Robert F. Spetzler, MD
J.N. Harber Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
President and Chief Executive Officer
Barrow Neurological Institute
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. Dr. Spetzler 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 has been director of Barrow since 1986. He is also executive chair of neurosurgery at the Phoenix campus of The University of Arizona College of Medicine.