Some 23 readers have responded (as of my writing) to your article “Brain Man” [Xpress, July 16]—all in favor of Dr. Rosner, I might add. This article did not portray Dr. Rosner with the respect he deserves. Here is one neurosurgeon who has challenged not only his own thinking and education in the neurosciences, but challenged the understanding that the field of neurology has been teaching for decades. It comes as no surprise that some in the field have been pushed out of their comfort zone, and their reaction has been to censor this physician who continues to give relief and promise to so many who have been suffering. In the words of those who do not wish to see Dr. Rosner succeed, his surgeries were “deviating from the accepted and prevailing standard of care.” Hogwash!
For some 12 years, my 37-year-old daughter dealt with symptoms that no doctor fully understood. Over the past five years, as her condition and quality of life deteriorated, she sought diagnoses from six different neurosurgeons as well as cardiologists and general practitioners. The first neurosurgeon to properly diagnose the presence of a Chiari malformation—a man who has a world-renowned reputation—advised her to live with it, that surgery was unnecessary. Her symptoms steadily worsened and more opinions were sought. Some suggested surgery, but their opinions were too varied, with little consistency in defining the problem or how to resolve it. In December of 2007, she and I traveled to the Chiari Institute in New York, a clinic specializing in Chiari malformation, where tests confirmed what we already knew. Their solution was to perform three different surgeries over time—and perhaps they were correct.
After returning to her home in Texas and while contemplating that [recommendation], she discovered Dr. Michael Rosner, the “brain man” to whom your article refers, who practices in Western North Carolina. She visited him over two days, [receiving] several variations of X-rays and new MRIs, as he required. In the final consultation, he spent four patient hours examining her and explaining this misunderstood malady, describing the cause and defining the surgical solution with all the possibilities. My daughter, her husband and [our family] were unanimous that we had finally found someone who understood the problem and how to correct it.
In short, she had successful decompression surgery in May and now has her life back. Her symptoms have disappeared. Our family considers Dr. Rosner to be at the forefront of his specialty and also to be the most caring, compassionate physician we encountered over the past 17 years in total. We are joined by hundreds of Dr. Rosner’s patients who feel the same about him. He rightfully deserves respect from his peer group for being at the leading edge—not a victim of hearsay and bogus litigation that malpractice lawyers thrive upon. He also deserves a balanced view from the media—not a list of accusations, but credit where it is due.
— Lanny Julian