James H. Stephen, MD, MSE



About the doctor:

Dr. James Stephen has always been energized by solving complex problems and directly helping
others. With his interests in understanding mechanical systems and human physiology, he
studied mechanical and biomedical engineering at The University of Michigan, receiving
bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After practical experience working in the automotive
industry, performing biomedical research, and extensive time with physician mentors, he
discovered that his passion lies in direct interpersonal interactions and he chose to pursue
medical training.

Dr. Stephen completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania with the goal of
working collaboratively to fix problems that directly benefit peoples’ lives. The complexity and
logic of the nervous system, as well as personally connecting with patients facing challenging
neurological illnesses or trauma attracted him to neurosurgery while in medical school.
Neurosurgical rotations at Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and
an extra year of basic science research investigating spinal fusion confirmed his dedication to
neurosurgical training.

Dr. Stephen completed his neurosurgical residency training at the University of Pennsylvania
and also a fellowship in spinal deformity correction at the Philadelphia Shriner’s Hospital for
Children. His primary research during neurosurgical training was focused on quality of life
outcome measurements and he strongly believes that improving an individuals’ quality of life is
the ultimate goal in medicine. As a chief resident, he was selected by his physician and nursing
peers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System to receive an Outstanding Clinician
Award for his dedication to patients, resident teaching, and collaborative spirit.

Dr. Stephen appreciates the privilege and monumental responsibility of taking care of patients
with neurosurgical diseases. His clinical focus is spinal trauma, spinal deformity, spinal tumors
and general neurosurgery. He strives to treat every patient as if they were a family member,
patiently listening to their goals and concerns, explaining the treatment options, and guiding
patients through the process to help them achieve the best possible outcome. Neurosurgical
patients face challenges requiring not only excellent medical care, but also compassionate and
collaborative care. Combining the precise, meticulous practice of neurosurgery with the art of
individualized medicine is a strength of Dr. Stephen’s and a calling he finds incredibly

When not working, Dr. Stephen enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, snowshoeing, and
appreciating nature with his wife, daughter, and dog.