Lots of doctors discover neurosurgery well into their medical training. I’m not one of them.

Well before I was accepted for the accelerated premedical-medical program at Penn State University, I knew I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. My education and experience during those years only cemented that belief. In medical school, I found myself gravitating to the neurosurgeons-intraining. Eventually, I began to see what it was about them that drew me to the profession. They worked harder than anyone on campus. They always had the toughest cases, but they also seemed to be the happiest of anyone I came across because they clearly loved what they were doing.

I’ve realized every aspect of that in my own practice. The stakes are high with every case, and yet I’ve learned to embrace that energy and pressure. I believe that much of that has to do with appreciating each of my patients as people, not complex medical issues that need to be corrected.

When I meet with my patients before their procedure, I explain what’s going on with them and what I’ll need to do to resolve it so they can get back to feeling more like themselves. I try to imagine myself as them in those moments, carefully digesting this news, less for their own knowledge and more so they can repeat it to their concerned family back at home. They don’t need me to flex my expertise. They only need to know that I’m fully invested in their wellbeing and that I’ll do everything I can to protect it.

That part is inherent in me. Even if I never became a neurosurgeon, I’d still be “all in” with everything I do. Whether as the medical director of Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine or a husband and father, I need to be involved in every mundane detail. And that certainly holds true as a doctor, too. As they say, the meaning is in the process, not the outcome.

My practice welcomes referrals for most brain and spine disorders, and we accept most major insurance providers, as well as Medicare.

Dr. Nirav Shah, 2019 Top Doctor, Philadelphia Magazine

Nirav K. Shah, MD, FAANS, FACS

Nirav K. Shah, MD, FAANS, FACS

Clinical Expertise
Complex spine surgery; minimally-invasive spine treatments, including M6-C artificial cervical disc replacement; concussions; chronic traumatic encephalopathy
See Dr. Nirav K. Shah's profile on Healthgrades.
Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA 1999
Graduated with Alpha Omega Alpha Medical
Society Honors
General Surgery
University of Maryland Medical System
Baltimore, MD 2000
Complex Spine Surgery
Greater Baltimore Medical Center Spine Center
Baltimore, MD 2004
Neurotrauma/Spinal Trauma
Maryland Shock Trauma Center
Baltimore, MD 2002
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD 2004
University of Maryland Medical System
Baltimore, MD 2005
(Chief Resident, 2005)
Neurological Surgery
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Board of Neurological Surgeons
Top Doctors, Philadelphia Magazine, 2018 and 2019
Guide to America’s Top Physicians, Neurosurgery, 2009
Guide to America’s Top Physicians, Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery, 2007
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