Donald Graham, DO, FACOS The founder of Second Opine Spine, Dr. Donald Graham is a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with over 20 years of distinguished spinal and neurosurgical experience. Over the course of his career, Dr. Graham has performed thousands of spinal procedures.
A wealth of experience. Actively licensed to practice in Georgia and Florida, Dr. Graham attended Albion College in his home state of Michigan, and then went to the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon graduation in 1984, he performed a one-year rotating internship followed by one year of general surgery residency prior to entering neurosurgical training. He completed his neurosurgical residency in Detroit and completed a neurosurgical fellowship at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida in 1991.
He entered solo practice in Pinellas County in 1991. At the same time he served as a part-time assistant clinical professor at the University of South Florida and part-time neurosurgeon at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration hospital in Tampa.
Dr. Graham has served the communities of Pinellas County for 15 years on staff at up to seven hospitals offering comprehensive, conservative, and personalized care to his neurosurgical patients. He also helped organize and was the original medical director of the Spine and Neuro Pavilion at Largo Medical Center.
In 2006, Dr. Graham moved his practice to Statesboro, Georgia, a medically underserved community, where he continues his work as an active neurosurgeon with East Georgia Regional Medical Center. He also continued to perform consulting work for Bay Pines Veterans Administration Hospital in St. Petersburg as its only neurosurgical consultant.
At the forefront of spinal and neurosurgery Over the past 20+ years, Dr. Graham has been intimately involved in the continual technological advancements in spinal surgery. A pioneer in spinal surgical innovations, he holds the first patent for an artificial cervical disc.
A strong proponent of a conservative approach to treatment, Dr. Graham is a believer in surgery as a last resort. In recent years, he has been increasingly skeptical, even dismayed, at the x-fold increase in spinal surgery and fusion procedures being performed.
Witnessing a rising tide of poor outcomes. Dr. Graham has been consulted on innumerable patients with surgical failures, multiple re-operations, recurrent pain, residual pain, "failed back surgery syndrome," and poor surgical outcomes. He has seen a progressive increase in complexity of spinal surgery, frequently performed with significant economic incentive, and concurrent high failure rates. He has witnessed a litany of endless “gimmicks” used to entice patients into spine surgery.
Offering a responsible alternative. As a result of his extensive experience and practice, Dr. Graham recognized the need for a resource that could provide patients with a truly independent second opinion – with no financial interest or outside influence in whether the surgery is performed or not.
Compelled by a strong personal commitment to his profession and his community, Dr. Graham founded Second Opine Spine to provide independent second opinions for spinal surgical candidates.