Department Center for Spine Health
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Cervical Deformity Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Complex Spinal Instrumentation
  • Complex Spinal Reconstruction
  • Complex Spinal Surgery
  • Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
  • Deformity Correction
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Lumbar Spine Surgery
  • Microsurgical and Minimally Invasive Techniques
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Neck Surgery
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Spine Decompression
  • Spine Reconstruction
  • Spine Tumor Removal And Reconstruction
  • Surgery For Spinal Tumors
  • Surgery For Spinal Vascular Malformations
  • Thoracic Spine Surgery
  • X-Ray
View all 23 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Back Pain in Athletes
  • Cervical Infections
  • Cervical Myelopathy
  • Cervical Tumors
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Complex Spinal Disorders
  • Degenerative Spine Disease
  • Facet Joint Syndrome
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Herniated Disc
  • Infection of the Spine
  • Kyphosis
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Musculoskeletal Impairments
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Myelography
  • Neck Pain
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal Cancer
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Deformity
  • Spinal Fractures
  • Spinal Metastases
  • Spinal Neoplasms
  • Spinal Vascular Disorders
  • Spine Pain
  • Spine Tumors
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylosis
  • Stenosis - Spinal
View all 36 Specialties +


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About Richard Schlenk, MD

Dr. Schlenk is the Neurosurgery Residency Training Program Director.
Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Spinal Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA

Residency - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-University Hospital
Newark, NJ USA

Internship - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-University Hospital
General Surgery
Newark, NJ USA

Medical Education - UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School
Newark, NJ USA

Undergraduate - Kean University
Union, NJ USA

Professional Highlights

  • Neurosurgery Residency Training Program Director


  • Neurological Surgery

Specialty Interests

Complex Spinal Reconstruction, Spinal Tumors

Awards & Honors

  • Scholarship in Teaching Award 2008
  • Teacher of the Year, 2004-05, 2005-06
  • Mayfield Award in Spinal Cord Research
  • American Red Cross Hero, 2004


  • American Board of Neurological Surgeons: Diplomat
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeon: Member
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeon: Member
  • AANS/CNS Joint Spine Section: Member
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Richard Schlenk, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 7/23/2020, Dr. Schlenk has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

197 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.9
Listens 4.8
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

58 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Aug 20, 2020

Most of my time was with Dr. Bell or Bill. (sorry I can't remember which). He did a thorough exam, answered all my questions, and provided me with guidelines to use if I need to go back. Felt so comfortable with him that I had very little to say to Dr. Schlenk. I feel that reflected the training he had received from Dr.Schlenk. if the arthritis in my spine gets worse, I willbe back to see Dr. Schlenk and his term. I was very glad toKeranique that I did not need surgery at this time. working on both diet and exercise. have to put in a plug for Dr. Cherian. The change in my diet (anti-migraine) has seriously reduced my inflammation. That has helped everything. So nice to be working with people I trust and respect.

Reviewed on Aug 14, 2020

I have never met a physician that seemed to care more about informing me of a particular procedure that was going to take place. Obviously nervous going into and out of this meeting but my doctor and nurse could not have been better of making me feel a little more comfortable.

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2020

Great doctor and great staff. Non better!

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2020

only issue was a full 60 minute wait until I saw the doctor and considering my appointment was at 8:40, pretty surprising to be running that far behind. that aside Dr.Schlenk & his nurse we're extremely attentive during vm my appointment time. I did not feel rushed and felt he was very empathetic and honest with his feedback & explanations.

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2020

Dr Schlenk was excellent in all ways

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2020

Doctor Schlenk's team is thorough, efficient and I would never recommend anybody but them to somebody who needed spinal surgery.

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2020

Already recommended Dr. Schlenk to sister in Toledo with Back problems

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

Dr. Schlenk and his staff of professionals listen, talk things over, and I am very please with my care.

Reviewed on Jul 10, 2020

*Dr. Schlenk and his team are second to none.

