The Medical & Scientific Board

Meet the Nation’s Best and Brightest in Spine

Thomas C. Schuler, MD, FACS
Chairman, Medical & Scientific Board, NSHF Virginia Spine Institute (Reston, VA)
Todd J. Albert, MD
Hospital for Special Surgery (New York, NY)
Shay Bess, MD
Denver International Spine Center (Denver, CO)
Scott Blumenthal
Scott L. Blumenthal, MD
Texas Back Institute (Dallas, TX)
Todd Lanman
Todd Lanman, MD
Beverly Hills Spinal Surgery (Beverly Hills, CA)
Steve Glassman, MD
Norton Leatherman Spine Center (Louisville, KY)
Christopher R. Good, MD, FACS
Virginia Spine Institute (Reston, VA)
Jeffrey L. Gum, MD
Norton Leatherman Spine Center (Louisville, KY)
Richard D. Guyer, MD
Texas Back Institute (Dallas, TX)
Leonard K. Kibuule, MD, FAAOS
Spine Team Texas (Southlake, TX)
Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD
Columbia Orthopedics (New York, NY)
Thomas Mroz, MD
Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH)
Martin H. Pham, MD
UC San Diego Health (San Diego, CA)
Frank Phillips, MD
Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL)
James D. Schwender, MD
Twin Cities Spine Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Paul J. Slosar, MD
Spine Care Medical Group (Daly City, CA)

Thomas C. Schuler, MD, FACS

Chairman, Medical & Scientific Board, NSHF Virginia Spine Institute (Reston, VA)

Dr. Schuler founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 to advance the development of contemporary neurological and orthopaedic spinal surgery. Over the past 25 years he has grown this award-winning medical practice into the largest multidisciplinary spinal practice in the region. As the Founder and CEO of Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Schuler continues to pioneer the latest breakthrough in treatment to overcome back or neck pain. He has expanded his practice to include regenerative therapy, stem cell therapy, robotic spine surgery, ultrasonic spine surgery, and enhanced motion-preserving surgical techniques that benefit patients across the globe. He has previously been the spine consultant to the Washington Redskins and frequently treats professional and amateur athletes. He has revolutionized spinal health care across the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the nation. Dr. Schuler is also the Physician Assistant Fellowship Program Director at the Virginia Spine Institute. Dr. Schuler is a distinguished fellow in both the American College of Spine Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the North American Spine Society, and the U.S. Capital Chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization.

In addition to performing the first hybrid multi-level cervical artificial disc replacement with spinal fusion in the country, he has first-hand experience of this procedure from the patient perspective. After suffering from severe neck pain, disc herniations, and nerve compression, Dr. Schuler underwent a hybrid procedure to treat four levels of his spine and is fully recovered and back to his life, pain free. His experience as a patient, having undergone both neck and low back surgery, affords him the unique ability to better understand his patients’ emotional and physical needs and the recovery process.

 

 

Todd J. Albert, MD

Hospital for Special Surgery (New York, NY)

Dr. Todd J. Albert is Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus at Hospital for Special Surgery. He is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Albert specializes in the field of orthopedic spine surgery focusing on disorders of the cervical spine. He has an interest in minimally invasive surgical techniques and image-guided technologies in the management of spinal disorders.

He serves on the boards of several scholarly journals and is Past President of The Cervical Spine Research Society and President of the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Albert is the author of seven books and more than 40 book chapters, and has published over 375 peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles. He has presented his research both nationally and internationally, and served as chairman at numerous courses.

Previously, Dr. Albert was Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics and President of The Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He graduated from Amherst College, University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where he was named outstanding chief resident, and performed a fellowship in spinal surgery at the Minnesota Spine Center.

Shay Bess, MD

Denver International Spine Center (Denver, CO)

Shay Bess, MD, is a spine surgeon in Denver Colorado specializing in scoliosis and spine deformity conditions in pediatric and adult patients. Dr. Bess is the president and founder of the International Spine Study Group Foundation, which is a 20 site multi-center research foundation that studies clinical and economic outcomes, complications, and best practice guidelines for adult patients with spine deformity conditions. Since the inception in 2009, the International Spine Study Group has presented over 2000 scientific abstracts, has published over 250 peer review manuscripts, and is currently the most productive spine research study group in the world. Dr. Bess has over 300 manuscript publications and is an internationally recognized leader as a spine surgeon and researcher.  Dr. Bess received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in New York City, and medical doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed a fellowship in pediatric and adult spinal surgery at the Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to his research and clinic efforts, Dr. Bess has participated in medical mission work for the Ethiopia Project, as well as other charity efforts that provide spine care for children in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Colombia.

