Department on Neurological Surgery with the Division of Neurocritical Care, October, 2013        photo by Dave Gresham

(Left to Right) Hunt Batjer MD, Babu Welch MD, Bryan Wohlfeld MD, Howard Morgan MD, Michael Rubin MD, Jon White MD, Bruce Mickey MD, Kim Rickert MD, Duke Samson MD, Sam Barnett MD, Venkatesh Aiyagari MD, Kevin Morrill MD, Tony Whitworth MD, Nick Kandalaft MD, Stephen Figueroa MD, Julian Yang MD, Christiana Hall MD

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New Residents for 2015!

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Om (“OJ”) Neeley
University of Texas Southwestern

aaron plitt

Nationally Ranked

UT Southwestern's care in neurology and neurosurgery is ranked in the nation's top 20 by U.S. News & World Report in its list of America's Best Hospitals 2013-14.

Aaron Plitt
University of Texas Southwestern

H.Hunt Batjer, MD is the new Department of Neurosurgery at UT Southwestern’s Chairman. He completed his residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Neurological Surgery with fellowships at the University College London, Neurology and the University of Western Ontario, Cerebrovascular Disorders.

A special welcome to  Dr. Bruno Braga our new Assistant Professor in our Pediatric Neurosurgery program at Children’s Medical Center.

Christopher Madden, MD has been reappointed as Professor effective Sept 2014. Join us in congratulating
Dr. Madden in this accomplishment and honor.

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Chen Shi
New York University

It’s Official:
The Department of Neurosurgery at UT Southwestern was informed by the National Resident Matching Program that Om (“OJ”) Neely, MD,  Aaron Plitt, MD and Chen Shi, MD matched with our program and will be PGY-1 residents starting July 1, 2015. Our congratulations to these three future neurosurgeons.

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bruce receiving medal
bruce and barbara with Chinese officials

Xiexie: Dr. Mickey has had a government funded Visiting Professorship at the Dalian Medical University for 5 years.  This ceremony in late December, 2014 was to present an award for service to Liaoning Province for working in their epilepsy surgery program. Dr. Mickey’s wife, Barbara, attended the ceremony. Congratulations!

Who we are:
The UT Southwestern Neurosurgery Department consists of seventeen faculty dedicated to the various neurosurgical subspecialties. Five cerebrovascular faculty contribute to an internationally recognized expertise in cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery.  Complex spine, skull base surgery, functional neurosurgery and trauma are also well developed as is our neuro-oncology center and division of neuro-critical care. The Neurosurgeons For Children at Children's Medical Center of Dallas contribute an additional five faculty to an intensive pediatric experience.

Residency Program:
The goal of the residency program is to provide strong clinical training and foster good judgment in the field of neurosurgery in preparation for an academic career or an exemplary private practice. Emphasis is on a practical, patient-centered approach to the field with superlative technical training.  Most residents also are involved with ongoing clinical or basic science research.  Strong leadership abilities are also sought and cultivated.


UTSW Medical School

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Electronic Residency Application Service

National Residency Matching Program

New OR: Check out the new Hybrid OR with full Endovascular/Interventional capability.

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Lee Pride, MD, Hunt Bater, MD and NS Chair, Babu Welch, MD

Approach Course: On March 27, 2015, the residents participated in a UT Southwestern Neurosurgical Laboratory Approach Course entitled Suboccipital Transcondylar Approaches. Led by Dr. Brett Whittemore, it was held in the new Clark-Samson Bioskills Laboratory in L1. (Pictures by Suzanne Truex.)

brett instructs

The Department of Neurosurgery at UT Southwestern dedicated its new lab space, Clark-Samson Neurosurgical Bioskills Training Laboratory on Monday, December 22, 2014. A reflective reception in the Faculty Club was graciously opened by Dr. Podolsky. Dr. Mickey and Dr. Babu Welch welcomed everyone thanking the Clark family for their involvement in the space. It was followed by a brief tour of the lab and a video of Dr. Hunt Batjer.


Dr. Whittemore leads the residents in anatomical wayfinding.

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new lab with residents

The new lab space is gleaming! What a huge accomplishment.