Reviewed on Jun 25, 2020

I am thrilled with the outcome of my back fusion surgery. I make certain to tell people about Dr. Schlenk and the success of my procedure because many people had cautioned me that this surgery is often unsuccessful.

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2020

Dr Schlent's staff is prompt in returning MyChart message questions

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2020

Dr. Schlenk is a caring professional, and explains things in a manner easily understood.

Reviewed on Jun 12, 2020

Dr. Schlenk made me feel as though I am his only patient. He gave me a vry thorough examination to completely understand my problems,and I believe that if they can be resolved, he is the person who will be able to do so.

Reviewed on Jun 11, 2020

Dr Schlenk's office were very prompt in reviewing my case and setting up the video call

Reviewed on Jun 11, 2020

Dr Schlenk was caring and compassionate about my medical issue and my well being. He was able to go over the MRI. Explained well

Reviewed on May 26, 2020

Dr. Schlenk did my back surgery. He spent alot of time explaining the surgery and the pros and cons. My surgery went better than I expected. I give Dr Schlenk all the credit for my great outcome. He is an amazing surgeon and a very nice man. I recommend him highly.

Reviewed on May 21, 2020

Dr. Richard Schlenk is fantastic. He genuinely cares about his patients , thinks through about what would be best for them. He ended the evisit by saying "We are always here for you if you need us". I will be back if I do.

Reviewed on May 8, 2020

I would rate all items in this section as EXCELLENT if that were an option. Dr. Schlenk is outstanding.

Reviewed on May 7, 2020

Great way (if able) for patients to see a Doctor or other care giver for routine consultation or illnesses. No travel, parking, weather issues, and no exposure to possible other ailments.

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2020

first phone visit that I've ever had. wasn't sure what to expect but it was fine. Dr Schlenk puts his patient at ease.

Reviewed on Mar 26, 2020

Doctor Schlenk is the best. Highly recommend him

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2020

Dr. Schlenk was very respectful and showed a lot of concern for my issues. He took time and explained everything to me. He did not rush my visit and took time to listen to me. I would recommend him 100%. Excellent physician!!

Reviewed on Mar 5, 2020

everyone was exceptionally knowledgeable & kind. I felt very confident and comfortable with PA & Dr. answered all questions and concerns

Reviewed on Feb 20, 2020

Dr Schlenk went out of his way to explain all his answers and help my wife feel good about the diagnosis,future care and He answered all her questions. He is compassionate and a caring Dr.

Reviewed on Feb 11, 2020

Very good service and very good advice from Dr. Schlenk he took a good amount of time explaining my situation and condition so I really feel comfortable with it when I left

Reviewed on Jan 28, 2020

Dr Schlenk is an extremely skilled surgeon who responds to his patients' mental, emotional and physical needs.

Reviewed on Jan 14, 2020

Dr Shlenk is great

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

If I could rate *Dr. Schlenk higher I would but you only go up to 5.

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

Dr. Schlenk really cares about you as a person! he does not rush you through ur appointment. he's caring and personable. and I am thrilled with the excellent outcome from my surgery! I have nothing but praise for my entire Cleveland Clinic experience!

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

Dr. Schlenk is tops in his field and an excellent surgeon!

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Due to the urgency and seriousness of this urgent surgery Dr Schlenk covered all and any scenarios so we would know what ,why ,and how he would care for me with his team. I was so impressed as a Nurse, to be treated with such high regard. He's so patient and allotted my son and I to process the procedure and to consider any questions. Nothing was off the table. I love dr Schlenk. I wish there were more drs like him

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Dr Schlenk is a good listener. He is kind and has a wonderful sense of humor . Takes time like you are his only patient.

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Dr Schlenk is an excellent physician, who is very kind and caring!!!

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2019

Everyone was easy to talk to and very respectful all the way from the receptionist at the front desk all the way to the doctor. The Doctor was very kind and respectful. He took me to speak with us and answer all of our questions. I would recommend the doctor and the entire staff to anyone. Dr. Schlenk is probably one of the nicest doctors that I have seen.

