Richard N.W. Wohns, M.D., J.D., MBA Credentials


Seattle University, School of Law, Seattle, WA

  • J.D., May 2011

University of Washington, School of Business, Seattle, WA

  • MBA, received June 1997

University of Washington, Department of Neurological Surgery, Seattle, WA

  • Surgery Intern, 1977–1978
  • Neurosurgery Resident, 1978–1982
  • Chief Resident and Acting Instructor in Neuroradiology, 1980

National Hospital, Queen Square, London England

  • Post-Graduate Fellow in Neuroradiology, 1980

Yale University, School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

  • M.D., received 1977

Harvard College, Cambridge, MA

  • A.B., recieved June 1973
  • Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Board Certification & State Licensure

American Board of Neurological Surgery 

  • Board Certified, 1986

Washington State Medical License, 1978

Illinois State Medical License, 2005

Academic Position

Associate Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery

  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1995–present

Visiting Professor of Neurological Surgery,

  • Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2018–present

Professional Experience

South Sound Neurosurgery, PLLC, (dba NEOSPINE), Puget Sound Region, WA

Founder, Managing Member & Practicing Neurosurgeon, 1983-present

  • Founded neurosurgery practice, built three offices, outpatient surgery center, MRI scan facility, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery program, manage 47 employees

Surgery Partners, INC.  Nashville, TN 

Special Consultant for Spine Surgery, 2008-present

  • Development of de novo outpatient spine surgery centers and integration of outpatient spine surgery into existing multi-specialty surgery centers

NeoSpine, LLC, Nashville, TN 

Founder, 2001, Chairman of the Board, 2001-2008

  • Authored business plan for outpatient spine surgery center company, founded company, raised $20 million venture capital, designed and built national network of outpatient spine surgery centers

South Sound Gamma Knife, Tacoma, WA

Business and Clinical Development, 2005-2008

  • Organization of partnership amongst neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and St. Joseph Hospital for development of famma Knife center at St. Joseph Hospital. 

Neurosurgical Consultants of Washington, Seattle, WA 

Vice President, 1997-2002

  • Organized and co-founded neurosurgical clinic without walls involving twelve neurosurgeons throughout Puget Sound Region

St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma, WA 

Medical Director, Neuro Unit, 1990-1992

  • Responsible for clinical oversight of neurosurgical intensive care unit

Care, Tanzania, Africa

Physician for Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, 1998

  • Responsible for medical care of climbers on fund-raising successful ascent of the Western Breach route of Mt. Kilimanjaro

International Society of Mountain Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland 

Vice President, 1988-1991

  • ISMM’s goals are to bring together physicians, scientists and allied professionals interested in mountain medicine, to encourage research on all aspects of mountains, mountain peoples and mountaineers and to spread scientific and practical information about mountain medicine around the world

Ultima Thule Everest Expedition, Tibet, China 

Medical Director and Climber, 1984 

  • Medical research expedition with approach through Tibet and ascent of Northwest Buttress of Mt. Everest.  Helped fund expedition with grants from U.S. Army and Dreyfus Foundation.  Research included a double-blind controlled randomized study of Dilantin prophylaxis of acute mountain sickness, the first evaluation of visual evoked potentials at high altitude, study of high altitude retinal hemorrhages, and measurements of pulmonary plethysmography.  We successfully climbed 800 feet from the summit on the classic Mallory-Irvine route.

Society Memberships

  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Washington State Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Western Neurosurgical Society
  • North American Spine Society
  • American College of Surgeons (FACS)
  • American Medical Association
  • Washington State Medical Association
  • American Alpine Club
  • Himalayan Club
  • Explorers Club
  • International Society for Mountain Medicine 
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery Society (Founding Member)

Corporate Board Positions

  • angelMD, Chief Medical Officer 2015 - 2018
  • Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, Director 2015 - 2019
  • Aqueduct Neurosciences, Director 2013 - 2019
  • South Sound Neurosurgery Research & Education Institute, Director 2009 - present
  • U.S. Radiosurgery, Board of Directors 2008 - 2011
  • Archus Orthopedics, Data Safety Monitoring Board 2006 - 2009
  • Ranier Technology Ltd., Scientific Advisory Board 2006 - 2015
  • NeoSpine, LLC, Chairman, Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Board 2001 - 2008
  • Seattle Conservatory of Music 1997 - 2003
  • Commencement Bay Rowing Club 1997 - 2002
  • SeaMed, Inc., Board of Directors 1999 – 2001

Professional Society Officer Positions & Committees

Washington Medical Commission (WMC)

Commissioner, 2019-2023

  • It is the purpose and responsibility of the WMC to protect the public by ensuring that quality healthcare is provided by physicians and physician assistants. The WMC establishes, monitors, and enforces qualifications for licensure, consistent standards of practice, and continuing competency. The WMC currently regulates about 34,000 licenses. Rules, policies, and procedures promote the delivery of quality healthcare to the people in Washington. 

