Surgeries in Sarajevo, Fellowships in Memphis
Kenan Arnautovic, MD, PhD, FAANS, FACS
As I am originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, I have been
returning to my native country over the
last several years to do some charity
work and teaching. In the Balkans, I
soon recognized ( 1) the tremendous
interest for more spine education
among young spine surgeons and ( 2)
a need for equipment. I have also realized that we learn as much from our
friends abroad as we teach.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot
about international exchange and
education serving on international
committees of CNS and AANS. In addition, I enlisted help from the Bosnian
of Arts and Sciences, an organization of Bosnian-American
scientists, doctors, artists and professionals that I helped
Locally, my partners from Semmes-Murphey Clinic (Drs.
Left: Dr. Frederick Boop (left) and Dr. Kenan Arnautovic (right) position a patient for surgery at
the University Clinical center OR in Sarajevo. Right: Sagittal T2 weighted MRI of the patient’s
congenital spinal malformation before surgery.
Watridge, Boop, Arthur, Fernandez, Sorensen and Hoit) pro-
vided their support, encouragement and hands-on expertise.
Each has generously traveled to Bosnia with me at least once;
some have made the trip three or four times. (See story be-
By Kenan Arnautovic, MD, PhD, FAANS, FACS
Excerpted from The Commerical Appeal, Scripps Newspaper Group
We recently returned from another trip of the Semmes-Mur-
phey International Neurosurgery Outreach and Education
Program, having spent a week in Sarajevo, Bosnia. During
that week, we performed four complicated cervical spine
surgeries at the University Hospital of Sarajevo.
These trips are an excellent way of showing the generosity of the American people. The families of the patients are
thrilled to have their loved ones treated, which can mean
the difference in them being able to walk—or not. The wife
of one patient was so happy she even brought me some
homemade jerky to show her appreciation.
The surgeons donating their time and talent for these
trips are able to do so because of the broad support of
Semmes-Murphey and their team of surgeons, who pick up
the caseloads of those surgeons traveling abroad.
To date, trips have been made by Drs. Clarence Watridge,
Frederick Boop, Adam Arthur, Julius Fernandez and myself.
Several of us have gone many times. Those of us who make
these trips come back feeling blessed and with such satisfaction at being able to help in this war-torn country.