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2019

I had a really good experience by seeing the doctor. I am grateful that Dr. Schlenk is my doctor.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

I tell people if they want the best treatment they need to go here. also they have the best of the best for doctors. dr Schlenk gave me my life back. if it weren't for him I would be in a wheelchair an not be able to walk Thank God n praise God. he is a terrific person n a very good friend. we have a true friend relationship I will n always feel honored to have him for my surgeon n friend!!

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Dr. Schlenk and his staff have all been acutely aware of making sure I get an appointment as soon as needed. I believe that Dr. Schlenk has seen me during his lunch time. I often communicate using my chart, and his staff especially Rachel W. and Lauren are great in that I get answers by phone or messages often the same day! The followed up on pain management and surgical expectations as requested and medications is in my opinion the best I've seen from most of the Dr. experiences at the Cleveland Clinic.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

If I could give Dr Schlenk and his team a higher rating I would. I was told what to expect after my surgeries and how long I it will take to heal. The healing went as explained, it took time. My pain in my back while its still present, but the unbearable levels of 7's - 8's on a scale of 1-10 are now around a 2. My GP Dr. Bales first spoke to me about my ongoing back issues and he recommended Dr. Schlenk to me. Both Dr Schlenk and Bales worked together better for my welfare than any other caregivers Ive experienced of my 60 plus years. Together they define the ultimate in what a care giving team should look like.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

I spoke earlier about this. There is no team better that I've seen for either myself or my wife than Dr. Schlenk and Dr. Bales and their teams.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Without exaggerating , I can say Dr. Schlenk changed the trajectory of my life for the next 20 (and likely final) years of my life.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Anyone considering a lumbar fusion should consult with Dr. Schlenk and his team.

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2019

Dr. Schlenk is caring/empathetic, respectful and an attentive listener. He is also focused, efficient and a skilled surgeon.

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2019

*Dr. Schienk, and his entire staff, is the best.

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2019

*Dr. Jason Kenneth Hsieh was just great. He listened to me and I felt he respected me as a patient.

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2019

i honestly can NOT thank Dr. Schlenk enough for working with me. His professionalism and courteous attitude was such a pleasure.

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2019

it was very clear from the beginning that Dr. Schlenk was very interested and concerned about my recovery from my surgery. he is terrific!

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2019

Dr. listened attentively to my concerns and gave a clear explanation of my problem

Reviewed on Oct 9, 2019

Dr Schlenk talked to us for 45 minutes. He told us what to expect and made an effort to expedite surgery. Unfortunately another issue had to be addressed before spine surgery. Dr Schlenk was wonderful. We are so blessed to have him on our side.

Reviewed on Sep 27, 2019

Dr. Schlenk has nothing but my best interest in mind - he is excellent!

Reviewed on Sep 26, 2019

Both NP Rachel and MD Schlenk extremely professional, courteous and thoughtful. Would highly recommend to others.

Reviewed on Sep 26, 2019

Dr. Schlenk was excellent

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2019

The process of making an appointment was long and frustrating. I was put on hold and transferred numerous times. As for the appointment itself, it was more than I could have asked for. Dr Schlenk was extremely thorough, took his time and had a wonderful chairside manner.

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

couldn't ask for a nicer doctor. I left feeling I was in good hands and confident I would soon start feeling better under his care.

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019


Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

Dr. Schlenk is a highly skilled neurosurgeon who is sought out by many individuals. This makes it difficult to obtain an appt. There should be some way for exisisting patients to get an appt in a more timely manner when needed.

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

Dr. Schlenk is fantastic. He is so intelligent, yet takes his time chosing what and how he speaks to you so you understand where he is coming from, that it makes sense to you. He makes sure that you - and family - are involved in the dialogue and decision making. Will not give this physician up!

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

I tell anyone who tells me that they have serious spinal issues about Dr. Schlenk and his staff - "Go see him for a second opinion".

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2019

Great doctor. Very pleased.

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