About T. Barrett Sullivan, MD
T. Barrett Sullivan, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in surgical treatment of disorders of the spine. As a fellowship-trained spinal surgeon, Dr. Sullivan has expertise in treatment of degenerative conditions of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine as well as in spinal trauma, tumors, and complex reconstructive procedures for spinal deformity.
He is part of comprehensive spine care at UC San Diego Health, recognized by the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery (ACSS), an honor that is based on a health care organization's commitment to providing safe and excellent care, and advancing patient outcomes.
Dr. Sullivan believes in maximizing non-operative management whenever possible and recommends surgical intervention only after conservative measures have failed or become unsafe to continue. He believes in minimizing surgical treatment, optimizing patient recovery, and utilizing minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.
Dr. Sullivan is passionate about patient education. He finds his career most rewarding when he is able to help patients understand their condition, manage their symptoms, and get back to doing the things that they love doing.
As an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Sullivan is active in the training and education of medical students, residents, and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Sullivan is engaged in the academic community having authored many peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and having presented research at conferences and meetings both domestically and internationally.
Dr. Sullivan completed his spinal surgery fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and his residency in orthopedic surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine where he carried out a one-year research fellowship focused on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, received the Resident Research Award, and served as administrative chief resident. He attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, earning his medical degree and graduating as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and with honors with distinction in research. Dr. Sullivan completed his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering with distinction from Duke University.
When he is not practicing medicine, he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, following college football and basketball, and staying active by playing golf, running, and hiking.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Orthopedics.
- Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
- UC San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA
- Rush University, Chicago, IL
Date Joined Staff
- American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Conditions and Treatments
- Spinal Trauma
- Spinal Tumors
- Spinal Deformity
- Spinal Disorders
- Cervical Spine Trauma
- Cervical Spine Tumor
- Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Disorders
- Minimally and Less Invasive Approaches for Complex Spinal Deformity and Trauma
- Spinal Reconstruction for Complex Spinal Deformity and Tumors
- Orthopedic Spine Care