Avery Buchholz, MD, is a UVA neurosurgeon specializing in traditional and minimally invasive spine surgeries. He treats patients with a variety of complex spine conditions and injuries, including:
- Spinal deformity
- Spine tumors
Meet a UVA Neurosurgeon
1. Why did you become a doctor?
I always liked science in school. Learning how to apply that science to the body in order to help people became something I really enjoyed.
2. Why did you choose your specialty?
Spine surgery was interesting to me because of the mechanics of the spine. When done right, surgery can really improve a patient’s quality of life. The right surgery in the appropriate patient can really help.
3. What is your favorite thing about Charlottesville?
Charlottesville is great. The people are friendly and the mountains are beautiful. There is also a lot of history, and here I enjoy being part of the UVA community.
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4. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin called Janesville. I moved to Charleston, South Carolina after high school to attend The Citadel because I was interested in the military. After graduating, I spent 12 years in the National Guard. Both experiences gave me structure, discipline, respect for people and a sense of teamwork that I carry with me today.
5. What’s the most exciting thing/research happening in your field right now?
We’re getting better at understanding which types of surgeries help which patients. We’re learning how to apply various techniques and utilize less-invasive procedures so patients get out of the hospital sooner and back to their lives. That’s the ultimate goal. We are transitioning more and more surgeries to minimally invasive options.
6. Who is your inspiration?
UVA neurosurgeon Chris Shaffrey, MD, has been a huge mentor for me. I trained with him at UVA during my fellowship, and I’ve always admired the way he treats patients. No one can fill his shoes, but hopefully we can continue building on the reputation he’s established here. He’s really set the bar high. Dr. Justin Smith has also been a mentor of mine. I’m looking forward to working with him and continuing to learn from him.
7. What’s your favorite thing about working at UVA?
UVA has a great history and reputation, and I’m privileged to have the ability to continue to build on that. The resources are readily available here to give patients an optimal outcome. The leadership is great. We have excellent staff in place to get the job done. Top to bottom a great team.