Dr. Fehlings received his MD (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Toronto in 1983. Following training in general surgery at Queen’s University, Dr. Fehlings entered the University of Toronto Neurosurgical Residency Program. During his residency, he was one of the first surgeon scientist trainees at the University of Toronto to receive a Ph.D., which he attained in 1989 for his work on the pathophysiology and treatment of spinal cord injury, under the supervision of Professor Charles Tator. Dr. Fehlings became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1990 and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 2006. In 1991, he undertook a post-doctoral research fellowship at NYU Medical Center which was followed by a clinical spine fellowship under Dr. P. Cooper at NYU. Dr. Fehlings joined the Neurosurgical Staff at the Toronto Western Hospital in 1992. He is currently Professor in the Department of Surgery, full member of the Institute of Medical Sciences School of Graduate Studies, a Scholar in the McLaughlin Centre, a Scientist in the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, a Senior Scientist at the Toronto Western Research Institute, Co-Director of the University of Toronto Spine Program, Director of the Spinal Program at the Toronto Western Hospital, and Gerald and Tootsie Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and Regeneration at University Health Network. In January 2014, Dr. Fehlings was appointed as Vice Chair, Research in the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto.
His main clinical interests are in complex spinal neurosurgery, and he operates a vibrant translationally-oriented research program focused on discovering novel treatments for the injured brain and spinal cord.