I am first generation American, born in New York City in 1957 to German parents. My father’s side of the family were Jewish. Some of them had the insight to leave their worldly possessions behind and immigrate to New York in an effort to avoid persecution by the Nazi’s. Although many of my family died in the gas chambers, I am fortunate in that my father had the good judgment to immigrate to the US.
I worked in my father’s Butcher shop, the H. Oppenheimer Company, from age 13-17 while concurrently attending the Dwight Englewood High School in Englewood, NJ. I graduated sixth in my class in 1975. My interest was in Biology, which led to my becoming the first physician in our family. I graduated Cornell University cum laude with Bachelor of Arts in Neurobiology and Behavior. I received a Master of Arts degree with distinction from Georgetown University in Physiology and Biophysics in 1980 and completed my MD there in 1984.
In May of 1990 I completed my Residency training in Neurosurgery at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Hospital- the largest hospital in the US and the third largest in the world at the time. I am Board Certified in Neurosurgery since 1993 and I have been practicing 27 years.