Neurosurgery is a very diverse field that deals with the diagnose and treatment of injury or disease of the brain, spinal column, spine, and peripheral nerves throughout the body. These physicians tend to a wide range of patients of all ages and genders. Post medical school, these physicians go through one year of general surgery residency, then five to seven years of neurosurgery training, followed by an optional fellowship to specialize further. Neurosurgeons are often called upon in the hospital due to their extensive training in all neurological diseases. Neurosurgeons may see strokes, cancers of the nervous system, or even back pain. According to the American Board of Neurological Surgery, neurosurgeons practice both surgical and non-surgical treatments and consistently use imaging techniques in their treatment plans. This field is ever-changing and requires neurosurgeons, even after training, to attend conferences and stay up-to-date with the new advancements available.
Ian Thomas McNeill is a neurosurgeon currently completing a one-year spine surgery fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco. He is originally from Avon, CT, where he was raised as the oldest of four siblings. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in Afro-American Studies. After graduating, he worked as an In-home Mental Health Counselor at the Yale Child Study Center and then completed a M.S. (Masters of Science) in Physiology at Georgetown University, Dr. McNeill worked for the Advisory Board Company, a healthcare consulting and research firm, during which he helped more than 50 hospitals and health systems tackle complex financial challenges. His reawakened interest in clinical medicine led him to the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He served as the UVA SNMA Community Service Chair, UVA AMA Student Chapter President, and Director to the Medical Society of Virginia Board of Directors. He completed residency training in neurological surgery at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During his training, he completed a one-year fellowship in complex spine surgery and remained active in mentorship and advocacy for students of color. In 2017, with the support of the Mount Sinai Department of Neurosurgery and Mount Sinai Center for Excellence in Youth Education, he launched a summer immersion and mentorship program for high school students of color known as DR. MMEN (Doctors Reaching Minority Males Exploring Neuroscience)! His current clinical interests include spinal deformity, adult and pediatric scoliosis, quality improvement, enhanced recovery after surgery, and issues related to the intersection of socio-economics, race and medicine.