Dr. Franklin Slaughter, Jr. was the first trained neurosurgeon to practice in Augusta. After training in Virginia and Boston, he joined the staff at the University Hospital in Augusta in 1937. When a brain abscess took his life just four years later, Dr. Wilford Risteen was recruited as his replacement. World War II and the Korean War pulled Dr. Risteen into periodic active duty and a permanent neurosurgeon did not begin to function in Augusta until 1951, when Dr. Louis O. J. Manganiello replaced Dr. Risteen, practicing in Augusta until his retirement in 1988. Both were conservative surgeons, but introduced diagnostic techniques developed during the thirties and forties, including pantopaque myelograms, ventriculograms, pneumoencephalograms and, in later years, angiograms. Dr. Risteen became well known for his stellate ganglion blocks, a procedure popular in his day.

Dr. Pomeroy Nichols joined Dr. Manganiello as a preceptor in 1952 and became known as the "Dean of Neurosurgery" at the University Hospital. Rapid advances in neuroscience and a growing need for neurosurgeons brought 2 more neurosurgeons to the Augusta area, Drs. Kenneth Carrington and Ernest Daniels.

When the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University opened its own hospital in 1955, Dr. Charles Moretz was appointed Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and he appointed Dr. George Smith as Chief of Neurosurgery in 1956. Dr. Smith was well known for his efforts to treat tic douloureux medically as well as for leading in the development of an anterior approach to cervical discectomy and for developing the first power driven cranial perforator. Dr. Smith was a dynamic individual who attracted large numbers of patients and housestaff. Under his direction, an approved training program was organized, which rapidly replaced University Hospital as the primary teaching hospital in Augusta. Dr. Ernest Daniels was the first trainee to complete the program.

In 1964 Dr. Smith, his wife and his mother, died in a plane crash. Dr. Marshall Allen was recruited from his position as Chief of Neurosurgery at the VA: Jackson, MI. to continue what Dr. Smith had begun. Through Dr. Allen's leadership, the program grew in numbers of cases, staff and, indeed, national recognition before he retired in 1996 after 29 1/2 years in that roll.

During Dr. Allen's tenure, the most significant advancements were in (1) strengthening of the academic program, (2) streamlining Resident medical education in Augusta to become the exclusive responsibilities of the Medical College and the Veterans Administration Hospitals, and (3) developing areas of special neurosurgical interest, i.e. vascular, pediatric, spinal, and functional neurosurgery. The strongest of these areas was doubtlessly FunctionaI Neurosurgery, headed by Dr. Herman Flanigan, who joined the faculty in 1982 and remained active until his retirement in 1992. Dr. Joseph Smith trained in the area under the tutorship of Dr. Flanigin and directed that service until his retirement in 2008. Dr. Cole Giller, recruited from Baylor in 2009, headed that service until 2018. It was at the time of Dr. Allen's retirement that the neurosurgical service at the Dwight David Eisenhower Medical Center was moved into the VA Hospital and became an integral part of AU neurosurgical service and training program.

Upon Dr. Allen's retirement, Dr. Dennis McDonnell became chief of the service for five years after which Dr. Mark Lee was appointed chief. Under his leadership, the service grew stronger and expanded to the point that the service was awarded Departmental Status in 2002. In 2008, Dr. Cargill Alleyne, Jr. assumed the chairmanship of our rapidly growing department. Dr. Alleyne's talents as a cum laude Yale Medical College of Georgia, and his fellowship training with Dr. Robert Spetzler at the Barrow Neurological Institute make him particularly valuable as neurosurgery is negotiating to expand even further by incorporating services at other hospitals.  Cargill Alleyne served as chair of the department until October of 2018.  

In February of 2019, Fernando L. Vale, MD was appointed Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at what is now known as the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  That same year, we also welcomed Dr. Alexander Post, specializing in spine surgery, skull base surgeon, Martin Rutkowski, MD, spine surgeon, Michel Pare, and pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Todd Maugans.  These surgeons, along with Drs. John Vender, Dion Macomon, and Scott Rahimi complete the current neurosurgery department.