Richard Wohns



Dr. Wohns is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard College in Biochemistry, a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine, and completed a residency in Neurosurgery at the University of Washington.  He is a Board Certified neurosurgeon and an Associate Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington, with a private practice in the Puget Sound region.  Dr. Wohns received his MBA from the University of Washington in June 1997 and his JD from Seattle University School of Law in May 2011. Dr. Wohns was Medical Director of the Ultima Thule Everest Expedition in 1984, and performed high altitude brain research on Mt. Everest.  He also has performed an appendectomy on a porter during an expedition to K2, the second highest mountain in the world. After pioneering an innovative outpatient spine surgery program in the Puget Sound region, he founded NeoSpine, LLC in 2001 with $20 million of venture capital in order to develop a national network of outpatient spine surgery centers. Symbion then Surgery Partners acquired NeoSpine in 2008, and Dr. Wohns serves as chief consultant to Surgery Partners for outpatient spine surgery center development. Dr. Wohns co-founded U.S. Radiosurgery, a company that developed and managed Gamma Knife and Cyberknife Radiosurgery centers throughout the United States. Alliance Oncology, Inc. acquired U.S. Radiosurgery in 2011.  Dr. Wohns is the founder of the Mazama Spine Summit, an annual minimally invasive and outpatient spine surgery conference that brings together top spine surgeons and technique innovators from across the country and around the world. Held in Winthrop, Washington, the Mazama Spine Summit has been called the "mini Davos-World Economic Forum of spine" and "one of the greatest platforms in the world providing the thought leadership and experience sharing for clinicians, attorneys, industry leaders, policy makers, and other professionals." The conference consists of educational panel sessions, medical-legal and innovation sessions, and a keynote speaker.  January 2018 marks the 14th anniversary of this important educational event. 

Dr. Wohns’ expertise in the field of neurosurgery includes outpatient and minimally invasive spine surgery, complex spine surgery, and cervical and lumbar disc arthroplasty (artificial discs). Dr. Wohns has performed more than 5000 outpatient cervical and lumbar surgeries and has authored many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals plus chapters in medical textbooks.  Several of the articles include "firsts" in outpatient spine surgery. He has successfully leveraged the positive aspects of spine surgeries performed in focused facilities including lower cost, higher patient satisfaction than inpatient experiences, and improved outcomes.  In February 2011, he was rated one of the 100 Best Spine Surgeons and Specialists in America and in February 2010, one of the 50 Best Spine Specialists in the United States by Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review. In 2014, Dr. Wohns was listed as one of the “40 Smartest People in Healthcare.” Dr. Wohns has taken his expertise worldwide, lecturing on the clinical, business, and legal aspects of outpatient spine surgery, sharing knowledge with fellow physicians and helping thousands of patients to return to their daily life and activities throughout his career in spine surgery.  

Dr. Wohns was President and Vice-President of the Western Neurosurgical Society; Chairman of the Northwest Quadrant of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies; President of the Washington State Association of Neurological Surgeons; Vice President of Neurosurgical Consultants of Washington; Director on the Board and Vice President of Business Development for UltraImage, LLC; Director on the Board of SeaMed Corporation, U.S. Radiosurgery and Aqueduct Neurosciences; and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Ranier Technology. He was Chief Medical Officer for angelMD and health policy consultant to Nuvasive, Inc. Dr. Wohns is a consultant to medical device companies and a medical-legal consultant. He has served on many committees including the Ethics Committee and the Professional Conduct Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), teaches clinical, medical-legal and business courses for the AANS, and is a member of many professional neurosurgical, medical, legal, and mountaineering societies. Dr. Wohns is a highly devoted martial arts master with a 4th degree black belt (Master Level) in Tae Kwon Do, and is an avid bicyclist, skier, and competitive tennis player.

During the summer of 2013, Dr. Wohns returned to Nepal, this time with one of his four children, at the time a student at Harvard College, to teach minimally invasive spine surgery techniques to the staff at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. During this trip he also performed pro bono surgery with medical implants and instruments graciously donated by leading medical device companies. His enduring commitment to the country, its people, and to the field of medicine has compelled him to return annually to lecture and to lead spine surgery workshops in Kathmandu.  Dr. Wohns also recently traveled to the Maldives and performed the first cervical disc replacement in 2017 and the first lumbar disc replacement in 2018.