Dr. Alvis, board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1997, grew up on a farm in Shelby Co., Alabama and graduated from Berry High School, 1977, now known as Hoover High School, and the recent (2006) ESPN special on their football team. While there, he most enjoyed chemistry, physics, mathematics.
He attendeed Auburn University 1977-1982. While at Auburn, he minored in mathematics and languages, specifically Russian and sign language (AMSL). However, he also much enjoyed physical chemistry and pharmacokinetics. He worked his way through school, primarily working via the Federal work-study program in the Chemistry Department and received a BS Degree Chemistry in 1982, as that was apparently the only way to get him out of the building.
Having a keen interest in pharmacokinetics, and not wanting to get a real job, he moved to the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) where he enrolled in the graduate school in Biomedical Engineering. How the decision on engineering was made remains fuzzy to this day, as he had never having had a single course in Engineering. He focused on mathmetical modeling of biological systems and pharmakokinetics and took as few classes on concrete as possible. However, he needed a job, and a young cardiac anesthesiologist and researcher at UAB, Dr. Jerry Reves, had this crazy notion of having a computer control his dosing of narcotics during cardiac surgery. While Dr. Reves was a brilliant clinician, he did not know Jack about computers and less about mathematical modeling and thus he was directed to Mike Alvis, a very young, naive and hungry graduate student. Dr. Reves soon moved to Duke University as the Chairman of Cardiac Anesthesia and Mike Alvis followed. He eventually graduated with a Masters of Biomedical Engineering from UAB, despite much of the time he was "on-loan" at Duke. His thesis "Computer Assisted Continuous Infusion of Fentanyl during Cardiac Anesthesia" won rave reviews by the 5 or 6 people that read it, most of those on his thesis committee. Again, the problem of a real job loomed on the horizon, and not wanting to be an engineer ( yes, begs the ? why Biomedical Engineering in the first place, but again, the decision to goto Graduate school still remains a mystery), his new Mentor, and now lifelong friend, Dr. Reves, pointed him towards medical school. He agreed to apply and was accepted at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Dr. Reves stayed at Duke for another decade, becomming chairman of Department of Anesthesia, The Duke Heart Center, and is Currently the Dean of College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (http://www2.musc.edu/COM/Med_Student_Edu_Head.htm ).
Dr. Alvis attended the University of South Alabama Medical School from 1984-1988, and while there developed few friends and picked up the nickname "mongoose". He met up with Dr reves again @ Duke when he did rotations there in anesthesia and research under Dr. Reves. ( These Duke experiences, plus the fact that Dr. Alvis was a patient @ Duke in his childhood for severe Asthma, has made Dr. Alvis a avid Duke Basketball Fan (www.goduke.com ) despite living in Norman, Oklahoma). He also did 4 months of rotations during medical school in Brisbane, Australia. His experiences in the OUTBACK and 31 days living on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef, diving, has allowed Dr. Alvis to live more relaxed life.
After medical school, Dr Alvis did his general surgery internship at Carraway Methodist Hospital Birmingham, Alabama. He had originally planned to be a general surgeon, but soon became enamored with Neurosurgery and eventually quit general surgery. Dr. Alvis performed his neurosurgery residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, and his Spine Fellowship at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Alvis has had his neurosurgery practice, Norman Neurosurgical, since March 1995 in Norman, Oklahoma. His practice specializes in spinal instrumentation and disorders of the spine.
Dr. Alvis is married to Whitney Ruth Beard Alvis, who is a Tax and Estate Planning Attorney in Norman, Ok ( www.whitneyalvis.com ) They have 3 children, Mikel, Teg, and Duke, who are the light and focus of their lives.
the alvis clan went rouge.. sort of... and chunked the city life and built a ranch cow-calf operation in dibble, ok... when he is not ranching, fencing, cleaning horse stalls, brushoggin, fixin farm equip.. he maintains a full time neurosurgery practice ....
most recently, dr alvis is associated wiht the laser spine institute in a call coverage arrangement and is available for consultation if in-patient treatment is needed by their/ dr nees patients... as he is their new full time surgeon..
Mike Alvis, M.D., Neurosurgery, 2412 Palmer Circle, Norman, Oklahoma 73069