Allan Hamilton

Professor, Neurosurgery

Clinical Professor, Radiation Oncology

Executive Director, Artificial Intelligence Simulation (AI-Sim)

Member of the Graduate Faculty

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor, Psychology

Regents Professor, Surgery

Allan Hamilton started his working life as a janitor. He would eventually go on to graduate from Harvard Medical School and complete his neurosurgical residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Hamilton holds four Professorships at the University of Arizona in Neurosurgery, Radiation Oncology, Psychology, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has been chosen by his neurosurgical peers as “One of America’s Best Doctors” for the last eighteen consecutive years and selected as “One of the Leading Intellects of the Twenty-First Century.” Dr. Hamilton has held positions as Chief of Neurosurgery, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Arizona. Dr. Hamilton now serves as Executive Director of the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center, a multi-disciplinary think-tank at the Arizona Health Sciences Center devoted to developing new technologies and training procedures to reduced preventable medical adverse events. He has authored more than twenty medical textbook chapters, fifty peer-review research articles, and has served on the editorial board of several medical journals. He is also a decorated Army officer who served in Operation Desert Storm. Dr. Hamilton's first book, The Scalpel and the Soul (2008,Tarcher/Penguin USA) was awarded the 2009 Nautilus Silver Award, which was conceived to recognize world-changing books. In 2012, his second book, Zen Mind, Zen Horse—The Science and Spirituality of Training Horses (2011, Storey Publishing) won the Nautilus Gold Award. Previous Nautilus Gold Award winners include Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His books have been translated into several languages. He has been the subject of two award-winning documentaries. The first is Playing with Magic which chronicles his work with horses and was directed by Emmy-award winning director, Wayne Ewing. The second, Consider the Conversation, reviews his advocacy for end-of-life care for terminally-ill patients and was recently featured on PBS. His equine work has been showcased on the NBC “Today” Show, ABC News, CNN, and PBS. He is a frequent guest on NPR, and has been featured in Western Horseman, Equus, and Horse & Rider. For the last several years Dr. Hamilton has served as medical script consultant on more than one hundred and fifty episodes of the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy and four seasons with Private Practice. His most recent book, Lead With Your Heart—Lessons from a Life With Horses is a collection of 112 on essays leadership, spirituality, and transformation was just published in the Fall of 2016.  2017 Silver Medal, 29th Annual Benjamin Franklin Awardfor Non-Fiction awarded by Independent Book Publishers Assoc. for Lead With Your Heart, N. Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2016; presented at Benson Hotel Ballroom, Portalnd, OR April 7, 2017 The Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, WHo's Who in American Science and Technology, February 22, 2017 Selected by the International Assoc. of Healthcare Professionals as one of the Leading Physicians of the World, New York City, NY; June 11, 2015 2015 Academy Medical Education Services Award, $5,000 Prize 2014 Best Film Documentary, Prescott, AZ & Aspen Film Festival, Playing With Magic, Ewing Productions, Carbondale CO, (Director Wayne Ewing; Producers Wayne Ewing and Allan Hamilton) Recipient, 2012 Vernon & Virginia Furrow Award for Academy of Medical Education             Scholars Grant in Simulation Selected as "One of America's Best Doctors" 2001-2015; 15th consecutive year Selected as “One of America’s Top Surgeons,” 2012-present, Consumers Research Council of America National Winner, 2011 Nautilus Gold Medal for Zen Mind, Zen Horse, a non-fiction  work “that change the world one book at a time.” Visiting Scholar-in-Residence, Thacher School, Ojai, CA April 22-24, 2012 Finalist, 2011 Books for Life, sponsored by Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York Times  Center, New York City, NY, March 12, 2012 2012 National Prize, Congressional Institute of Fire Safety, Award for Innovation in Training and Educational Technology, presented to Northwest Fire Department in Collaboration with the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center; award presented in US Capitol to delegation by Senator John McCain (R, Arizona), January 25, 2012               Distinguished Fellowship, Medical Institute for Innovation, Washington DC, Oct 31,        2011 Nautilus Silver Medal for The Scalpel and the Soul, a non-fiction work “that change  the world one book at a time,” 2009 Voted "One of Top Five Medical Speakers," Speakers Bureau, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2013-2014 Awarded Elite Speaker Status by Cunard’s Enlightenment Programme 2012-present Included in Who’s Who in American Science and Technology 2008-present Included in The Contemporary Who’s Who 2002-present Included in Strathmore’s Who’s Who 2003-present Honorary Associate, International Albert Schweitzer Foundation, United Nations, NY, 1990-present      Included in 2000 Outstanding Intellects of the 21st Century, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England Outstanding Research Faculty Mentor of the Year 2001 Elected to Scientific Board of Advisors New York University’s Re-Wired for Life, a non-profit organization for advancing Deep Brain Stimulation Included 10th Ed. International Directory of Distinguished Leadership 2001            Elected to Glioma Outcomes Project National Advisory Board, July 2001 Elected to Board of Directors, AANS and CNS Joint Section on Stereotactic & Functional Neurosurgery (4 year term July 1998-June 2002) Fellow, American College of Surgeons, Oct 10, 1996-present Robert G. Ojemann Award for Excellence in Neurosurgical Teaching (Upjohn Co.), 1994-95; 1995-96 International Lars Leksell Award for Pioneering Contribution to the field of Neurosurgery by a Young Neurosurgeon, 10th European Congress of Neurosurgery. Presented in Berlin, Germany, Awarded May 8, 1995 Bernard J. Cosman Award for Innovation, American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, presented Marina del Rey, CA, March 10, 1995 Dean's Teaching Scholar, University of Arizona College of Medicine, 1993 Biography in Military Surgical Heritage, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, 1991 Finalist, National United States Army Science Conference, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, 1988 National Institutes of Health Neurology & Neurosurgery Research Fellowship, 1983 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, International Albert Schweitzer Foundation, 1981 Cabot Prize, Best Senior Thesis in History of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 1982 Olsen Memorial Fellowship, National Masonic Medical Research Foundation, 1978

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses

AI, coding

Majors Considered


Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

January 2024

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location