Dean Chou, MD

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Meet Dr. Dean Chou

Dr. Chou has extensive surgical experience and has developed a national reputation for meticulous technical execution of each surgical procedure from the beginning to the end. He treats patients as he would his own family member, offering them conservative, less invasive surgery and only offering more extensive procedures when clearly clinically indicated. He has pioneered many surgical techniques that have made minimally invasive spine surgery more effective and safe.


“Dr. Chou really took the extra time needed to explain the procedure beforehand. I knew exactly the what, who, and when of the procedure. “

 – Patient

Educational Background

Dramatic Sunset over San Francisco Bay

UC Berkeley

Dr. Chou graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in biochemistry. He was awarded one of the prestigious Research Fellowships from the American Heart Association while a student at Berkeley.

UCSF medical center

 University of California San Francisco

Dr. Chou graduated from UCSF, one of the top medical schools in the country. He also spent a year at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital doing research with a competitive grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Dr. Chou undertook a rigorous and demanding General Surgery Internship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Residency and Fellowship

Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery

Dr. Chou completed one of the top neurosurgery residencies in the country at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He learned how to treat incredibly complex and difficult pathology there but also learned the value of meticulous and gentle care of a patient’s normal tissue.

Barrow Neurologic Institute

Dr. Chou completed his Complex Spine Surgery Fellowship at the prestigious Barrow Neurologic Institute under one of the leaders and pioneers of spine surgery, Dr. Volker Sonntag.

Faculty Positions

University of California
San Francisco

University of California San Francisco

After fellowship, Dr. Chou joined the faculty of one of top Neurosurgery Departments in the country at the University of California San Francisco, quickly rising through the ranks to Full Professor. With extensive dedication to cutting edge research, teaching of the future generation of surgeons, and quality patient care, he became nationally and internationally known. He built one of the top practices in Northern California before being recruited to become the Chief of the Spine Division and Vice Chair at Columbia University.

Columbia University in the
City of New York

Columbia University of New York

Dr. Chou is currently the Chief of Spine, Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Neurosurgery at Columbia University in the city of New York. He is the Co-Site Chief at the Och Spine/New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Spine Fellowship Director for Neurosurgery.