Dr. Charles Fisher is a Professor and Head of the Division of Spine Surgery in the Combined Neurosurgical and Orthopaedic Spine Program in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of British Columbia. He has demonstrated nationally and internationally recognized leadership in both clinical research and spine care throughout his career. During his first years in practice at an academic surgical spine practice, Dr. Fisher completed a Masters in Health Care and Epidemiology. This provided the expertise in the design and evaluation of clinical trials that he needed to establish a research center focused on spine trauma and health related quality of life outcomes. Dr. Fisher was an early proponent of the judicious use of evidence-based medicine in spine surgery and published and lectured on this topic.
Together with Marcel Dvorak, Dr. Fisher built the Combined Neurosurgical/Orthopedic Spine Program in Vancouver, one of the earliest centers to embrace the collaboration of the two specialties in the care of spine patients. He has mentored numerous spine fellows during his career, and many of them have gone on to lead programs both in North America and around the world. Dr. Fisher has led the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. He has been a Co- Director of the Spine Oncology Study Group (SOSG). Most recently, he Chairs the Steering Committee of the AOSpine Knowledge Forum Tumor (AOKFT), a collaborative of spine care providers (including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists) from high volume centers around the world. Of particular note, the efforts of the SOSG and AOKFT have led to novel scoring systems for neoplastic spinal instability, as well as novel tools for measuring health related quality of life and patient satisfaction. His leadership in these efforts was consequential. As a physician, he understands the disease, and as an MPH, he understands how to design and implement thoughtful research. This dual expertise has truly fostered the work of the groups that he has led.
With respect to clinical research, Charles CV speaks for itself. He has over 270 peer-reviewed publications, most of them focused on the practical aspects of patient care. These include surgical techniques, patient outcomes, quality of life, and adverse events. He is a gifted speaker with an approachable style, and he has delivered talks all over the world. He has presented his research at numerous conferences and symposia, typically giving his residents and fellows the opportunity to shine. Simply put, Charles research efforts have impacted the way patients with spinal trauma and spinal tumors are managed all over the world.
Nominated by Dino Samartzis, DSc, Niccole Germscheid, MSc, Ziya L. Gokaslan, MD, FAANS, FACS, Ilya Laufer, MD, MS, Michelle Clarke, MD, Michael G. Fehlings, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, James S. Harrop, MD, Laurence D. Rhines, MD, Chetan Bettegowda, MD, PhD, John H. Shin, MD, Dean Chou, MD and Alexander R. Vaccaro, MD, PhD.