Every LSU fan remembers where they were on the day Nick Saban was introduced as the 31st head football coach of the LSU Tigers. Dr. Kevin McCarthy was in the middle of his first week of rounds as a resident at Tulane Medical Center. “I remember quickly glancing at the television during my rounds and thinking to myself, ‘What is my coach doing on television?’”, said Dr. McCarthy.
The Background of a Top Spinal Surgeon in Baton Rouge
Dr. McCarthy graduated from Michigan State University with high honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in human physiology. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1999 and began his training as an orthopedic resident at Tulane Medical Center shortly thereafter. Like Coach Saban, Dr. Kevin McCarthy didn’t waste any time ensuring the long trek from Michigan was a worthy one. During residency, he received multiple distinguished awards, including the Sherman Award for outstanding second-year resident and the Thibodeaux Award for the senior resident that best exemplifies leadership and intelligence. He also served as Administrative Chief Resident from July of 2003 to June of 2004.
While the awards he earned during his time at Tulane Medical Center were an affirmation of his promise and ability, nothing meant more to Dr. McCarthy than his relationship with Dr. Thomas Whitecloud. Also known as “The Chief,” Dr. Thomas Whitecloud was an author of many textbooks, a dedicated researcher, and a world-class spinal surgeon. The most challenging cervical and lumbar spine cases across the globe were sent to Dr. Thomas Whitecloud. “He went out of his way to take me under his wing,” said Dr. McCarthy. “He would always invite me to dinner with his family, and he provided an invaluable mentorship that will have an everlasting impact on my career.” Dr. Whitecloud passed away in 2003 at the age of 62, but his impact and influence remain with Dr. McCarthy daily.
In 2005, as LSU fans were still mourning from the midnight abandonment of Nick Saban, Dr. Kevin McCarthy completed a fellowship in pediatric and adult spine surgery and joined the team at the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge. Regarding his transition to Baton Rouge, Dr. McCarthy said, “I always thought Baton Rouge was the perfect fit for me. It is a cool college town with a great culture and delicious food, and it is an ideal town to raise a family.” When asked if he has a stronger affinity for Sparty or Mike the Tiger, Dr. McCarthy teetered on showing his newfound love for the purple and gold, but there is still a soft spot in his heart for the team in East Lansing.
Becoming the Best Spinal Surgeon in Baton Rouge Requires A Commitment to Change
Since his start with the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge in 2005, Dr. McCarthy has established himself as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. The Spine Center at Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge offers the most recently developed minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. These include endoscopic spinal procedures, laser spine surgery, and minimally invasive fusion surgeries. Such minimally invasive techniques are used to accomplish the same goals as open spine surgery but with much smaller incisions, less tissue disruption, faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, less blood loss and less postoperative pain. Most of these techniques are not available in traditional centers. The nearest facility offering laser spine surgery, for instance, is 1500 miles away from Baton Rouge.
Love or hate him; Nick Saban is the greatest football coach in college football history to date. There are many reasons why he has been such a successful college coach, but the most significant contributor to his success is his willingness to adapt and change. Nick Saban is continuously trying to evolve with the game. Whether it is hiring an eccentric offensive coordinator like Lane Kiffin or benching his seasoned, proven quarterback for a true freshman in the second half of the national championship game, Nick Saban does not settle for the status quo.
Dr. Kevin McCarthy follows the same path in his approach to treating his patients. He understands that spinal problems are debilitating and can impact a patient’s quality of life. He believes the best way to take on the challenges of the spine is by evolving. Because of this belief, Dr. McCarthy has invested in education and technology to stay at the forefront of surgical intervention for the spine, specifically minimally invasive spinal procedures. His motivation? To decrease the patient’s pain and to increase their quality of life in the least disruptive way.
Dr. Kevin McCarthy and his team are committed to staying ahead of the curve in the sector of minimally invasive spinal surgery. This commitment to change is a compelling sign that the future for spinal patients in Baton Rouge is in the hands of a gifted and dedicated surgeon. And, the person watching from afar with a smile on his face is Dr. Thomas Whitecloud.