John O’Toole, MD, MS, has been named co-director of the neurosciences service line at Rush. He will serve as surgical director of the service line, working in partnership with James Conners, MD, MS, chairperson of the Department of Neurological Sciences, who serves as the service line’s medical director. Richard Byrne, MD, will continue in his role as chairperson of the Department of Neurological Surgery.
O’Toole currently serves as co-director of the Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Spine Tumor Clinic, a role he will continue. He specializes in spinal oncology, minimally invasive spine surgery, complex spinal reconstruction and spinal radiosurgery. His patients value him as a compassionate, skilled surgeon — a good listener who takes time to thoroughly explain treatment plans, risks, benefits and options. Among his peers, he is an intellectual leader in the field, known for the development and refinement of many devices and surgical techniques, including advanced methods for image-guided spinal surgery.
O’Toole is a prolific researcher and speaker who has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and abstracts. He has conducted extensive research assessing the clinical outcomes of spinal surgery, with a particular emphasis on patient-reported outcomes and quality-of-life measures after spinal cancer surgery. His clinical and research interests also include the cost effectiveness of spinal procedures and the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. He is a member of many national committees for neurosurgical, spinal surgical and independent research organizations, and serves as an editor or reviewer for a number of prominent neurosurgical and spinal surgery journals and publications.
After receiving his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, O’Toole completed a residency in neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of New York, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He later completed a fellowship in spinal surgery at the University of Chicago. He joined Rush University Medical center as an attending physician in 2006. In 2011, he received a Master of Science degree in clinical research from the Graduate College of Rush University.
O’Toole will collaborate with Conners to execute the vision of the neurosurgery and neurology programs, drive their strategic growth, and maintain the reputation, outstanding quality and superior outcomes that have long defined these top-ranked Rush programs.