PNA Spotlight: Dr. Steven Roper


roperThis month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Steven N. Roper, the surgical director of the University of Florida’s Neuroendocrine Program and Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. He did his undergraduate studies and earned his M.D. at Texas A&M. He moved on to an internship and residency in neurosurgery at UCLA. Dr. Roper was kind enough to answer a series of questions from the PNA. His answers follow.

What inspired you to choose your career path?

I was inspired to be a neurosurgeon early in my medical training because of the ability to make a large impact on patients’ lives with neurological diseases. I enjoyed the intellectual chalIenge of accurately diagnosing people with neurological and endocrine disorders and, in the process, better understanding how the brain works. I also enjoyed the technical challenges of working safely and effectively in a very sensitive area of the body.

What is the primary focus of your work/research?

My work is centered on providing optimal care for people with pituitary tumors. This includes perfecting the safest and most effective minimally invasive approaches to this area.

What do you consider to be the future of your field?

There will be improved safety and efficacy of pituitary surgery as technology for imaging and removing tumor in this area advances. We will achieve a better understanding of genetic abnormalities that result in pituitary tumors. Better medical therapies for people with Cushing’s disease and acromegaly will also be developed.

What should patients know about your field/what deserves more recognition/awareness?

The pituitary is a very small organ that controls many aspects of the rest of the entire body, including emotional and mental aspects of the person. It takes a team of skilled professionals pooling their expertise to provide optimal care for people with pituitary tumors. This includes Neurosurgeons, ENT specialists, endocrinologists, neuroradiologists, and neuroanesthesia specialists.

What would you like to convey about yourself to your patients?

I am totally committed to treating the entire person with pituitary tumors and disorders, in conjunction with my partners in ENT and endocrinology. I will provide the safest and most effective treatment for these tumors.

Why did you get involved with the PNA and what is the extent of your involvement?

I believe that PNA is the premiere service in the U.S. for putting important information in the hands of people with pituitary disorders and for helping to connect patients with the appropriate medical centers and specialists for their particular problem. This is especially important for pituitary tumors, since excellent outcomes have been shown to be directly linked with experience and expertise of the doctors providing care.