Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

David Hanscom MD


Dr. David Hanscom is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in the surgical correction of complex spinal deformity such as scoliosis and kyphosis. Much of his practice was devoted to performing surgery on patients who had undergone multiple prior spine surgeries.

He quit his surgical practice in 2019 to pursue teaching patients and medical providers how to solve chronic pain. There are well-documented effective solutions for chronic pain that need to be brought into mainstream medicine. He has published several books and is developing resources for patients and providers to make the best decisions about their care with regards to chronic disease.

The main resource and action plan for healing is presented in The DOC Journey (Direct your Own Care). It consists of a series of emails, webinars, Q&A sessions, and instructional videos. It will be anchored with an app that will be available this Fall.

His books are:

Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control with a Surgeon’s Advice (2019)

Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain, 2nd edition (2016)

Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain (2012)

Structured Spine Care

Since 2006, he has employed a structured spine treatment protocol evolved from his medical expertise and his own experience escaping from chronic pain. His book, Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain, presents the foundation of the program. His website,, provides an overview of his efforts and educational resources. The action plan is presented in The DOC Journey. Even patients with surgical problems often experience resolution of their pain without an operation. His most recent book, Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? combines the anatomical factors with the state of the nervous system and enables all parties to make a good decision about undergoing spine surgery.

Until the end of 2018, Dr. Hanscom was co-director of Swedish Neuroscience Specialists Spine Fellowship, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA. He received his medical degree from Loma Linda University in 1979 and completed residencies in internal medicine and orthopedic surgery. He did an orthopedic trauma fellowship at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA; a spinal deformity fellowship in Minneapolis, MN, and has been performing complex spinal surgery since 1986.

He founded the Puget Sound Spine Society in 1987 as a regional forum for physicians from multiple specialties to share ideas regarding optimum spine care. He co-founded Awake at the Wound, a program that applies athletic performance principles to the surgeon and OR staff to prevent professional burnout. His program Optimizing Physician Performance has been incorporated into the core training for the fellows and residents.

Recent Posts