Dr. Schmidt is a neurosurgeon with specialized expertise in spine surgery and neuro-oncology. His main clinical focus is on management of patients with tumors and injuries to the brain, spine and spinal cord. In addition, because of his expertise in minimally invasive and endoscopic surgical techniques, he sees complex patients with degenerative spine disease including thoracic disc herniation and patients requiring microsurgery for spinal cord decompression in the neck and back. Dr. Schmidt's clinic sees patients using a team approach to maximize patient centered informed decision making and aims to continuously improve the quality of care provided.
Dr. Schmidt’s research interests include investigating the benefits of minimally invasive spinal surgery for metastatic tumors, and the development of health outcome and quality of care measures. He is internationally known for his role in establishing a new thoracoscopic spine surgery technique for tumors and fractures.
Dr. Schmidt also has a longstanding basic science and clinical research interest in Fluorescence and Photodynamic Therapy research for brain, pituitary and spinal tumors. Both techniques apply light source (like a laser) and combine it with light-sensitive substances (photosensitizer) to image and treat tumors via the photochemical (dynamic) reaction. He was able to attract funding from many prestigious sponsors including the American Cancer Society and NASA. In April of 2000, the NASA Space Technology Hall of Fame awarded him the Space Technology Research Award for his work using LED technology in the treatment of cancer with photodynamic therapy. His research and clinical work have resulted in over 170 peer reviewed manuscripts, chapters and books. Due to his expertise and publication record, he is a sought after Visiting Professor at many prestigious national and international academic institutions.
Dr. Schmidt is also a dedicated teacher and is actively involved in the education of residents and fellows in spine and neurological surgery. He has trained many national and international trainees from Germany, Switzerland and Mexico. In 2014, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Neurosurgery residents from the University of Utah.
Dr. Schmidt graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. He then received his Medical Degree with Honors in Research for his work in Photodynamic Therapy from the Medical College of Wisconsin. After that, he completed a neurosurgical residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Schmidt received funding through the National Institutes of Health Training Grant for fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco. There he completed back to back fellowships in Neuro-oncology and Spinal Surgery at the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center and the Department of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Schmidt also completed an executive MBA at David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.