BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #221

Building a Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology Service

with Dr. Alan Sag

Dr. Jacob Fleming talks with Dr. Alan Alper Sag about building a musculoskeletal (MSK) interventions practice at Duke University Medical Center, collaborating with other specialists, and future predictions for MSK IR.

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Building a Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology Service with Dr. Alan Sag on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Ep 221 Building a Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology Service with Dr. Alan Sag
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, July 1). Ep. 221 – Building a Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology Service [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Alan Sag discusses Building a Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology Service on the BackTable 221 Podcast

Dr. Alan Sag

Dr. Alan Sag is a practicing intereventional radiologist at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina.

Dr. Jacob Fleming discusses Building a Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology Service on the BackTable 221 Podcast

Dr. Jacob Fleming

Dr. Jacob Fleming is a diagnostic radiology resident and future MSK interventional radiologist in Dallas, Texas.

Show Notes

In this episode, our host Dr. Jacob Fleming interviews Dr. Alan Sag about building a musculoskeletal (MSK) interventions practice at Duke University Medical Center, collaborating with other specialists, and future predictions for MSK IR.

Dr. Sag starts the episode by sharing his unique experience abroad. His first job was centered around helping to build an IR practice at a teaching hospital in Istanbul. This process helped him discover that the key to practice building was forming foundational cross-specialty relationships. These eventually led to more patient referrals and a higher level of care coordination.

When he transitioned to an academic position, Dr. Sag first saw an unmet need in bone cryoablation. He recognized that IR procedures could be powerful alternatives to opioid escalation. A key turning point for his department came when a local TV station covered one of his patient’s stories, and he saw a large increase in referrals. Dr. Sag emphasizes that it was important to ensure that the practice was set up with enough resources to accomodate a large volume of patients. Additionally, it was crucial to recognize when to say “no” to patients when a procedure was contraindicated for them. This patient-first approach also showed referring doctors that he was independently and objectively assessing patients, which helps with trust-building.

As we move onto discussing multidisciplinary care, Dr. Sag says that learning another specialty’s vocabulary can greatly enhance your communication and show your desire to collaborate. He encourages IRs to be flexible and learn which conditions are important to the referring doctors. When working with anesthesiology and PM&R, IRs can offer their services to enhance their pain palliation efforts. When working with oncologists, this pain palliation can allow cancer patients to continue participating in clinical trials.

Finally, we discuss the next frontiers of MSK interventions. Dr Sag is excited by the prospect of standardization of MSK training, internally cemented screws, and vertebral body stents.

Resources

Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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