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An Interview with Dr. William S. Rosenberg
What makes your practice unique?
I have a focus on pain, which is fairly unusual for a neurosurgeon. The focus on pain is centered on patient diagnosis, rather than treatment. I have a very large toolbox when it comes to dealing with pain, and can select which tool might be applicable for the patient, ranging from conventional spinal surgery and fusion, all the way to brain stimulation or intrathecal drug delivery.
What are your spinal and clinical interests?
I’m very experienced in all major aspects of spine surgery and have many years of experience spinal cord surgery. My clinical interests revolve around pain of many kinds, specifically spine pain and cancer pain and any of the manifestations of it.
How important is patient education in your practice?
It’s of paramount importance. The whole principle, particularly with spine or any pain is the collaborative nature between the patient and the healthcare team. I would like to think that I bring a lot of experience, knowledge and expertise to that relationship, but if the patient is not educated in what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and understands the reasons behind our approach, then we won’t succeed as a team. The patient holds many of the answers to the successful treatment of their condition, and we work to find those answers and treat them accordingly with appropriate, innovative and evidence-based treatments.
I think that our mission statement for our center really encapsulates what we are trying to do:
To manage complex pain, using a patient-centered, evidence-based approach, through innovation, research, and collaboration, with surgical skill, experience, specialized knowledge, compassion, and empathy, that views each individuals’ pain experience as unique, in order to improve quality of life.
“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.”
Biography of William S. Rosenberg, MD
Dr. William S. Rosenberg attended Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating in 1987. He completed his neurosurgical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, also located in Boston, in I993. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgery and a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
Dr. Rosenberg began his career with the Mayﬁeld Clinic in Cincinnati, Ohio (1994-1998), where he was the Director of Neurotrauma and Neurocritical Care at the University of Cincinnati and specialized in complex spinal surgery He was then recruited to co-direct the Neurospinal Disorders Program in the Department of Neurosurgery, University of California. San Francisco, from 1998-2002, where he co-founded the Spiral Biomechanics laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Rosenberg left academic neurosurgery in 2002, joining Midwest Neurosurgery Associates, out of a desire for greater focus on patient care and the ability to spend more time with family.
In Kansas City, Dr. Rosenberg continued to pursue interests in complex spinal surgery. In addition, he expanded his area of expertise to include the treatment of chronic and cancer-related pain. He brought Cyberknife Radiosurgery to the Kansas City Area and served as Medical Director for the Menorah Cyberknife Center for its first 6 years. Dr. Rosenberg is actively involved in treating patients with such modalities neuromodulation, intrathecal pharmacotherapy, peripheral nerve, spinal cord and deep brain stimulation. He is also very active in training other health care providers, curriculum development and lecturing, as well as designing and supervising clinical trials.
Dr. Rosenberg is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, North American Spine Society, American Association of Pain Medicine, International Neuromodalation Society, North American Neuromodulation Society, AANS/CNS Joint Section on Pain, American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Missouri State Medical Society, Metropolitan Medical and the Kansas City Neurology/Neurosurgery Society. He provides editorial support for Neuromodulation, the official journal of the North American Neuromodalation Society and serves on the Scientific Program Committee for the Annual Cancer Pain Forum in Scotsdale, Arizona.
Dr. Rosenberg has a number of subspecialty interests:
- Surgical treatment of pain, including chronic, neuropathic and cancer-related symptoms
- Complex spinal surgery – degenerative disease, tumors, instrumentation and reconstruction
- Minimally-invasive spinal surgery
- Radiosurgical treatment (Cyberknife) of brain and spiral diseases
- Deep brain stimulation for pain and psychiatric disorders (Obsessive Compulsive Disease)