Biography and Philosophy

Dr. Malini Narayanan is a Harvard- trained, board certified neurosurgeon, with a Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Competent, Compassionate and Committed

Dr. Malini V. Narayanan is recognized for her dedication, leadership, and excellence in neurosurgical healthcare. With over nine years of experience, Dr. Narayanan is known for her breadth of expertise which  ranges from state-of-the-art brain surgeries, endoscopic carpal tunnel release, to minimally invasive cutting edge spinal surgeries. Daily, she sees patients with difficult problems and dilemmas, managing complex diagnoses, and having detailed pre and postoperative conversations. Essentially, she is tasked with saving and changing the lives of her patients. Dr. Narayanan believes in patient-centered care where she sees her patients and their families as part of her team.

A true pioneer, Dr. Narayanan introduces newer techniques to community hospitals. She performed one of the first awake craniotomies at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick MD, and St Vincent Mercy Hospital, Toledo, Ohio. She also performed a unique minimally invasive spine surgery at Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring MD. She has applied cutting-edge, innovative methods to treat traumatic spine injuries at the busiest trauma center in the DC area, Prince George Hospital Center; this work was presented at the Annual 2015 American Association of Neurological Surgeons. She attributes her success to having a great supportive family, thinking big, and to staying current in her field. She attends and presents at many national conferences, and publishes frequently in peer reviewed journals (link to CV).  

Dr. Narayanan has personal experience with neurologic conditions as her brother is an autistic. Being around her brother sparked her interest in the medical field at a young age and compassion for others who are suffering. She pursued her interests by enrolling in graduate studies, in bio-engineering, at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, asking questions like “How can we use technology to compensate for handicaps, and alleviate human suffering?” As a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT, she worked on the very first prototype of an artificial eye, in a multidisciplinary effort with researchers at Harvard Medical School. Interactions with medical colleagues, sparked her own interest in medicine and led her to ask “How can I help patients more directly?”   Thus, she chose a career in medicine and her long-term commitment to taking care of patients as a physician-neurosurgeon.

Well-equipped and highly competent to manage the challenges her field presents, Dr. Narayanan trained at some of the top universities including Harvard University and University of Chicago. During her residency training, she obtained the highest score in the written boards, and received a Harvard Resident Teaching Award.  She was also recognized for her commitment to advancing patient outcomes through research, garnering the most prestigious 2003 CNS Resident Research Award, which is given to only one neurosurgery resident in the nation annually. After her stint at Harvard, she acquired the advanced surgical skills needed to operate on premature babies, babies, and young children by completing a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.  Recognized for her excellent work in neurosurgery, she was honored with Leading Physicians of the World’s Top Neurosurgeon in Rockville in 2018, America’s Top Surgeon in 2017 & 2007, 2013 Vitals Patient Recognition Award and 2013 Worldwide Who’s Who.

Dr. Narayanan’s Philosophy

MY PHILOSOPHY IS SIMPLE: PATIENT FIRST BY BEING Competent, Committed, and Compassionate.

I have personal experience with lifelong neurologic conditions as my beloved brother, Krishna Narayan (author of “Wasted Talent: Musings of an Autistic”) suffers with autism. He was diagnosed in the 1970’s at Boston Children’s Hospital at a time when the condition was approximately 1/10,000. Who knew? Needless to say, we met many, many doctors. No doctor had a cure for autism but the doctors who were competent, committed, and compassionate did heal my brother and our family. As a family member of a patient and as a practicing physician, I take that with me.  

Neurosurgical conditions can be devastating and at the very least challenging to you and your family.  In my person-centered practice, I remember that a human being is behind every patient. I often ask the questions: “what would I do and how would I treat this person if this were my mother, father or loved one? How would I want to be treated if I had this condition?” I am committed to your wellbeing and finding the best health solution for your neurosurgical condition WITHOUT surgery first but recognize when surgery is needed.  I love the field of neurosurgery and I am honored to take care of you and your loved ones.



Malini V. Narayanan, MD Board Certified Neurosurgeon