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mickey at opening

Dr. Bruce Mickey welcomes the Clark family, dignitaries, faculty, residents, alumni and staff at the cocktail reception at the Faculty Club to dedicate the Clark-Samson Neurosurgical Bioskills Training Lab. Dr. Mickey and Dr. Scott Schlesinger received a gift from a grateful patient’s family to help fund the building of the new lab.

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Blair (Clark) Walliser thanks her family and the Department of Neurosurgery for honoring her father, Dr. Kemp Clark. Dr. Babu Welch spearheaded the renovations and helped design the new state-of-the-art space.

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The Clark family.

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Dr. White with the Clark grandkids.

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Dr. Bruce Mickey recounts the old days before intra-operative microscopes existed and twist drills were used to rule out hematomas.

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Dr. Patricia Bergen and living legend Dr. Duke Samson outside Clark-Samson Bioskills Lab during dedication, Dec 22, 2014.

Update in the Surgical Treatment of Epilepsy, Oct 4, 2104:
Course Directors Bruce Mickey, MD and Bradley Lega, MD from the Department of Neurosurgery along with Mark Agostini, MD and Paul Van Ness, MD from the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics welcomed their invited guest, Sasha Dionisio, MD, the soon-to-be Director of the Epilepsy Department, Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. He is currently finishing a clinical and research fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. (Pictures below by Scott Clamp.)


Dr Sasha Dionisio, Dr. Brad Lega, Dr. Paul Van Ness, and Dr. Bruce Mickey

Dr. Batjer with Ben and Salah’s dissection

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Dr. White & Awais check out the instructor view via overhead monitor

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Ankur and Dr. Braga work out the suboccipital transcondylar approach

The resident’s completed on July 26, 2013 the first of six in the 2013 - 2014 UT Southwestern Neurosurgical Laboratory Approach Courses entitled Endoscopic Approaches to the Skull Base (Barnett/Batra/J.Lewis) pictures below


Jeremy, Brett, and Joe simulate removal of a tumor using a transphenoidal approach in the lab.  July 10, 2013

Everything You Thought You Knew About Physician Stortages - Dr. H. Hunt Batjer - Capitol Hill

Speaker: H. Hunt Batjer, M.D., Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in  Neurological Surgery, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical  Center and President-Elect, American Association of Neurological  Surgeons and Society of Neurological Surgeons

Experts project a  shortage of 91,500 physicians by 2020, split nearly evenly between  primary and specialty care. What is driving these shortages? How will  they affect patients? What are the factors physician trainees consider  when making their career choices?

Click on the image below to go to YouTube and listen to Dr. Batjer’s talk.

batjer in congress

Dr Sasha Dionisio takes questions from the audience.

The program agenda included the topics of stereo EEG, ethics, mapping the brain, laser therapies and using robots to assist in the OR.

Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair, Feb 28, 2014:
The Department of Neurosurgery is a big part of the new Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair initiative. Its goal is to promote innovative research and education,  with the goals of accelerating translation into better diagnosis and revolutionizing care for people who suffer brain injuries.
Below are some pictures with many of the stakeholders. (Photos by Dave Gresham)

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Dr Craig Malloy, Dr. Hunt Batjer, and Dr. Juan Pascual

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Jeff Miller, Sr. VP of Health and Safety, NFL


Dr Dan Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern

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State Rep, Dan Branch and Dr Dan Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern


Jeff Miller, Sr. VP, Health and Safety, NFL


Dr. Mark Goldberg, State Rep Dan Branch, Dr. Podolsky, State Rep Jim Pitts, Dr. Hunt Batjer and Jeff Miller

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Dr. Hunt Batjer, , and Dr. Kern Wildenthal

Dr Hunt Batjer was invited to speak at the Carolyn P. Horchow Women's Health Symposium.  This event is held on behalf of the Office of the President as a unique opportunity to showcase the outstanding faculty and highlight the remarkable advances that set UT Southwestern apart from other medical institutions. Pictured with Dr. Batjer are the Co-Chairs of the Woman's Health Symposium. Gloria Eulich Martindale and Ginny Eulich.
(photo by Dave Gresham)

Dr. Batjer @2014 WS

Special Event:
Dr. Hunt Batjer was invited to speak at the St. Paul Medical Foundation held at the Crescent Club, Feb 26, 2013 in Dallas. The title of his presentation was “Concussion in the NFL: A Perfect Storm”.


