Richard Francis, MD
More than 11 years ago, Dr. Richard Francis opened Spine Associates for fellow Houstonians. Since then, Spine Associates has expanded into two clinics—one in Houston and one in Beaumont. Dr. Francis is known for his passion to help others and the emphasis he places on the physician-patient relationship.
Spine Associates has recently acquired a spacious new office, and now offers everything under one roof, from a fully staffed physical therapy facility to a diagnostic imaging center for MRI and CT scans and X-rays, and a new procedural suite for international patient management. Not a single detail has been overlooked, from the seating area with a large flat-screen TV (and screens in almost every room), fully stocked coffee bar and charging station, to the latest, most cutting-edge technology for all spine conditions.
The team at Spine Associates offers a comprehensive review of MRI studies or reports, reviewing the findings with each and every patient with no obligation to the patient. Additionally, Dr. Francis’ Patient Ambassador Program has become hugely successful for patients facing spine surgery, with 200 ambassadors currently enrolled and willing to help other patients. This initiative supports patients who have never undergone surgery, pairing them with a former patient to help prepare for surgery and alleviate fears and manage any concerns.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Dr. Francis received his doctorate at age 22 while attending the University of Toronto Medical School in Ontario, Canada, as an elective student. Afterward, he was accepted to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in Scotland. At 29, Dr. Francis was elected to fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, and by the age of 34, he had earned his Specialty Board Certification in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery.
Dr. Francis moved to Houston and trained in spine surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. After extensive training the student became the teacher, “At first, I taught spine surgery as an assistant professor at the University of Texas. After a few years, my wife and I started Spine Associates, a private practice specializing in surgical and nonsurgical treatment of the whole spine for adults and adolescents. I have special expertise in deformity (scoliosis) correction and the revision and reconstruction of failed spine surgery.”
At Spine Associates, Dr. Francis lives by the motto, “Whatever it takes. I’ll give you my best. I promise.” To that end, the mission at Spine Associates is simple, to give each adult and child the best of themselves every time. Every patient is seen by Dr. Francis at each visit and new patients are seen within three days of calling. He is always willing to go the extra mile in order to accommodate his patients, “We see patients on late evenings and weekends, if that’s what it takes,” says Dr. Francis.
Taking a conservative approach to treating spine conditions has always been a standard in the practice; only 10 percent of the patients require surgery. “Fundamentally, most spine conditions can be treated nonsurgical with conservative tools. These tools include physical therapy, spinal injections, medication management, weight-loss and physical conditioning. We always offer these options first. We must always respect the magnitude of surgery on a person’s life and be judicious in offering it. It’s a big deal,” says Dr. Francis.
At the core of Dr. Francis’ philosophy is the fundamental belief that the connection with patients and their families is crucial to the entire medical process. “As a physician, we are, in a sense, wedded to the patient,” he says. “The treatments that we give and recommend will affect the patient for the rest of their life. It is essential to have a good relationship with my patients to get the best results possible and to get them the results they deserve.”
In 2012, Dr. Francis became the first surgeon in Houston to employ the Mazor Robotics Renaissance guidance system. One year later, he added a second system in Houston at Westside Surgical Hospital, where he is the Chief of Spine Surgery and the director of robotic surgery and training. The training lab is one of two robotic spine surgery training labs in the country.
“My life sometimes feels as if it’s being lived under a lucky star. Either that, or I am the beneficiary of God’s continuous blessings. I choose to believe the latter. My whole career has been a journey of chasing dreams and now actually living those dreams. I am a spine surgeon, a husband and a father to four beautiful children, Chloe, Shannon, Zachary and Samantha.”
Richard Francis, MD, MBA, FRCS Ed., FRCS Ed. (Tr & Orth)
9301 Southwest Fwy., Ste. 600
Houston, TX 77074
Beaumont Location (One Folsom Building)
3820 Pointe Parkway at Folsom Drive
Beaumont, TX 77706