Derrick Cho, MD, recently joined the Spine & Neuro Center, specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery, cranial and peripheral nerve treatments, and spine/brain trauma. Dr. Cho is board certified with more than 10 years of experience. Dr. Cho received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he also completed a General Surgery Internship followed by a six-year Neurosurgical Residency in 2009.
Why did you decide to become a physician?
My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer during my senior year in high school and passed away about six months later. During that short period of time, we encountered a vast array of health care team members, most of whom were great. I remember the feelings of admiration and being awe-inspired by some of the physicians. Just a few weeks before I moved away from mom’s house for college, my goals and aspirations started to take form.
Why did you decide to practice in Huntsville?
In 1987, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Space Camp as a 5th grader. Fourteen years later, I performed my medical school clinical rotations in Huntsville Hospital. Another 14 years passed, and when the opportunity became available to come back to Huntsville, it was the perfect fit.
What do you like best about Huntsville/North Alabama/the South?
Huntsville appears to be a modern, progressive city with a well-educated population — similar to, albeit smaller than Denver, where my wife and I had lived and worked for 5 years. The unbeatable advantage that Huntsville has over Denver is that my wife’s family, as well as my mom, all live in Alabama, within driving distance — not to mention the proximity to the beach.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy traveling, ping-pong, music, as well as regular exercise. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, including outdoor sports and activities.
What is the best advice you have ever received and from whom?
James 1:19, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
During football season who do you cheer for?
Alabama Crimson Tide and Denver Broncos
What is the best thing about being a doctor?
The honor and privilege that comes with providing care for patients, often times when they are most vulnerable. It’s hard to beat the feeling you have when the ultimate outcome is a significant improvement in a patient’s quality of life.
If you were not a physician, what would you want to be?
A high school football coach and/or teacher.