resort. With that being said, if we ever do surgery, we always try to accomplish this utilizing minimally invasive techniques.