Dr John Warner introducing Dr. Hunt Batjer at the St. Paul Medical Foundation Luncheon.

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Blair Walliser and Fern Clark with Dr. Hunt Batjer.

Special Event:
Dr. Duke Samson retires - sort of. He is still here and as of Sept 1, 2014 transferred to Professor Emeritus, Department of Neurological Surgery.

duke pic

Dr. Duke Samson Send Off Video

At UT Southwestern from 1977 to 2014

Read Dr. Samson’s reflection letter

AAMC Panel Demystifies the Doctor Shortage

Web Exclusive
May 6, 2014

The doctor shortage, how the academic medicine community is addressing it, and what Congress can do to fix it were the topics of a May 6 briefing on Capitol Hill organized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). With the growing, aging population, the U.S. is poised to face a physician shortage in the next decade, and a panel of experts emphasized the importance of addressing the shortfall across all medical specialties.

“Primary care is the foundation for a high-performing health system, giving millions of Americans a way to manage chronic conditions and prevent the progression of others,” said Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., chief public policy officer at the AAMC. “In addition, the shortage of specialists could prevent the burgeoning population of older Americans from getting the care they need to treat cancer, diabetes, strokes, and other ailments with a higher frequency amongst the elderly. Taken together, both pose a significant problem for the future of health care delivery in the United States.”

To emphasize the impact of the shortage and illustrate that Congressional action to lift the cap on Medicare support for residency slots will help combat it, briefing attendees participated in a simulated “Match Day.” Upon opening their Match letters, they learned that not all graduating medical school students will be able to complete their training right away and become independently practicing physicians. Through mock physician profiles, they also learned about the personal and complex nature of selecting a specialty and residency program.

Dr. Grover began the briefing by explaining why the U.S. is facing a shortage of more than 91,000 physicians by the end of the next decade. While factors like increased insurance coverage, a growing population, and increased utilization due to medical advances are part of the story, the driving force is the aging U.S. population. As the Baby Boomers age, they will need more doctors at the same time that Baby Boomer physicians are retiring.

“If we don’t train more physicians, we will experience a decrease in doctors right as we will be needing more,” Grover said. “We have known for a while that demographics was driving the shortage.”

Dr. Grover also outlined the process for training physicians, and reminded the audience about their potential fate as they opened their Match envelopes. “Just because you want to be a licensed physician after graduating from medical school doesn’t mean you’ll get to be. You need a residency slot to complete your training.”

H. Hunt Batjer, M.D., Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and president-elect of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Society of Neurological Surgeons, gave his view of the physician shortage from the perspective of his specialty. An aging population of surgeons and increased demand for specialty care—especially by older Americans—could exacerbate an already troubling maldistribution of surgeons.

MeroŽ Morse, M.D., a primary care-internal medicine resident at New York University Langone Medical Center, discussed why she chose to become a primary care physician and work at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston upon completion of her residency.

“Every physician has a story to tell as to why he or she chose to practice medicine, and I have found over the years that the reasons physicians go into medicine are multi-faceted and more complex than most people would think. In my case, the choice to become a primary care doctor was a circuitous decision process influenced by experiences from my upbringing, my personal interests, my lifestyle needs, mentors who guided me along the way, and ultimately, consideration of the type of relationship that I wished to have with my future patients.”

The panelists also discussed the value of the current residency system and training at large teaching hospitals, as Dr. Batjer stressed the importance of team-based care to treat the whole patient, and  Dr. Morse extolled the opportunity to “see the full spectrum of disease and what a critically ill person looks like, even if I’m going into primary care.”

Currently, there are three bills in Congress (H.R. 1180, H.R. 1201, and S. 577) that would help address the doctor shortage by increasing residency slots by 15,000 over five years. This increase would account for one-third of the doctors necessary to meet the country’s workforce needs. In addition to expanded federal support for residency training, the AAMC also has supported studying and investing in team-based approaches and new models of care as part of a comprehensive strategy to address physician shortages.

updated 03/23/15