By Michael Haederle

New Chair to Head UNM Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. Meic Schmidt Has Extensive Leadership Experience

Prominent neurosurgeon Meic Schmidt, MD, MBA, recognized for his expertise in minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery on spinal tumors and fractures, has been appointed chair of The University of New Mexico Department of Neurosurgery following a national search.

Schmidt, currently chair of Neurosurgery at New York Medical College and director of the Department of Neurosurgery at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., hopes to assume his new position in February 2020.

"We are extremely pleased to have an experienced physician of Dr. Schmidt's stature joining us," said Paul B. Roth, MD, MS, UNM's Chancellor for Health Sciences, CEO of the UNM Health System and dean of the UNM School of Medicine. "With his superb surgical and managerial skills, he is uniquely suited to lead our program."

Schmidt, who was born in Bad Saulgau, in southern Germany, did his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and completed medical school and a neurosurgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He went on to complete fellowships in neuro-oncology and spine surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

Schmidt served on the University of Utah faculty for 14 years, becoming vice-chair of the Neurosurgery Department and holding the Ronald I. Apfelbaum Endowed Chair in Spine and Neurological Surgery.

In 2016 he was appointed professor and chair at New York Medical College, whose campus is adjacent to the Westchester Medical Center, where he was also director of Neurosurgery. The following year, Schmidt became director of the WMC Brain and Spine Institute, which unifies neurology, neurosurgery, rehabilitation and orthopedic spine services for clinical care, teaching and research.

Schmidt primarily sees patients with tumors and injuries to the brain, spine and spinal cord, but he also handles complex cases involving degenerative spine disease including, thoracic disc herniation.

His research has focused on documenting the benefits of minimally invasive spinal surgery for metastatic tumors, and the development of health outcome and quality of care measures. He is internationally known for his role in establishing a new thoracoscopic spine surgery technique for tumors and fractures.

Schmidt has published more than 170 manuscripts focusing on neurosurgery, oncology, trauma and spine surgery and has received more than $1.7 million in research funding from the National Institute of Health and other sources. He is internationally known for his academic and clinical expertise, and has been an invited speaker at numerous prestigious institutions.

Schmidt said that while he has enjoyed living in New York over the past three years, he is looking forward to returning to the Mountain West.

"I'm very happy to be moving to the Southwest to work with UNM to serve the people of New Mexico," Schmidt said.

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