Chairman, Board of Directors Physician’s Surgery Center: 2005-2008
Chairman, Board of Directors Physician’s Specialty Hospital: 2008-2020
Chief of Surgery Physician’s Specialty Hospital: 2008-2020
University of Arkansas
1978-1982 B.A. Chemistry with High Honors
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, Arkansas
1982-1986 Doctor of Medicine
Northwest Health Physicians Specialty Hospital, Fayetteville, Arkansas | 2008-Present
American Board of Neurological Surgeons
American Society of Addiction Medicine
American Board of Pain Medicine
American Board of Spine Surgery
ENZA-A presentation at the Institute of Musculoskeletal Science and Education (IMSE) annual meeting 2019
ENZA-A update at the IMSE annual meeting 2020
ILIF experience panel at the annual IMSE meeting in 2022
The son of two public school teachers, I was born September 2, 1960 in Melbourne, Arkansas, and I have lived in the state all my life. I graduated from Melbourne High School in 1978 as valedictorian, and then attended The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, from which I graduated with high honors in chemistry in 1982. Medical school at UAMS followed shortly thereafter. In 1986, I graduated from med school sixth in my class and subsequently completed a one year internship in general surgery at UAMS, followed by a five-year residency in neurosurgery. After completion in 1992, I began my lifelong dream of opening a private practice in Fayetteville where I have since remained.
My first and foremost passion is my family. My daughter Blair is 29, graduated from the U of A with honors and finished her masters in social work from the University of Denver. She recently moved back to Fayetteville and is finishing her hours to become a LMSW. My other two children, Holden, age 20, is a student at the U of A majoring in communications. My youngest Griffin, age 17, attends The New School in Fayetteville. Holden is a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and was all conference his senior year at the New School. Holden played in every varsity game at The New School. Griffin is a first-degree black belt but also changed sports and is playing on the high school basketball team. Both boys are perpetual members of the academic honor roll at school. Needless to say, I am proud of my family. I recently married Sarah Jones, who is awaiting entry into the masters program for counseling. She is the rock of our house. Taking care of our three dogs, myself and the house while finishing her undergraduate work. She is finishing with a double major with a 4.0 GPA. Superwoman!!
As a result of my boy’s drive in martial arts, I have fulfilled another lifelong dream: becoming a black belt. I was awarded my first-degree black belt in June of 2010, reaching my goal of black belt before the age 50. I was awarded my fourth degree black belt in 2017. I retired from active martial arts to concentrate on powerlifting. I have several state, one national, and four world records in powerlifting.
I am a die hard Razorback fan. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of my parents driving me to Fayetteville to see a Razorback football game and then driving the four hours back that night listening to scores on AM radio. In addition to being a fan I was the spine surgeon for U of A sports for over 10 years.
I am very passionate about my work. I do not believe that you can be successful at treating painful spinal disorders without drive and passion. I made the commitment to focus only on the spine over fifteen years ago. I felt it was necessary to get additional certifications by the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Spinal Surgeons in addition to my board certification by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. Although at the time I did not realize it, I became the only physician in America who is board certified by all three of those organizations. Focusing and limiting my practice has bettered my ability to take care of my patients and has also allowed me more time to spend with my sons. At this time, the area of spine care is so vast, I do not believe that you can be dedicated to your treatment if you also focus on other areas of the body. I do miss doing brain surgery, but my patients benefit greatly from my focus and education being solely on the spine. Treating patients takes knowledge, compassion, and experience. Professional experience comes from being a successful spine surgeon for more than 30 years, but being able to connect with my patients on a personal level takes personal experience. I, myself, have been a patient. I have experienced first hand what debilitating back pain feels like, having suffered from a massive disc herniation a few years ago. The pain was not only unbearable, but it was truly an eye-opening experience for me. Having felt and gone through what the majority of my patients experience allowed me to better myself as a surgeon and connect with my patients on a deeper level.
In order to have more control over the care and treatment of our patients, I spearheaded the group of doctors that built Physician’s Specialty Hospital in April 2009. We feel we have created an environment that will best serve our patients and provide state of the art treatment. It has also allowed me to bring the LLIF procedure to Northwest Arkansas. No other hospital would purchase the equipment due to cost. The ability to control what is available to treat our patients, regardless of the profit margin, is one of the main reasons our group of physicians built this hospital. In early 2010, the Society of Lateral Access Surgeons honored me by asking me to become a faculty member for the organization. I now teach the LLIF procedure to surgeons from across the country and world. I am now also a faculty member of the Institute of Musculoskeletal and Science and Education. I am active in designing new implants for spinal fixation to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. I am the lead design surgeon on both the Enza A implant for anterior lumbar fusions and the Enza L implant for lateral fusions.
Thank you for taking time to learn a little about me. I hope if you do have problems with your back or neck, you get in to see someone qualified and trained to treat you as an individual and not just the next patient on a list or a potential surgical candidate.