Dr. Robert Rothrock: Tackling Spinal Tumors

Director of Spinal Oncology, Baptist Health

As a spinal neurosurgeon and the director of spinal oncology at both the Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute and the Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute, Dr. Robert Rothrock spends most of his days treating spinal tumors. The 37-year-old bilingual physician is a Miami native (he was actually born at Baptist), but spent 15 years studying, completing his residency, and doing fellowships around the U.S. He returned to South Florida in 2021 to complete a fellowship in minimally invasive and reconstructive spine surgery at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and then joined the team at Baptist.

Latest Achievement

Baptist Health’s comprehensive spinal tumor center is the only one of its kind in South Florida, where numerous doctors work under one roof to help patients with spinal tumors. As director of the Institute, Dr. Rothrock was instrumental in creating the center and spends virtually every single day (including weekends) working with patients or performing surgery. One of the clinical trials he’s overseeing at Baptist right now is an attempt to prevent the need for surgery by giving earlier, high-dose, precision radiation treatments. “No one else is doing that right now, as far as I know, in the United States,” says the physician.

What He Says

“The nice thing about being a doctor, the thing that helps us get out of bed every day, is the patients. That’s what we work for…. And it’s hard to do that for a lifetime, to give and give and give. But there is so much meaning in helping people…. That’s why I wanted to work in a place where I have time to actually be a doctor and sit and listen and solve problems.”

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