The Doctors

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Neurological Surgeon

Dr. Peter Sylvester

Dr. Sylvester joined St. Louis Minimally Invasive Spine Center in 2021.  A native of New York, Dr. Sylvester was an aviation technician in the US Navy, performing component and radar system troubleshooting on some of the most complex fighter jets in the world.  After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. 

Dr. Sylvester attended medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk Virginia.  He then completed his residency in Neurological Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the pre-eminent neurosurgical training programs in the country. During his residency, Dr. Sylvester also obtained additional degrees including a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, and a Master of Health Administration.  Dr. Sylvester’s clinical practice is focused on complex and minimally invasive spinal surgery, as well as general neurosurgery including surgical treatment of brain tumors and aneurysms.   

Dr. Peter Sylvester
Dr. Peter Sylvester in surgery

I am a neurosurgeon that provides care for both spinal and cranial disorders. My path to a career in neurosurgery is difficult to follow, even for me.  It began in upstate New York, working with my father after high school.  He was a foundryman and welder, I helped with odd jobs and learned some of the trade.  Other jobs followed, but these were less charming.  I joined the Navy at 22 and became a fire control RADAR mechanic for jets stationed on aircraft carriers.  When not deployed I attended community college, taking courses in electrical engineering.  After my 5-year enlistment I enrolled at the University of Virginia and completed an bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.  I completed my medical training at Eastern Virginia Medical School while drilling in the Army National Guard.  I spent an extra year during medical school completing a master’s degree in clinical research methods.  I completed neurosurgery residency here in St. Louis at Washington University, during which I also completed a master's degree in healthcare administration.

I became a physician because I am passionate about helping people and their families through difficult times in their lives.  I chose surgery because the engineer and technician in me deeply enjoys using technical skills to solve problems.  I was introduced to neurosurgery in medical school through clinical research projects, and fell in love with the anatomy, complexity, and community.


Model of a spine with doctors
Man having back pain

Dr. Peter Sylvester

Training & Education

My patient care philosophy has developed during training and has been colored by my experiences.   Above all, patients must be treated with compassion and respect.  My goal is to be their doctor, advocate, and educator - with an extra emphasis on education.  I am determined to make sure everyone completely understands the plan at all stages of care, and that patients and their families share in  decision making.   My goal is to use my years of research experience and training in process improvement to optimize the experience for my patients.

I am thrilled to join Kurt and Robert here at the St. Louis Minimally Invasive Spine Center.   I think my personality and practice style will fit right in here in South County.  I promise to provide high quality and honest care, you can count on that.

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