Steven Garfin, MD, is a board-certified and world-renowned orthopedic surgeon specializing in the adult spine. He is consistently elected as a top doctor in San Diego Magazine’s “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence" annual survey performed in collaboration with the San Diego County Medical Society.
Dr. Garfin performs reconstructive spine surgery and provides treatment for people with adult scoliosis, back and neck pain, sciatica, spinal cord injuries, spinal trauma, and other spinal conditions and diseases. He has been involved in the design and assessment of new surgical techniques and instrumentation to treat spinal disorders. These include lumbar and cervical anterior plating systems, kyphoplasty to treat painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures, artificial discs, and biologic alternatives to bone grafts. His work has contributed to the development of current international standards in surgical care of the spine.
Dr. Garfin served as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for 21 years. As interim dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Garfin provides oversight for all academic and clinical departments, as well as the research units. In this role, he also oversees the school’s educational mission, provides leadership to all School of Medicine councils, and collaborates with the other deans across UC San Diego.
Dr. Garfin has received multiple awards for research, teaching, and clinical care. He has published more than 300 articles, authored 145 book chapters, and edited 21 books.
He completed his fellowship in disorders of the spine at Pennsylvania Hospital. Dr. Garfin earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is board certified in general orthopedics.
Dr. Garfin is a member of most national and international spine societies, including American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, Cervical Spine Research Society, North American Spine Society, the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, and more. For several of these societies he has served as president, board member, or program chairman.