Photo by Kent Kriegshauser

Christopher J. DeWald, M.D. ’83 is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal deformity and scoliosis in pediatric and adult patients at Rush University Medical Center. In addition to being a member of Rush’s Department of Neurosurgery, he is also a member of a number of professional organizations and has lectured nationally and internationally on advanced spinal surgery techniques. DeWald was voted among the top 10 to 15 percent of doctors in America by U.S. News and World Report and Castle Connolly, a high-quality reference guide to the medical profession.

During winter and summer breaks, DeWald has hosted numerous clinical shadowing experiences for Knox students pursuing a career in medicine. These opportunities have allowed students to work with medical staff and engage with patients, providing real-world opportunities to learn more about caring for patients.

Why did you choose to attend Knox?

I started my career at the University of Illinois, where both my parents attended. When I submitted my paperwork to transfer to Knox, they remembered my name and still had my application from when I applied to Knox years before. That kind of welcoming, personal feeling is what really stood out. My experience here was so much different.

What are some of the highlights of your medical career?

I work on complex spinal disorders. A large percentage of my work is with teenagers with scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine. I take pride in being able to take care of cases that other people don’t like to take. It can be a challenge, which is why I continue doing it. I’ll be 62 this year and I have no plans of retiring anytime soon.

It’s very rewarding taking care of these patients. Many of them have been rejected for care. When I am able to take care of them, they become patients for life. Even from across the countries, I’ll get updates on them. My career has been very rewarding because of my personal connection with those patients.

I’ve traveled around the country giving talks about scoliosis alongside other doctors. I’ve even operated in other countries. It’s been a fulfilling career. I think the foundation of it all was made at Knox and I’m thankful for that.

Watch a video interview with Christopher.