About:

Independent evaluations of complex cases

Dr. Zünkeler is a board-certified neurosurgeon who maintains a conveniently located office in the Baltimore-Washington area, where he has been in clinical practice since 1997. He currently maintains hospital staff affiliations with The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Dr. Zünkeler focuses his clinical practice on diagnostic and palliative treatment of patients with neurosurgical conditions that affect the brain and spine. He also provides second opinions for patients who are interested in confirmation of or alternatives to proposed treatment. If you are interested in seeing Dr. Zünkeler as a treating physician, please see our regular practice website for additional details.

In addition to providing patient care, Dr. Zünkeler performs independent medical evaluations (IMEs) either in person or, in certain situations and for persons physically located in Maryland only, via telemedicine (i.e. remotely via Microsoft Teams video and audio); provides record reviews; and contributes to the administrative management of complex cases by insurance, health-care, government, and legal professionals.

With 20+ years of clinical experience in independently evaluating neurosurgical cases with regard to causation and standard of care , Dr. Zünkeler is familiar with the operative and nonoperative treatment and complication management of neurosurgical conditions in both outpatient and hospital settings. For additional details, please refer to his curriculum vitae.

The following aspects of neurosurgery are of particular interest to Dr. Zünkeler and a common focus of record reviews and IMEs:

  • indications for and complications of spinal surgery,
  • nonoperative treatment and treatment alternatives to surgery,
  • trauma and chronic degenerative conditions of the spine,
  • mild-to-moderate head injuries with postconcussion syndrome (including headaches and impairment of cognitive function), and
  • severe impairment and disability after catastrophic injuries to the brain and spine
  • chronic functional impairment and disability of the brain and spine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, as a certified life care planner (CLCP), Dr. Zünkeler is available to provide dynamic structured assessments of future care needs and costs and life care plans.

In providing professional services, Dr. Zünkeler strives to abide by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Rules for Neurosurgical Medical/Legal Expert Opinion Services, the AANS Code of Ethics, and the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Statement on Ethics in Neurosurgery. Over the past 20+ years, Dr. Zünkeler has provided expert neurosurgical consultation and testimony services to legal professionals representing both plaintiffs and defendants.

Our Notice of Privacy Practices and our Office Policy pertain mostly to patients who are seen for regular treatment purposes. An examinee who is seen for an IME (see Examination) will additionally need to provide his or her consent for IME. The IME consent document explains the differences between a treatment-patient visit and an IME, e.g. the nature of the non-treatment patient-physician relationship and the distribution of IME reports. The IME consent document also explains how an examinee can obtain a copy of the IME report. An examinee who is seen for a life care plan evaluation (see Management) will need to provide consent for life care plan evaluation.