Ronald Bartels was born in 1962 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. He gained his medical degree from Catholic University Nijmegen, which is now Radboud University Nijmegen. In 1996 he gained his Board certification in neurosurgery, and his certification in spinal surgery in 1999. He obtained his Certification epidemiologist B (SMBWO) in 2008. He is currently Full Clinical Professor and Chair of the department of Neurosurgery, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands.