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Donlin Martin Long

Portrait of Donlin Martin Long
Donlin Martin Long
Date: 2001
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 54.25 x 35.25 in.
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Donlin Martin Long


Long, the first director of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, was born in Rolla, Missouri. He attended Jefferson City Junior College from 1951 to 1952 before enrolling at the University of Missouri. He received his B.A. from that school in 1955. Long remained at the University of Missouri for his M.D., graduating from the medical school in 1959. Long then spent a year interning in the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis. After this, he returned to the University of Missouri to for a Ph.D. in neurosurgery and neuroanatomy, which he completed in 1964.

After working at the National Institutes of Health in the Branch of Surgical Neurology, Long was appointed chief of neurosurgery at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Hospital in 1967. Then, in 1973, he was recruited to Johns Hopkins to be the first director of the Division of Neurosurgery, when the division was made an independent section outside the umbrella of the Department of Surgery. Long held this post until 2000, when he stepped down to devote his time to research, education and patient care.

His areas of interest include pediatric neurosurgery, skull-base tumors, and the nature and treatment of spinal pain. Long was one of the pioneers of the use of electrostimulation for the treatment of back pain. He was instrumental in developing transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) for clinical practice and designed an implantable peripheral nerve stimulator to aid patients with severe spinal pain. Long founded the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Chronic Pain Clinic, which was funded by former patient, Dr. Morton Blaustein.

In 2010, Long retired from Johns Hopkins and opened a private clinical practice in Lutherville, Maryland, with emphasis on diagnosing spinal problems and treating them with non-operative measures. He also consults on issues of legal liability, product development and liability, medical education issues, neuroscience centers and operating room design.