Who is Dr. Michael Schlitt?

How It All Began

It all started with a mop and a gurney.  At age 15, Michael Schlitt got his first job as a hospital orderly at Community Hospital in Jasper, Alabama, transporting patients and mopping the hospital floors.  He did well enough to be promoted to part-time radiology technician, and was soon taking patient x-rays.  Michael was strongly influenced by his father, a workaholic general surgeon who ran the Emergency Room at the hospital.  Before he got his driver’s license, there were times that Michael’s surgeon father had to drive him to the hospital so he could take x-rays on call!  From that first job, Michael realized that the ever-changing forefront of medicine would be his passion and his life’s work.


Once he set his sights on becoming a physician, Michael was determined to reach his goal.  In just three years, he obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Auburn University.  He graduated with high honors, and was elected to Phi Kappa Phi, a national honorary society.

From there, Michael Schlitt became Dr. Schlitt, as he undertook an accelerated path in medical school at the University of Alabama.  He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical school national honorary society, and received the Superior Scholarship Certificate, which is limited to the top 10 students in each class.  He was offered a Residency in Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama, and while in that residency, spent six months training in London, England at the prestigious National Hospital for Nervous Disease at Queen’s Square.

Dr. Michael Schlitt’s Career

After a brief appointment as Instructor of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama, Dr. Schlitt took a position as Assistant Professor, and later Associate Professor, in Neurosurgery at the University of South Alabama.  There, he created a Craniofacial Team and an Epilepsy Surgery Program, and was co-director of the Neuro/Trauma Intensive Care Unit for the University’s Level 1 Trauma Center as well.  While at University of South Alabama, he also developed an animal model of encephalitis due to herpes virus, and studied the genesis of seizures in that model.  He has authored or co-authored well over 30 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.

Because he loved caring for patients, in 1989 Dr. Schlitt decided to focus entirely on a clinical neurosurgery practice.  He and his family moved to the Seattle area and he established his office at Valley Medical Center in Renton, WA.  There, Dr. Schlitt laid the groundwork for Valley’s Neuroscience Center and extended Valley’s capabilities to include all aspects of current neurosurgery.  He chaired Valley Medical Center’s Surgery Department, was President of the Medical Staff, and became a nationally recognized doctor-patient advocate.IMG_8483

In 2007, Dr. Schlitt was persuaded to start a full service neurosurgical service at Highline Medical Center in Burien, WA.  Under his stewardship, the neurosurgery service grew from fewer than 50 neurosurgical cases per year to more than 300 cases a year.  Dr. Schlitt has chaired the Department of Surgery, is the President-elect of the medical staff, and supervised Highline’s certification as a Stroke Center.  He is now hard at work enlarging Highline’s entire neuroscience service.

Dr. Michael Schlitt’s Philosophy

At the heart of what he does, Dr. Schlitt believes that every patient deserves the best treatment he can offer.  He is genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of each individual patient, and strives to educate patients on all their medical options so that they and their families can make informed decisions.  As the healthcare system undergoes changes for years to come, Dr. Schlitt believes the doctor-patient relationship is key to navigating complicated health decisions that patients face.  He will seek to preserve patient and physician rights in the healthcare evolution.