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Department of Neurosurgery

History of the Department of Neurosurgery


The Neurosurgical Service at Temple University Hospital was developed by Temple Fay, MD in l930. Dr. Fay was a co-founder and former president of the Harvey Cushing Society (now the American Association of Neurological Surgeons).

The Temple Neurosurgical Residency was one of the original twenty programs that were in existence when the American Board of Neurological Surgery was founded in l940. Michael Scott, MD, a resident under Dr. Fay, became chairperson of the department in l943 and remained in that position until l97l. Dr. Scott was responsible for the training of many neurosurgeons, five of whom have become professors of neurosurgery and chairpersons of their departments.

Dr. Michael Scott was greatly respected and loved by the many neurosurgeons that he trained and in l995, an annual oration was established in his name with his son, R. Michael Scott, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery at Boston Children's Hospital, as the first orator. Furthermore, Mrs. Catherine Scott continued to serve Temple University Hospital on its Auxiliary until very recently.

The late Fred Murtagh, MD, served as Chairman after Dr. Scott until l976, when William Buchheit, MD took over the reins. Dr. Buchheit served with
distinction as Chairman until l994 and was succeeded in 1995 by Raj K Narayan, MD as the fifth chair in the program's seventy-year history. In 2004, Temple Neurosurgery welcomed Christopher M. Loftus, MD, DHC (Hon), FACS as the present Chairman. Dr. Loftus is a distinguished international surgeon, author, and speaker as well as the Assistant Dean for International Affiliations. He has brought many international guest speakers to Temple.

In 2004, Jack Jallo, MD, PhD, FACS began the 1st Annual Temple Spine Symposium. This program is now run annually with the course director alternating between faculty members of the Neurosurgery team. We have welcomed many national and international guest speakers.

Although the Temple Neurosurgery Program has a long and distinguished record in various aspects of neurosurgery, perhaps its most notable historic claim to fame is the pioneering work in stereotactic neurosurgery, which was performed at Temple University Hospital by Drs. Ernst Spiegel and Henry Wycis. The first stereotactic frame that was used in humans was developed at Temple by Drs. Spiegel and Wycis is now displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.


Our residents have also been very active in research. In 2006, 2007 and again in 2008 a different one of our Temple Neurosurgery residents was awarded the Synthes Annual Award for Resident Research at the Annual Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Fall Meeting. A Temple resident also won top honors at annual PAN Philadelphia meeting in 2007 for resident research.


For more information regarding our department, residency program or our history please feel free to contact the program coordinator, David B. Goodman, MBA at 215-707-1793 or via email at david.goodman@temple.edu or his assistant, Karen Specos at 215-707-4068 or via email at kspecos@temple.edu.