Dr. Roger H. Ostdahl is a renowned neurological surgeon throughout the State of Pennsylvania who dedicated more than 30 years to the practice of medicine. He was inspired to enter medicine by his late uncle, Dr. Richard DeWall, who notably invented the DeWall bubble oxygenator, thus allowing the development of open-heart surgery at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Ostdahl subsequently served as an exchange student to Switzerland with the American Field Service and earned a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University in 1969. Continuing his studies, he received an MD from the university in 1973 and went on to excel as an assistant resident in general surgery and neurological surgery, as well as a chief resident in neurosurgery at the Duke University Medical Center.
At the inception of his career in 1979, Dr. Ostdahl was a clinical instructor of surgery at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. He escalated to the rank of clinical assistant professor of surgery in 1988. During this time, he served as a neurological surgeon at several hospitals, including the Polyclinic Hospital, Holy Spirit Hospital, Harrisburg Hospital and Carlisle Hospital between 1979 and 2009. While at Holy Spirit Hospital, Dr. Ostdahl was also chief of neurosurgery for five years and later chairman of the Surgical Quality Assessment Committee at the Polyclinic Medical Center for four years. From 2008 until his retirement in 2011, he was a neurological surgeon at Pinnacle Health Systems in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and National Board of Medical Examiners, Dr. Ostdahl has presented at myriad symposia and conferences between 1971 and 2010. He has also contributed articles to medical journals and chapters to books, including a chapter to “Neurosurgery” in 1985 and “The Drez Operation” in 1996. Civically involved, he was a volunteer for the World Surgical Foundation in 2012 and 2013, as well as a neurological coordinator for the Think First Program from 1988 to 1994.
To attest to his success, Dr. Ostdahl has received numerous accolades. The recipient of the Merck Index Award in 1969, he also earned a Physicians Recognition Award from the American Medical Association and was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha and the Order of Hippocrates. In 1971, he received a Duke Endowment Scholarship in Community Health Sciences.
Post-retirement, Dr. Ostdahl has contributed greatly to the World Wildlife Fund, emphasizing his passion for preserving wildlife and the environment. He is immensely proud of his family, including his two daughters, Maggie and Shannon. He also has three grandchildren: Tyler, Austin and Sawyer.