Western Neurosurgical Society

President, 2013-2014; Vice-President, 2011-2012

Professional Conduct Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)

Committee member, 2017-2023

  • Investigate charges of unprofessional conduct brought by members of the association against other members of AANS.

Ethics Committee, AANS

Committee member, 2010-2013

  • Assessment of questionable practices and review of substandard practices.  In advisory capacity, committee has broad sweep of responsibility, and may make recommendations to the AANS Board of Directors. In review capacity, committee reviews specific cases or issues presented to it. 

Education and Practice Management Committee, AANS

Committee member, 2010-2013

  • Committee creates continuing medical educational programming driven by assessed needs of neurosurgical membership.  

Bylaw Committee, Western Neurosurgical Society

Chairman, 2009-2011

  • Oversight, interpretation, modification of corporate bylaws

Liability Committee, AANS

Chairman, 2005-2008

Committee Member, 2002-2005, 2009-2011

  • Committee served as interface between American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the medical malpractice insurance company, The Doctors Company
  • Gained extensive experience related to neurosurgical negligence claims

Quality Improvement Workgroup Committee, AANS

Committee Member, 2005-2008, 2013-2015

  • The QIW is tasked with promoting sound federal public policy that supports neurosurgeons and the patients they serve. 

American Association of Neurological Surgeons Bulletin 

Editorial Board, 2005-2008

  • Authored and edited articles related to socioeconomics of neurosurgery

Council of State Neurosurgical Societies

Chairman, Northwest Quadrant, 2005-2008

Washington State Delegate, 2002-2008

  • The CSNS is the socioeconomic, grassroots neurosurgical society that reports to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the Washington Committee.

Washington State Association of Neurological Surgeons 

President, 2003-2005

  • Coordinated academic and socioeconomic activity for sixty neurosurgeons in Washington State

Medical-Legal Committee, CSNS

Committee Member, 2002-2008 

  • Research, report, and educate CSNS and AANS/CNS members on medico-legal issues affecting neurosurgical practice, including professional liability, informed consent, Medicare fraud and abuse regulation and enforcement, CPT coding/E&M documentation rules, antitrust laws, and other pertinent law or regulation.

Reimbursement Committee, CSNS

Committee Member, 2002-2005 

  • Coordinate CSNS participation with the AANS/CNS Coding and Reimbursement Committee in CPT coding and reimbursement activities of the AANS and CNS, including CPT Editorial Board and Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) issues and actions. Disseminate current information to CSNS members on coding and reimbursement topics, controversies, and proposals. Develop a knowledgeable workgroup of CSNS committee members available to contribute time and expertise to CPT and RUC-related work projects.

Recent Awards

  • Listed as one of the “40 Smartest People in Healthcare” 2014
  • Winner of Annual Spine Leadership Award 2013, Becker’s Spine Review
  • Rated one of 100 Best Spine Surgeons and Specialists in America, Joimax, Feb. 2011 
  • Rated one of 50 Best Spine Specialists in USA, Becker’s ASC Review, Feb. 2010 
  • Finalist for the 2010 Mark Reutlinger Scholarship for Excellence in Legal Writing
  • One of top three “Outstanding Health Care Executives – Metropolitan Region,” SeattleBusiness Journal, March 2009

Intellectual Property Development

  • Co-Developer with LDR: Interspinous Implant and Implantation Instrument. 

    • PCT/EP2012/062750 filed 7/2/12

  • Co-Developer with Orthofix: Azure anterior cervical plate and screws

    • Patent pending

  • Co-Developer with David Auth, Tom Clement: Biceps Bipolar

    • Patent 1982

Editorial Boards

  • Surgical Neurology International, 2014 – present
  • European Spine Journal, 2014 – present
  • World Neurosurgery, 2014 – present
  • Journal of Institute of Medicine Nepal, 2019 - present


