While attending University of Florida College of Medicine, (soon-to-be) Dr. Mitchell Supler found he enjoyed studying neuroscience, which is the study of the intersection of the brain and spinal cord. But it wasn’t until after doing a rotation in neurology that he came to understand that neurosurgery was the best avenue for him. As he put it, it felt like he could do the most good by helping correct medical issues at the source.
Dr. Supler graduated from UF with honors and received the Lyerly Award for Excellence in Neurosurgery. Today, he’s the director of the NeuroSpine Center of Excellence at Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital – the only Joint Commission-certified spine surgery program in Central Florida – and the internationally recognized Masson Spine Institute (MSI) in Ocoee.
At MSI, Dr. Supler works with fellow UF medical school student and friend, Dr. Robert Masson. Using minimally invasive microsurgery innovations that Dr. Masson created, artificial disc replacement surgery and other surgical protocols, Dr. Supler is humbled by the amount of people he’s been able to help at MSI.
“It’s pretty dramatic to see a patient who has been on large doses of medication and using a walker for years, within minutes after a procedure, be able to walk without pain,” he says.
As an avid golfer, Dr. Supler has taken a special interest in working with amateur golfers and other “weekend warrior” athletes to help them return to the sport they love. He has been a frequent guest speaker on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio program “Inside the Ropes.” He says that sometimes bad body mechanics and repetitive rotary motions, such as those used in one’s golf swing, can result in disc herniation and/or nerve pain.
“I see lumbar and neck issues over and over in golfers,” Dr. Supler explains. “I love it when I can help a golfer get back in the game.”
In fact, Dr. Supler is certified by Titleist Performance Institute to assess golfers’ movement patterns to ensure they’re using best golf health and fitness practices when they play. But surgery and golf isn’t all that Dr. Supler is about. He’s also a drummer, who started playing concert drum in junior high before moving up to a drum set in high school. While he isn’t in a band currently, he still enjoys listening to rock, jazz and fusion.
As vaccination numbers increase during the pandemic, Dr. Supler looks forward to enjoying live music again. Until then, he and his 11-year-old cat, a British shorthair named Cabernet, will just enjoy listening to the Beatles over a nice steak and maybe a glass of wine.
Fun Facts about Dr. Supler
Favorite Band: The Beatles
Favorite Meal: Filet mignon, creamed spinach and a baked potato.
Words to Live By: “It’s not enough to be understood, it’s more important to be not misunderstood.”
Favorite Concert: Santana “There was an entire percussion section with a rock drummer, a conga player and a timbale player. They played for three hours.”
Current Book: “The Last Days of John Lennon” by James Paterson