Robert Spetzler, MD, is a world-renowned neurosurgeon who specializes in cerebrovascular disease and skull base tumors. He has been involved in pioneering the technique of hypothermia and cardiac arrest for the treatment of difficult brain lesions. He has been honored many times by professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. In 1994 Dr. Spetzler was chosen to be the Honored Guest of Congress of Neurological Surgeons. At age 49, he was the youngest recipient of this prestigious honor.
Dr. Spetzler was born in Stierhoefstetten, Germany, and moved to the United States at the age of 11. He received his B.S. from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and his doctorate of medicine from Northwestern Medical School in Chicago. His postgraduate training was completed at Wesley Memorial Hospital–Northwestern in Chicago. He completed a residency in neurosurgery at the University of California – San Francisco. He received board certification in September 1979 from the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
In 1983 Dr. Spetzler left his position as associate professor of neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland to assume a position as chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. He was director of Barrow from 1986 to 2017 and currently serves as Emeritus Chair of Barrow.