Dr. Faris Abusharif is the Owner and Medical Director of The Laser Spine Center of Chicago. He was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and began his medical training when he attended DePaul University in Chicago, where he did his undergraduate studies in Biology. He received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School University, then completed two years of general surgery residency at Resurrection Hospital in Chicago. He continued his training by completing his Anesthesiology residency at the University of Illinois and completed a Pain Management fellowship at the University of Illinois.
As the Owner and Medical Director of The Laser Spine Center of Chicago, Dr. Abusharif, manages a thriving practice assisting patients with acute and chronic pain. He treats predominantly spine trauma, and a multitude of other trauma to joints, hips, knees, and shoulders. Some of his leading-edge solutions include X Ray-guided Injections, radio frequency, microdiscectomy, spinal fusion, Stem Cell PRP, and regenerative surgery. Although Dr. Abusharif leads his practice with emerging techniques, the one challenge he faces is the lack of knowledge and awareness the public has of new innovative procedures.
What inspired you to open the Laser Spine Center of Chicago?
The nature of my specialty has advanced to focus on minimally invasive procedures in surgery. When I branched out to open the Laser Spine Center it was with the intention of staying on the cusp of the latest in emerging technologies and training which focused on the most effective minimally invasive procedures. That is the true nature of my practice.
What’s your daily schedule like and what is your approach to patient care?
A typical day is evaluating patients in the clinic and performing procedures in the surgical center. To make it productive, I make it interesting and fun. I do not just see my patients; I bond with them and really get to know them. I know about their family, and they know about mine. These are people with many dimensions, I do not just want to know them because of an issue. We have built these relationships over time. Even though time is a bit limited, my relationship with my patients is important.
Can you provide an example of a recent challenge your practice faced?
I would have to say implementing any type of permanent change can always be challenging. For example, when we had to change medical records, it took a lot of time and encouragement on my part to implement the change. There were times when our staff had to learn the systems after hours. Patients had to tolerate the changes as well. It took time and patience from everyone, but once it all came together it was much better for the practice. There is always a brighter, more productive side to these improvements.
Can you provide an example of what makes you successful as a business owner?
One habit I have which is productive is that I pursue everything to its completion. For example, if I want to implement change, and I know that it is going to be vital and beneficial, I push through it until it is complete. I bring ideas to fruition. It separates me from many others. We have been the cornerstone of success, and a model to others.
If you could go back in time and give yourself some business advice, what would you say?
I would tell my younger self to be more patient and stick with his core, and make sure you are doing the right thing. There is a fine balance to how success is achieved. If I could go back, I would have paced myself differently. You have to grow your business as your infrastructure allows. If you get ahead of yourself there will be a lag in synchronization. Reaching too far too fast can put a strain on finances.
How important is maintaining positive professional relationships when it comes to business?
I think surrounding yourself with the right people is vital. It is not enough to be a good entrepreneur or a good person. Your support staff is your front line. It takes time to build the right team. It is a work in progress. Once you have a team that is supportive, then you do everything you can to keep that team. You have to reward them, give them raises, and be good to them. The strategy is “A” building a great team and “B” making sure that you do whatever it takes to keep the support that you have. They are more important to our success than me.
What is one challenge that you have had as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Growing faster than your infrastructure can manage. Factors such as the amount of space you have, the number of team members, and the finances have to be stable to absorb growth. It was difficult to dial it back because of the time, effort, and expenditures. However, my solution to correct the issue was to slow down until the infrastructure reached synchronicity.
Would you be willing to provide some advice for individuals looking to succeed in the medical field?
I would suggest that everyone plan out their day, week, and year. If you look too far into the future, you may overlook something. People tend to forget to look at the trickle-down effect when you make significant changes. That should not be overlooked. It is vitally important that you look at what is happening now through to the end of the year.
What has been a constant source of motivation for you in your field?
The advances that we have in my specialty specifically, are happening at a pace that is far quicker than I ever anticipated. It thoroughly excites me. I am always watching for a new way, or a better product or technique to come out that will be a huge benefit to patient care. It is so exciting to know that our specialty is not static. We are always advancing, and we stay on the leading edge. I am excited to be a part of it.
What is a typical mistake that new business owners often make?
Everyone always looks at the income possibilities rather than the expenditures. You have to research and calculate the true cost of every adventure. It is the biggest mistake that a new entrepreneur typically makes.
What is one book you would recommend to our community to read and why?
One really useful book is The Entrepreneur Mind. It would be great for someone who is new in business or just starting a business. They give a lot of insight into the bumps in the road you may encounter. It brings good concepts and things to expect when you are just starting out.