Scott L. Blumenthal, MD

Texas Back Institute (Dallas, TX)

Todd Lanman, MD

Beverly Hills Spinal Surgery (Beverly Hills, CA)

Steve Glassman, MD

Norton Leatherman Spine Center (Louisville, KY)

Dr. Glassman completed his undergraduate and medical school training at Princeton University, New Jersey and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University in New York.  He completed his orthopedic residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York followed by a Spine Fellowship at Leatherman Spine Fellowship Program in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is a staff physician at Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Louisville and Past President of the Scoliosis Research Society. – Louisville, KY

 

 

Christopher R. Good, MD, FACS

Virginia Spine Institute (Reston, VA)

Dr. Good has pioneered the use of robotics and navigation in spine surgery, established as a world expert in the field. Most recently, he performed the first and the most advanced robotic spine surgery using Mazor X Stealth Edition technology. Through extensive research, his surgical techniques are proven to decrease complications and improve patient safety and recovery time. The wide-reaching impact of his innovation has transformed the lives of patients suffering from complex neck or back conditions. His passion to become a spine surgeon began at an early age when his father suffered a traumatic spinal injury. Heralded for his compassionate approach, Dr. Good personally connects with patients, working together to create a tailored treatment plan that will achieve their goals for recovery. As the President of Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Good has also pioneered the use of regenerative stem cell therapy for lumbar disc disease, helping many patients with low back pain to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery; he has performed the most intradiscal injections of stem cells in the region. He is currently studying the outcomes of his patients and uses these outcome studies to improve access to these revolutionary treatments for more people who suffer from back pain.

Through his leadership and vast experience, Dr. Good is reshaping the future of spine surgery and his research has helped develop surgical techniques that are proven to improve patient safety, decrease radiation during surgery, and reduce recovery time. Dr. Good is the principal investigator of an FDA trial investigating a revolutionary new cervical disc replacement surgery and participates in multiple scientific advisory boards working to improve patient safety and spinal balance; he routinely presents his findings, both nationally and internationally.

Jeffrey L. Gum, MD

Norton Leatherman Spine Center (Louisville, KY)

Dr. Gum completed his undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS and Kansas City, KS).  He then completed his orthopaedic surgery residency here in Louisville at the University of Louisville.  He finished his training with a complex spine fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, MS.  He started with Norton Leatherman Spine Center in 2014 and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Louisville Department of Orthopaedics (gratis).  He currently teaches spine surgery to medical students, orthopaedic residents, fellows and to other surgeons at national and international meetings.

At 38 years of age, Dr. Gum has nearly 50 peer-reviewed publications. Lectures: He presents annually at several spine meetings such as the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), North American Spine Society (NASS) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Dr. Gum holds committee memberships within the SRS and is currently on the Adult Deformity and Program committees. Dr. Gum has numerous awards including the Value Care Award at NASS in 2016, the RS Edgar Dawson Traveling Fellowship in 2016 and the AOA’s Emerging Leaders on the move. Additionally he serves as a reviewer for 3 spine journals and is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Orthpaedics.

Dr. Gum specializes in adult and pediatric spine deformity surgery (scoliosis, kyphosis, revision surgery) and Robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Although he performs very complex procedures, he also does all types of cervical and lumbar degenerative procedures. Additionally, he performs cervical disc arthroplasty (artificial disc) procedures and minimally invasive lumbar discectomies. Dr. Gum is involved in extensive research focusing on adult spinal deformity, robotic-assisted spine surgery and the economics of spine care. He participates in national and international research collaborative groups in all of these areas.

Richard D. Guyer, MD

Texas Back Institute (Dallas, TX)

Richard Guyer, M.D. is the Co-founder of the Texas Back Institute and Director of their Spine Fellowship Program. Dr. Guyer is also co-director for the Center for Disc Replacement at Texas Back Institute. Dr. Guyer was instrumental in bringing artificial disc replacement surgery to the United States after its creation and use in Europe. Dr. Guyer earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his internship at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, TX and continued with his residency program in Orthopedic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Guyer then completed two spine fellowships in Ohio and California.

