About John Shin, MD

Dr. John H. Shin is a board certified neurosurgeon at the MGH who specializes in complex spinal reconstruction surgery. He is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, having completed a combined orthopedic and neurosurgery spine surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. He also completed training in stereotactic spine radiosurgery and spine oncology. Dr. Shin operates using modern techniques in spine instrumentation and the latest advances in surgical technology and imaging. He is an international thought leader in complex spine surgery and is frequently invited by other physicians and spine surgeons to share his expertise and research discoveries. He is also a sideline neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League.

Dr. Shin's expertise is primarily in adult spinal deformity and spinal oncology. He specializes in the surgical treatment of cervical myelopathy, scoliosis, craniocervical disorders, cervical kyphosis and deformity, chin-on-chest deformity, thoracolumbar disorders, instrumentation failure, spinal revision surgery, lumbar stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.

In addition to complex spinal deformities, he treats the full range of cancers and tumors affecting the spinal column, both primary and metastatic. These include primary bone tumors such as chordoma, chondrosarcoma, and giant cell tumors, as well as tumors that metastasize to the spine from other organs. He works closely with multidisciplinary teams of medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists to provide comprehensive care for patients with these challenging tumors. He is an advocate for collaborative patient-centered care.

Dr. Shin leads a comprehensive spine research program within the MGH Dept of Neurosurgery that encompasses both clinical and basic science research. His clinical research team focuses on predictive analytics, spine surgery outcomes, spine surgery complications, and improving the quality of life of patients undergoing spine surgery. Together with his colleague Dr. Ganesh M. Shankar, he has developed a research laboratory that biobanks spinal tissue and studies the molecular features of various spinal conditions. The work done by his team has been presented around the world at professional society meetings and instructional courses.

Dr. Shin holds leadership positions in various societies, including the North American Spine Society and the AANS/CNS Spine Section.

Clinical Interests:



Neurosurgical Associates
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114-3117
Phone: 617-726-5252
Fax: 617-643-4680

Medical Education

  • MD, Chicago Medical School
  • Residency, University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

American Board Certifications

  • Neurosurgery, American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Neurosurgery, American Board of Neurological Surgery

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


  • View my most recent publications at PubMed

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    Shin JH, Benzel EC: Vertebral Metastases: Ventral and Dorsal Approach versus Lateral Extracavitary Transpedicular, in Jandial, Garfin, Ames, Deviren (eds): Best Evidence for Spine Surgery: 20 Cardinal Cases, 2012

    Shin JH, Angelov L: Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Spinal Metastases, in Benzel EC (ed): Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complications, and Avoidance Management, 3rd edition, 2012

    Shin JH, Chao ST, Angelov L: Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Spinal Metastases: Update on Treatment Strategies. J Neurosurg Sci (55)3:197-209, 2011

    Refai D, Shin JH, Iannotti C, Benzel EC: Dorsal Approaches to Intradural Extramedullary Tumors of the Craniovertebral Junction. J Craniovert Jun Spine 1(1):49-54, 2010

    Shin JH, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC, Krishnaney AA: Dorsal versus Ventral Surgery for Cervical OPLL: Considerations for Approach Selection and Review of Surgical Outcomes. Neurosurg Focus 30(3)E8, 2011

    Shin JH, Krishnaney AA: Idiopathic Ventral Spinal Cord Herniation: A Rare Presentation of Tethered Cord. Neurosurg Focus 29(1):E10, 2010

    Shin JH, Hoh DJ, Kalfas IH: Iliac Screw Fixation using Computer-Assisted CT Image Guidance: Technical Note. Neurosurgery, 2012

    Lubelski D, Abdullah KG, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Shin JH: Lateral Extracavitary, Costotransversectomy, and Transthoracic Thoracotomy Approaches to the Thoracic Spine: Review of Techniques and Complications, J Spinal Disord, 2012