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Director of Peripheral Nerve Surgery Assistant Professor

New Patients/Referrals: 984-974-4175

“I want to personalize a patient’s treatment based on who they are.”

Dr. Mark Attiah, peripheral nerve surgery at UNC Health

Dr. Mark Attiah is a dual fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with clinical expertise in complex/ minimally invasive spine surgery and peripheral nerve surgery. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, he went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Columbia University. Dr. Attiah decided to take a year to teach science enrichment to underserved children in Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods of New York City.  He then attended the University of Pennsylvania where, in addition to a Doctorate in Medicine, he obtained a Master of Science focusing on Translational Research, creating a model of nerve reanimation. He also obtained Master of Bioethics degree with a focus on neuroethics.

Dr. Attiah went on to complete a residency in neurosurgery at University of California Los Angeles. During residency, he obtained a Master of Public Health from Harvard University with a focus on advanced statistics and clinical decision making. During his final year in residency, he completed an enfolded fellowship in complex spine surgery at Kaiser Permanente where he cross-trained with a plastic surgeon to learn peripheral nerve techniques. Dr. Attiah then pursued further subspecialty training  by completing a postgraduate fellowship in minimally invasive spine and peripheral nerve surgery at the University of Miami.

Dr. Attiah has extensive training in treating spinal conditions leading to back and neck pain, numbness and weakness including herniated disks, lumbar stenosis, sciatica, spine tumors, spinal deformity and scoliosis. He employs advanced techniques in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, including minimally invasive decompression and fusion, robotic spine surgery, and artificial disk replacement.

Dr. Attiah recognizes how scary the prospect of spine surgery is, and how confusing all the different types of spine surgery can be. “I tell patients, ‘Look, I’d prefer that you not need my services at all. I’d only operate if it’s absolutely necessary, and even then only in the safest and least invasive manner possible.’”

Dr. Attiah is also one of the few neurosurgeons in the country who specializes in the treatment of complex peripheral nerve disorders leading to extremity pain and weakness, including carpal tunnel, ulnar nerve compression, sciatic nerve compression,  peripheral nerve tumors, thoracic outlet syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, brachial plexus injury and peripheral nerve injury, and nerve transfers for restoring limb function. He uses techniques such as intraoperative ultrasound, electrical stimulation and endoscopy to treat patients.

Dr. Attiah’s research interests involve leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to design treatments that are individualized for each person. He aims “to personalize patient’s treatment based on who they are, ” he says, and intends to systematically improve this process in a fashion he describes as “getting better at getting better.”

When he’s not caring for patients, Dr. Attiah enjoys spending time with his wife and son, writing, watching films, listening to music, and traveling.

Director of Peripheral Nerve Surgery
Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery

Peripheral nerve surgery
Complex/minimally invasive spine surgery


Fellowship – Complex Spine and Peripheral Nerve, University of Miami, 2023
Fellowship – Complex Spine – Kaiser Permanente, 2022
Residency – Neurosurgery – University of California, 2022
M.P.H. Clinical Effectiveness – Harvard University, 2019
M.D. – University of Pennsylvania, 2015
M.S. — Translational Research — University of Pennsylvania, 2015
M.B.E. Bioethics – University of Pennsylvania, 2015
B.A. Neuroscience – Columbia University, 2009

American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
North American Spine Society

Charles Kuntz Scholar Award, 2019
Charles Kuntz Scholar Award, 2018
Harvard Central Grant, 2018
Russell J. Stumacher, MD Memorial Prize, 2015
Theodore Friedmann Prize, 2015
Edward Raffensperger Research Prize, 2014
AANS Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, 2011
Bellet Scholarship, 2011
Clinical Neuroscience Track Summer Research Fellowship, 2011
National Achievement Scholar, 2005

Neurological Surgery – Board Eligible

For recent publications, please visit Dr. Mark Attiah’s PubMed listing.

Mark Attiah, MD