Hospital recommendations (in the US)?

Hello fellow AVM-ers!

Let me start by saying that this is a bit of an unorthodox request, but please bear with me!

I am a medical student studying in London, UK and I'm just about to start my penultimate year in September, assuming all goes well with my treatment and recovery. Prior to my AVM rupture in March 2014, I had already very seriously considered specializing in neurosurgery to the point where last year when I started hospital placements, I shadowed a neurosurgeon one day of every week outside of my regular studies. He actually happened to be an AVM specialist, so imagine my shock when mine ruptured and discovered that I too had an AVM! It was incredibly surreal. I personally think that life is giving me a sign, leading me in a certain direction and I think that I too want to specialize in vascular malformations. As part of my degree I have the opportunity to go to other hospitals abroad for 8 weeks in the summer of 2015 to learn and experience medicine in other countries, and I would absolutely love to learn from American hospitals as a lot of them are so pioneering!

My question is: Are there any hospitals with a neurosurgery department around the US that you would recommend to this humble student? Anywhere that you've had excellent patient care, or treatment? I've tried to do some research but I would much rather hear from personal experiences rather than a website!

Thanks a lot for reading my little essay, wishing you all health and happiness :)


I would recommend The Medical Center in Houston, Texas. It is one of the largest medical districts in the U.S., and they really have a world-renowned status. Let me know if I can answer any further questions regarding this. Thanks.


Stanford, Hopkins, Mass General, and Barrow in AZ are frequently recommended here, Gwen. There are many others, too.

Sent you a personal message.

Hey Gwen, as you well know Barrows in Phoenix is consider the top institute for neurosurgery, but only 4 positions are available a year (under medical terms this is considered a big program). Residency and Fellowships. Next you have Methodist in Houston and two hospitals in Chicago. Graduate from Barrow or Methodist you are most likely going to placed in a great hospital. Good luck.

University of Illinois Chicago, Neurosurgeon Dr. Charbel.

I admire your plan to study neurosurgery. Johns Hopkins is rated very high in the USA...Wherever you go, I wish you the very best.

Thanks Lea! It turns out my university actually has a twin link exchange programme with Johns Hopkins, so will definitely look into that :)

Thank you all for the helpful replies! America is just such a big country I had no idea where to start really, but all of the hospitals suggested look great :D Time to start planning!

Gwen, thank you for posting this discussion and I'm glad you found it helpful. I'm saddened to hear about your AVM but excited to hear about your neurosurgery choice. Have you read the book, My Stroke of Insight (sorry the underscore won't work for me.) I wish you the best always.

I haven't read it, but you're not the first person to recommend it to me :) I really should get a hold of it! Thank you for your kind words :)

Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, though I'm sure there are several other worthy hospitals, some of which have already been mentioned here. I think in addition to Barrow, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinics, Mass General and Stanford are worth repeating. I think everyone and anyone here who is familiar with my posts knows I can't recommend Barrow too highly.

Will you let us know which you go to? Would love to hear about your experiences there, and what a wonderful opportunity for you, both educationally and as an AVM patient.

The Heart and Vascular department at U.VA Health in Virginia is one of the leading vascular treatment facilities in the world. People actually come from all over the world to go to this hospital for Vascular Malformation and Aneurysm treatments.

United Hospital St. Paul Minnesota My son has spent the last 5 months here being treated for a level 5 AVM that bled multiple times. The neurosurgeon is excellent. Spetzler from the Barrow institute is who our neurosurgeon (Nussbaum) consults with.

Dr.Barrow at Emory University is an AVM magician according to everyone I have talked to in my area. I can't say this for a fact yet (He is doing my craniotomy on Thursday), but he comes highly regarded and has published hundreds of articles on this topic. He is Chief of Nuerosurgery at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. I am sure there are many options for you to choose from, but I would definitely go with a teaching hospital and Emory University is one of the best. Wish you the best of luck in your search.

I live in nyc and I have been treated in many hospitals for my avm. I would suggest that you try st Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital and NYU.

University of Michigan Medical Center Ann Arbor Michigan

Mischer Neuroscience Institute--associated with Memorial Hermann Hospital and University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

OHSU - Oregon Health and Sciences University - Dr. Aclan Dogan saved my life (I got the craniotomy a couple hours after the rupture and my local hospital transferred me downtown bc they weren't equipped for my case) and teaches other people to do this sort of thing. What a great career path you've chosen!

For patient care in a pediatric hospital look at St Louis Children’s Hospitalat Washington University School of Medicine. They are fantastic and Dave, my AVM doctor, is a model pediatric neurosurgeon and teacher- as all his fellows and the nurses love him. Dave Limbrick is his name.