Dr. Guyer holds many honors including founder of the Texas Back Institute Research Foundation and Chairman of the Board for the program. Dr. Guyer has received the Best Doctor Award from D Magazine for multiple years, is past president of the North American Spine Society and winner of the Volvo Award for Low Back Pain Research.

Leonard K. Kibuule, MD, FAAOS

Spine Team Texas (Southlake, TX)

Dr. Kibuule is a fellowship-trained, board certified orthopedic spine surgeon specializing in spinal injuries and disorders. Dr. Kibuule is especially trained to perform minimally invasive spine surgery and has a special interest and extensive experience in the treatment of adult scoliosis, spinal deformities and motion preserving procedures.

During his medical training, Dr. Kibuule participated in numerous research endeavors and has written papers and book chapters pertaining to low back pain in adolescent patients, lumbar spinal stenosis, cervical disc arthroplasty, and surgical approaches to the spine.

In addition, he has shared his surgical expertise at local, regional and national presentations, including the University of Nebraska Medical Center, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Mid-America Orthopedic Association and American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. Dr. Kibuule is an advocate for innovation in the area of spine surgery and given his engineering background, he has helped industry leaders in the development of next generation products. His expertise in spine surgery has lead him to teach other surgeons nationwide on new cutting edge surgical techniques and minimally invasive approaches to the spine.

Dr. Kibuule is the recipient of numerous honors and distinctions, including being named UT Southwestern Medical School’s candidate for the National Medical Foundation Award. He was recently named one of D Magazine’s “Best Doctors” in the specialty of Orthopedic Surgery in 2013, 2014, 2016 AND 2018. He was also named to Ft Worth Magazine Best Doctors in 2017.

Dr. Kibuule is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedics and is a member of the North American Spine Society and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. An avid athlete, Dr. Kibuule enjoys skiing, biking, hiking and traveling the world. He has lived in Texas for over 10 years and currently resides in North Texas. Prior to pursuing a career in medicine, Dr. Kibuule received an engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Areas of expertise/services provided:

  • Lumbar spine procedures: minimally invasive decompression, fusions, and reconstruction
  • Cervical spine procedures: fusions, minimally invasive decompression
  • Lumbar and cervical disc replacement
  • Vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, bone biopsy and radio frequency ablation for cancer

Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD

Columbia Orthopedics (New York, NY)

Dr. Ronald A. Lehman, Jr. is a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of adult and pediatric spine conditions. He specializes in complex spinal deformities including scoliosis, kyphosis, revision spinal surgeries, and minimally invasive applications for deformity surgery, as well as cervical spine, cervical disc arthroplasty/replacement, myelopathy and radiculopathy. Dr. Lehman also focuses on Minimally Invasive Spine surgery (MIS) of the cervical and lumbar spine, and spinal tumors/cancer of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Dr. Lehman received his MD from Jefferson Medical College, and completed his residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. He then completed his fellowship training in adult and pediatric spine surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to joining the faculty at Washington University, he served as a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the Army, receiving three Meritorious Service Medals (MSMs), the “A” Proficiency Designator and the Order of Military Medical Merit. He was the Chief of the Adult and Pediatric Spine Service, and the Consultant to the White House.. Dr. Lehman is the recipient of several Department of Defense (DOD) research grants totaling more than $10 million.

He currently serves as the Program Chairman of the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS), Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), and the Lumbar Spine Research Society (LSRS). Additionally, he will take over as Chairman of the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) next year. Dr. Lehman has over 120 peer reviewed publications.

Thomas Mroz, MD

Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH)

Thomas E. Mroz, MD is the Director of the Center for Spine Health and Director of Spine Research at Cleveland Clinic.   He is a board-certified Spine Surgeon in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Neurological Surgery, and the Center for Spine Health at Cleveland Clinic. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. Thereafter, he completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. He then completed two spinal surgery fellowships, one at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the other in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. His focus of the second fellowship was minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Mroz specializes in all aspects of spinal surgery, and has a dedicated interest in minimally invasive surgery and cervical (neck) spine surgery, including radiculopathy, myelopathy, stenosis, disc herniations, cervical disc replacement, revision cervical surgery, cervical infections, cervical tumors, and cervical deformity.

