IOF Member Of The Week: Dr James Leiber

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Dr Leiber is founder, medical director, and president of New ReGeneration Orthopedics of Florida, Regenexx Tampa Bay, and Gold Coast Orthopedics. He is a former officer, physician, and educator in the Air Force for 11 years – including personal physician to the vice president and president at the White House and is board certified in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, Pain Medicine, and Family Medicine – as well as Registered in Musculoskeletal Sonography. He currently is a senior instructor for the not-for-profit Interventional Orthopedic Foundation and is attending the Florida Medical Association Leadership Academy.

Get to know Dr. James Leiber

How has IOF impacted you the most?

The IOF is a unique organization that is committed to advancing the field of inteventional orthopedics through quality training, research, and advocacy.

Every new specialty requires an organized and ethical society of experts to help develop and advance the field appropriately. The IOF is focused on training and certifying physicians to be effective and complete interventional regenerative orthopedic physicians. The concept is so different than what we all originally learned in our training. The advent of the use of orthobiologics coupled with high level image guided injection skills allows us to practice using a tissue preservation type clinical strategy. This necessitates the development of new skills that were not even considered using the old philosophy. For example, there was never a need to place a needle into an ACL ligament in the past. But now, with proper techniques, both bundles of the ACL at its proximal and distal attachments can be injected and even high-grade tears can be healed. There are over 85 procedures taught and certified by IOF, many of which just haven’t been done before. It’s important for physicians to govern themselves and provide quality CME programs and a certification process to make sure that we’re all doing this at the highest level possible.

What do you like the best about the IOF conference?

IOF is committed to bringing together experts from around the world as part of it’s annual conference as a gathering place for the sharing of scientific discoveries, research, best practices, and business models.  In keeping with its mission, IOF also provides grants, scholarships, and stipends to physicians in-training and has actively conducted in-house research.  I’m proud of the organization and hope to be part of its continued growth and development in the ensuing years.

Where do you see the field of regenerative medicine going in the next 5 years?

It’s hard to predict how the field will develop in the upcoming years. But what is certain, there is a great demand for development of this field from patients and a massive influx of capital from industry. The concept of using orthobiologics or other material to strengthen and heal tissue seems to have hit a tipping point where people (patients and doctors alike) are recognizing that with the development of these technologies and concepts, we can avoid or delay the use of surgery, narcotics, and steroids – all of which may come with a steep price to pay.  I think the tools available will continue to get better and as more studies validate what those of us in the field already know, third party payors will begin to consistently cover these procedures as a benefit for their customers.  I believe we will see advanced regenerative breakthroughs in all fields of medicine and we will all be wondering how we practiced in the “dark ages” – kind of like wondering how we existed before our smartphones.