Dr. Lee Warren is a board-certified neurosurgeon and a retired major of the United States Air Force. He was only the second U.S. Air Force neurosurgeon to be deployed to a wartime hospital since the Vietnam War, performing combat brain and spinal surgery during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He practices at Advantage Orthopedics and Neurosurgery, providing comprehensive care of the brain and spine.
He received a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 1991 and remembers taking his oath in the recruitment office while televisions showed images of the United States jets bombing Iraq in the first Gulf War.
In addition to graduating from the Commissioned Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, Dr. Warren also completed the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Primary Course at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1995 and received his neurosurgery training at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh after serving as Chief Resident in 2001.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he deployed to Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany and Balad Air Base in Iraq where he cared for both American and enemy soldiers and some Iraqi children with non-combat injuries and conditions.
“You got used to being mortared, you got used to being shot at, you got used to terrorists blowing somebody up and having to deal with taking care of both the American and the guy who hurt them,” he said. “But it was really hard to get used to just not having enough blood, platelets or something else and actually having to decide if the person in front of you is going to die because you do not have enough resources. That was the hardest part.”
He chronicled his experiences in the Amazon best-selling book, “No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon’s Long Journey Home from the Iraq War” and was interviewed on NPR’s popular podcast Snap Judgment.
After serving the country for 14 years, he retired as chairman of neurosurgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He is founder of the Air Force’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Management Center and the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery. He also served as Director of Cerebrovascular, Skull Base, and Neurotrauma Surgery.
Dr. Warren most recently operated his private practice, Auburn Spine and Neurosurgery Center, in Auburn, Ala.
He specializes in the minimally invasive treatment of back and neck pain, brain tumors, brain and spinal cord trauma and disorders, aneurysms, facial pain and movement disorders, and peripheral nerve problems. He is fellowship trained in epilepsy surgery. He holds two U.S. patents for minimally invasive surgical equipment and has brought numerous high-impact medical devices to the world through Warren Innovation, Inc., a medical technology incubator he co-founded with his wife, Lisa Warren.
He and his wife have five children. In his spare time, he is a songwriter, author and podcaster. He writes and podcasts about the influence of neuroscience on mental wellness and personal development at his website, www.wleewarrenmd.com.