He is very active in research, and has lectured nationally and internationally on minimally invasive surgery and cervical spine surgery. He has authored numerous research articles and textbook chapters, and serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. He is a member in good standing in the North American Spine Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He continues to have a very active role in the education of medical students, residents, and fellows.

Martin H. Pham, MD

UC San Diego Health (San Diego, CA)

Martin Pham, MD, is a neurosurgeon who focuses on the neurosurgical evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders. This includes adult scoliosis and spinal deformity, complex spinal reconstruction, robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery, motion preservation of the spine, spine tumors, and spine trauma.

Having completed spine fellowship training with both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Pham has a comprehensive understanding of the spine that allows him to tailor his treatment to each individual using a wide range of available surgical and nonsurgical options.

Dr. Pham is published extensively within the field of spinal conditions and has an active interest in the development of evidence-based spine care. His work has appeared in Journal of Neurosurgery: SpineThe Spine JournalNeurosurgery, and JAMA Surgery, among others.

Dr. Pham completed a fellowship in robotic, spinal deformity, and motion preservation surgery at Columbia University’s New York-Presbyterian Daniel and Jane Och Spine Hospital. He also did an enfolded fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spinal surgery at Keck School of Medicine of USC, where he completed his residency in neurological surgery. Dr. Pham earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the North American Spine Society, and AO Spine North America.

In addition to the locations above, Dr. Pham also sees patients at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Frank Phillips, MD

Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL)

A visionary in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Frank Phillips was one of the first in Chicago to begin using these procedures in the 1990s. He specializes in minimally invasive cervical and lumbar reconstructive surgery. He also has expertise in motion preserving procedures and was a principle investigator in FDA trials on cervical disc replacement.

Dr. Phillips is a leader in the field and is a founder, board member and past president of the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Dr. Phillips has participated in the development of and pioneered a number of minimally invasive spinal techniques that are now widely used. He regularly teaches and lectures to spine surgeons nationally and internationally on minimally invasive spinal surgery.

Before coming to Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in 2003, Dr. Phillips served as the director of the Spine Center at The University of Chicago. Dr. Phillips is currently a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the Division of Spine Surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He has published and lectured extensively, received numerous research awards and grants and frequently directs spinal educational courses for other spine surgeons. Dr. Phillips was recently named one of the top 28 spine surgeons in the country by Orthopedics this Week and is listed in Becker’s Orthopedic Spine and Pain Management as one of the nation’s Top 100 spine surgeons and specialists.

A medical graduate from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Phillips completed his orthopedic residency at The University of Chicago Medical Center. In addition, he served a spine fellowship at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Frank Phillips was voted among the top 10-15% of Top Doctors in America® by U.S.News & World Report and Castle Connolly. The Top Doctors list is widely regarded as a high-quality reference guide to the medical profession.

James D. Schwender, MD

Twin Cities Spine Center (Minneapolis, MN)

James D. Schwender is a board-certified spine surgeon at Twin Cities Spine Center, providing patient care to the Blaine and Minneapolis offices. A medical school graduate of State University of New York, he completed an internship and residency at University of Vermont as well as a spine fellowship at Twin Cities Spine Center.

Dr. Schwender specializes in cervical, thoracic, and lumbar surgery, minimally invasive techniques, treatment of scoliosis and other deformities, as well as degenerative spine, trauma, and tumors. He holds licenses and certifications from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Minnesota State Board of Medical Examiners. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Cervical Spine Research Society, Minnesota Orthopaedic Society, North American Spine Society, Scoliosis Research Society (Fellow), and is President of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

When he’s not in the office, you can find him fly fishing, hunting, camping, or ultra marathon running.

Paul J. Slosar, MD

Spine Care Medical Group (Daly City, CA)

Dr. Paul J. Slosar is President of SpineCare Medical Group. Dr. Slosar is an internationally recognized surgeon who has dedicated his career to providing state of the art care, utilizing minimally-invasive procedures for patients with conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.  He has been a pioneer in the field of nanotechnology for spinal implants that positively impact bone growth and fusion. These nano-enhanced devices have reduced patients’ needs for opioids, and resulted in predictable and rapid recoveries.

Dr. Slosar is also Medical Director of the Spine Care Institute of San Francisco, Co-Director of the San Francisco Spine Institute and Director of Surgical Research.