Paul Steinbok, BSc MB BS FRCSC

Professor Emeritus (2020)

Dr. Paul Steinbok


Dr. Paul Steinbok is Head Emeritus of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Professor Emeritus, Department of surgery, University of British Columbia (UBC). He was born in Barbados, West Indies, and obtained his medical training at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and a honors degree in Physiology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. This was followed by an internship in Toronto and a residency in neurosurgery in Vancouver at UBC. Dr. Steinbok became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in Neurosurgery in 1977. Thereafter he was awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada research fellowship to the University of North Carolina and Duke University in North Carolina for studies in brain tumors. He returned to Vancouver and has been practicing as a neurosurgeon in Vancouver since March 1979. In 1981, Dr. Steinbok was certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Since 1985, he has limited his practice to pediatric neurosurgery. In 1996 he was certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Steinbok is recognized internationally as a leader in pediatric neurosurgery. He has been on the executive of the Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgery (AANS/CNS), the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons (ASPN) and the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ISPN), of which he was the President from 2011-2012.

Dr. Steinbok was Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at British Columbia Children’s Hospital (BCCH) from June 1984 to December 2012 and, in that role, he built one of the most respected and recognized Pediatric Neurosurgical Clinical and Academic programs in the world. He is listed in the International Directory of Distinguished Leadership. Dr. Steinbok has been recognized for his excellence in clinical neurosurgery by being listed in the Best Doctors in America and Canada. In 2002 he was appointed to the advisory board of Best Doctors in Canada.

Academically Dr. Steinbok was a full Professor at the University of British Columbia, in the Department of Surgery and is now Professor Emeritus. Dr. Steinbok has published over 200 original articles in peer reviewed journals on many topics in pediatric neurosurgery. An area of particular research interest was the outcomes after selective dorsal rhizotomy for the treatment of spasticity in cerebral palsy, a procedure that he was the first to do in Canada in 1987. Other areas of major interest included epilepsy surgery, Moya-Moya disease, craniosynostosis, tethered cord syndrome and techniques for limiting blood loss and blood transfusions in neurosurgical procedures in children.

In addition, he facilitated many research endeavours locally, nationally and internationally. He led and completed multicenter studies on epilepsy surgery and thalamic tumors in Canada and international studies on tethered cord syndrome and calvarial Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. In 2012, he received the UBC Dept. of Surgery Richard J. Finley Senior Investigator Award in recognition of his research activities.

Dr Steinbok has been a highly rated teacher in the UBC Division of Neurosurgery and has received several awards for teaching excellence, including the A.D. Forward Postgraduate Faculty Teaching Award from the department of Surgery, UBC, in recognition of outstanding teaching acclaimed by surgical residents. He established a Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship training program, which was the 1st Fellowship training program in Neurosurgery at UBC in Vancouver. He has trained 30 fellows from all over the world, some of whom he continues to mentor. He brought together his past fellows to create the Vancouver Pediatric Neurosurgery Group, which successfully completed two multicenter international studies, one on cerebellar mutism and the other on Moya Moya disease. Through his fellows and other trainees, he has improved the care of children with pediatric neurosurgical disorders not only in Canada and the United States, but in every continent.