Fund Purpose: To promote and support trailblazers whose work is changing the paradigm of how spine surgeons think, work and collaborate improving their quality of life with recognition of the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Also, to support truly innovative approaches that optimize safe and effective delivery of spine care.
Deborah L. Benzil, MD, FACS, FAANS is known nationally for her work in spine stereotactic radiosurgery, innovation in resident education, diversity advocacy, and socioeconomic expertise. She provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art, patient-centered care to patients with a wide-spectrum of neurosurgical diseases at award-winning hospitals. She is currently Professor of Neurosurgery at CCLCM and Vice Chair of Neurosurgery at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Benzil received her undergraduate degree (honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from Brown University in 1981. Following this, she completed her medical degree at the University of Maryland in 1985. From 1985-87, Dr. Benzil completed a two-year Fellowship in Surgical Neurology at the NIH doing landmark molecular biology work on malignant brain tumors. She returned to Providence, to complete her Neurosurgical Residency through Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital 1978-1994.
She is extremely active in organized neurosurgery where she currently serves as Vice President of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS). Prior leadership positions include Editor of the AANS Neurosurgeon, past-Chair of the CSNS, Vice President of the AANS and chair of the Communication and Public Relations Committee (CPR) of the Washington Committee. She was a founding member and the first president of WINS (Women in Neurosurgery) and remains as Emeritus on the WINS executive board.
Her current practice covers a wide spectrum of neurosurgical disorders focusing on complex spine, neuro-oncology and peripheral nerve. Her publications are extensive, primarily focused on tumors, stereotactic radiosurgery, resident education, and socioeconomic issues. She loves travel, theater, literature, hiking, and wine.
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