  • Wohns, RNW, Glickman, M, and Kerstein, M.D.: Osteomyelitis Following Translumbar Aortography. Angiology 28:7, 1977
  • Wohns, RNW:  First Appendectomy Performed at High Altitude.  Summit, August-September 1978
  • Wohns, RNW:  First Medical Glimpse into Regions Around Annapurna.  Summit, October-November 1978.
  • Wohns, RNW, and Wyler, AR:  Prophylactic Phenytoin in Severe Head Injuries.  Journal of Neurosurgery 51:507-509, 1979
  • Dunn, R, Howe, J, Wohns, RNW, and Kelly, WA:  Spinal Epidural Metastases.  Journal of Neurosurgery 52:47- 51, 1980
  • Lohse, DC, Senter, HJ, Kauer, JS, and Wohns, RNW:  Traumatic Paraplegia. Journal of Neurosurgery 52:335- 345, 1980 
  • Wohns, RNW:  High Altitude Cerebral Edema:  A Pathophysiological Review.  Critical Care Medicine 9:880-882, 1981
  • Fried, I, Mateer, C, Ojemann, G, Wohns, RNW, and Fedio, P:  Organization of Visual Spatial Function in Human Cortex: Evidence of Electrical Stimulation. Brain 105:349-371, 1982
  • Wohns, RNW, and Kerstein, MD:  The Role of Dilantin in the Prevention of Pulmonary Edema Associated with Cerebral Hypoxia.  Critical Care Medicine 10:433-436, 1982
  • Wohns, RNW, Tamas, L, Pierce, K, and Howe, J:  Use of Chlorpromazine as Treatment for Neurogenic Pulmonary Edema: Case Report. Critical Care Medicine 13:210-211, 1985
  • Wohns, RNW, Colpitts, M, Clement, T, Karuza, A, Blackett, WB, Foutch, R, and Larson, E: Phenytoin and Acute Mountain Sickness on Mt. Everest. American Journal of Medicine 80:32-36, 1986
  • Wohns, RNW:  Transient Ischemic Attacks at High Altitude.  Critical Care Medicine 14:517-518, 1986
  • Clement, T, Wohns, RNW, Nichols R:  Mt. Everest Expedition Researches Acute Mountain Sickness. Medical Electronics, April 1985
  • Colpitts, M, Wohns, RNW, Colpitts, Y, Clement, T, Blackett, WB, Karuza, A:  The Effect of High Altitude on Visual Evoked Potentials in Humans on Mt. Everest.  Neurosurgery 21:352-256, 1987
  • Wohns, RNW, and Robinett, R:  Day Surgery for Lumbar Microdiscectomy, Experience with 60 cases. Ambulatory Surgery 4:31-33, 1996
  • Wohns, RNW, and Robinett, R:  Outpatient Anterior Cervical Microdiscectomy:  Experience with 106 cases. Ambulatory Surgery 7:35-37, 1999
  • Wohns, RNW: Microeconomics of Microneurosurgery.  Neurosurgery Quarterly 10(1):80-82, 1999. 
  • Wohns, RNW: What is a “Fair Salary” for a Surgical Sub-specialist?   Neurosurgery Focus, April, 2002.
  • Wohns, RNW: Outpatient Spinal Surgery, Chapter 2: Setting Up an Ambulatory Spinal Surgery Clinic; Chapter 3: The Business of Outpatient Spinal Surgery; editors: Perez-Cruet and Fessler,  Quality Medical Publishing, Inc.  2002
  • Wohns, RNW: Liability is Rooted in Elective Spine Cases. American Association of Neurological Surgeons Bulletin 14 (2), Summer 2005
  • Wohns, RNW: Why Neurosurgeons Drop Craniotomy Privileges. American Association of Neurological Surgeons Bulletin 15 (1), Winter 2006
  • Wohns, RNW: Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Chapter 9: The Business of Outpatient Spine Surgery; editor: Perez-Cruet, Quality Medical Publishing, Inc., 2006
  • Joseffer, S, Shin, P, and Wohns, RNW: Outpatient Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: Indications and Clinical Experience in a Consecutive Series of 390 Patients, Neurosurgery Quarterly 20(2): 107-110, June 2010
  • Wohns, RNW: Loss of Mental Competency: End of Life Issues Related to Advance Health Care Directives and Mental Health Advance Directives, 2010
  • Wohns, RNW: Safety and Cost-Effectiveness of Outpatient Cervical Disc Arthroplasty. Surgical Neurology International,, 2010
  • Wohns, RNW, Nakano, N, et al: Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion, Chapter 2: Establishing a Minimally Invasive Spine Center; editor: Perez-Cruet, Quality Medical Publishing, Inc., 2011
  • Wohns, RNW: Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine and Direct Hospital Employment of Physicians, AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 21, Number 1, 2012
  • Wohns, RNW: A Comparison of the Safety of Lumbar Fusions Performed as Outpatient (<25-Hour Discharge) or Inpatient (>24-Hour Discharge) Procedures; The Spine Journal, Volume 12, Issue 9, Supplement: S155-S156, September 2012 
  • Smith, WD, Wohns, RNW, Christian, G, Rodgers, E, Rodgers, WB: Outpatient Minimally Invasive Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Predictive Factors and Clinical Results; Spine, Volume 41, Issue p. S106-122, April 2016 
  • Mohandas, A, Summa, C, Worthington, WB, Lerner, J, Foley, KT, Bohinski, RJ, Lanford, GB, Holden, C, Wohns,
  • RNW: Best Practices for Outpatient Anterior Cervical Surgery, Results from a Delphi Panel; Spine, Volume 41, Number 00, pp, 2016
  • Wohns, RNW, Dyrda, L, et al: An Anatomic Approach to Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Ch. 10: Establishing an Ambulatory Spine Surgery Center; QMP, Inc., 2018
  • Gornet MF, Buttermann GR, Wohns R, Billinghurst J, Brett DC, Kube R, Sales JR, Wills, NJ, Sherban, R, Schranck, FW, Copay AG: Safety and Efficiency of Cervical Disc Arthroplasty in Ambulatory Surgery Centers vs. Hospital Settings; International Journal of Spine Surgery, Vol. 12, No.5, 2018, pp. 557-564