The specialty of neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin came into being in 1942 as a division of the Department of Surgery. That year Dr. Theodore Erickson was hired as chair of the fledgling division. He had recently completed his training under Dr. Wilder Penfield at the Montreal Neurological Institute. The following year a resident training program was established which continues in operation today.
Dr. Manucher Javid was the second full-time attending neurosurgeon to be hired at the University. He arrived at the UW in 1953, having just completed training at the Massachusetts General Hospital under the direction of Dr. James C. White. Dr. Javid became division chair in 1962 and remained an active force in University neurosurgery for the next 33 years. He gained international recognition because of his work in osmotherapy for brain edema (see Rocque, 2011). He expanded the clinical faculty and created a research faculty. Later he earned the admiration of his residents and colleagues by skillfully steering the neurosurgical program from Division to Departmental status – a feat finalized in 1989. This was an important step in setting the stage for attracting a new generation of leadership with new visions for growth.
In 1995 Dr. Javid was succeeded as Department Chair by Dr. Robert Dempsey who was trained by Drs. Richard C. Schneider and Julian Hoff at the University of Michigan. Today, under the leadership of Dr. Dempsey, the Department has doubled its resident compliment, tripled its faculty and increased its caseload by four times. We offer a wealth of clinical training in all aspects of Neurological Surgery. This includes embedded fellowships for our residents and ACGME-RRC approved fellowships in Endovascular, Spine and Functional Neurosurgery for post graduates. The Department has a national reputation for innovative research and attracts top notch resident applicants.
For a full departmental history, please see Rocque, Kuo, Dempsey 2010.