Early on, Dr. Steven R. Isaacson desired to become a useful contributor to the wellbeing of others, and he sought to find a profession that allowed him to be among a pool of individuals who held the same interest. Deciding thereafter to pursue the field of medicine, he earned a Doctor of Medicine and went on to complete his surgical residency at the Abington Memorial Hospital (now known as Abington-Jefferson Health) in 1975. Shortly after, he completed an additional residency in otolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in 1978 and, after practicing as a head and neck surgeon from 1978 to 1985, he completed a residency in radiation oncology at the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in 1988.
Possessing dual certifications in head and neck surgery otolaryngology and in radiation oncology from the American Board of Otolaryngology and American Board of Radiology, respectively, Dr. Isaacson joined the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 1989 as a clinical professor of radiation oncology. Serving in his prestigious role for 30 years until attaining emeritus status, he also excelled as the co-director for the Center for Radiosurgery from 1989 to 1998 and co-director of the Gamma Knife Center from 1998 to 2015. Most notably, Dr. Isaacson is credited as the founder of one of the very first gamma knife centers in the United States and is one of the few twice-board certified radiation oncologists treating head and neck cancer at Columbia University.
Among his lauded achievements, Dr. Isaacson is most notable for developing a program for prosthodontists that serves to shield radiation from the oral cavity and for skin cancer, leveraging innovative appliances and devices. Alongside his primary pursuits, he has authored or co-authored a number of articles to prominent medical journals with respect to stereotactic radiosurgery, optic neuropathy, glioblastoma, gamma knife radiosurgery, brain cancer, and carcinoma of the pharynx and larynx.
A fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Isaacson was named one of America’s Top Doctors for Cancer by Castle Connolly from 2005 to 2013, having also been honored by Castle Connolly as among the Top Doctors in the New York Metropolitan Area between 2002 and 2014. Most recently, however, he was inducted into the Academy of Clinical Excellence through the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2019. He attributes his immense success to his personal discipline and tenacity.
Looking toward the future, Dr. Isaacson intends to continue mentoring others in his field and being a valuable resource to his former colleagues in their own pursuits for professional growth.