David Hanscom, MD
Disclosures: I/we have no financial relationships to report.


David A. Hanscom, M.D

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Dr. David Hanscom is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in the surgical correction complex spine problems in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.  He has expertise in adult and pediatric spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis.  A significant part of his practice is devoted to performing surgery on patients who have had multiple prior spine surgeries.

Current Positions:

  • Orthopedic spine surgeon, Swedish Neuroscience Specialists, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • Co-director of the Swedish Neuroscience Specialists prehab program
  • Co-director of the Swedish Pre-op Optimization Project
  • Member of Best Doctors of America
  • Partner in Charter for Compassion


His medical degree is from Loma Linda University in 1979.  His residency training began with internal medicine in Spokane, WA from 1979-1981.  Orthopedic surgery training was at the University of Hawaii from 1981-1984.  He did an orthopedic trauma fellowship at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA.  His spinal deformity fellowship was completed in Minneapolis, MN at Twin Cities Scoliosis Center in 1986. He has been performing complex spinal surgery since 1986.

Structured Spine Care

Around 2001 he began to share his own stress management tools with his patients that were in pain but had no indications for surgery. He also had spent most of his career with rehabilitation physicians learning non-operative care. By 2006 a structured spine treatment protocol evolved. It was named the DOC project (Direct your Own Care). He has published a book, Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain that is the basis of the structured spine care program. He is now seeing many patients with surgical problems resolve their pain without undergoing an operation.

Other Projects

He is the founder of the Puget Sound Spine Society, which was formed in 1987.  It is a non-profit educational group, which provides a regional forum for physicians from multiple specialties to share ideas regarding optimum spine care.

Awake at the Wound is a process, which integrates athletic performance principles with the operating room. The emphasis is consistency of performance. He co-founded the program with his golf-instructor, David Elaimy, in 2006.  Burnout is an issue that does adversely affect physician performance in and out of the OR.  Teaching strategies to prevent and deal with it is a significant part of this effort.


Books in Progress

  • What You Should Know About Back Surgery: A Spine Surgeon’s Surprising Advice
  • The Curse of Consciousness
  • Awake at the Wound