Bridging The Gap

Learn. Play. Give.

Welcome to Bridging The Gap (BTG), where we are dedicated to fostering excellence and innovation in spinal surgery through our dynamic conferences and events. At BTG, we believe in going beyond the technical aspects of spine surgery to address the holistic needs of spine practitioners.


A truly distinctive gathering that transcends traditional didactics and delves into the realm of introspection and personal care. At BTG, we believe in elevating the discourse surrounding spinal surgery from merely delivering care to patients to providing holistic support for the surgeon. This year, our theme, “From Delivering Surgical Care For Patients To Providing Personal Care For The Surgeon,” encapsulates our commitment to addressing the multifaceted needs of spine practitioners.
Our program format is designed to foster meaningful engagement and reflection. Over two days, attendees will participate in eight grand round lectures, each offering profound insights and ample opportunities for panel discussions and live interaction. You’ll find that the topics explored at BTG will linger in your thoughts and conversations long after the meeting concludes. While our primary audience comprises of surgeons at all stages of their careers,  BTG is also tailored to benefit our partners in healthcare, the spine industry and allied health. By fostering collaboration and understanding across disciplines, we aim to enrich the collective knowledge and practice within the field of spinal surgery.
At BTG, we are more than just a conference; we are a community dedicated to nurturing the well-being and professional growth of spinal surgeons. Join us as we embark on a journey of introspection, learning, and camaraderie, where personal care for the surgeon is just as vital as surgical care for patients. Together, let’s bridge the gap between excellence in practice and holistic well-being in spinal surgery.


We hosted the 2nd Annual Bridging the Gap Conference last July 21-22, 2023 at the Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, CA. Building from the success of last year’s event, the conference focused on leadership, life skills, and non-clinical aspects that contribute to successful spine practice. More than 100 guests composing of; spine surgeons, fellows/ residents, scientists, health practitioners and industry professionals attended.
Course Chairs Gregory Mundis and Michael Kelly, assisted by Course Directors Robert Eastlack and Behrooz Akbarnia (Emeritus) prepared a program for this one-of-a-kind meeting. The goal was for the participants to learn from experts and discuss various aspects of life beyond the technical aspects of spine surgery. Invited faculty were encouraged to discuss topics regarding the spine surgeon’s interaction with the; administration, insurance companies, each other, own families and tackle topics that are simply not discussed at meetings yet dealt with daily.
Our outstanding Keynote Speaker this year was Serena S. Hu, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Hu was joined by an outstanding faculty of leading spine surgeons and industry leaders from California and beyond, including:  Lindsay Andras, Laurel Blakemore, Bill Hawkins, Brendan Kremer, Hani Malone, Peter Newton, Stephen Ondra, Joseph Osorio, David Skaggs, Ken Yamaguchi and Juan Uribe. With diverse topics such as: “Leadership in Spine Surgery”, “Healthcare from the Federal Government’s Perspectives” and “Dealing with the Unspoken Among Spine Surgeons”, no wonder the room was full and participants were engaged. The feedback was positive and everyone’s looking forward to the next BTG meeting.
Attendees also had a chance to network and participate in recreational activities that included a; 1st Annual 5K Run and 2nd Annual Golf Tournament. These were all enjoyable and beneficial in raising funds for SDSF and Global Spine Outreach’s outreach initiatives.
We also appreciate the companies who exhibited and supported the course. Those included Medtronic, NuVasive, Orthofix-SeaSpine and SI-Bone for their Gold Level Support. We also thank this year’s exhibitors that included ATEC Spine, DePuy Synthes, Globus Medical, Kuros Biosciences, Medacta, Neo Medical, Spinal Elements, Stryker and ZimVie Spine. Thank you to Acuity Surgical for sponsoring part of the AV for the BTG Meeting.
Thanks also to Cooper Family, Nuvasive, Othofix-SeaSpine, Visezi Family, Venture Church and Sheller DME for their support of the BTG Networking events. We’re also grateful to Robere’s Jewelry for being our prize sponsor. All proceeds from Golf and the 5K Run went to support the work of Global Spine Outreach and SDSF.