Skip to main content

COVID-19 Advisory: Visitor restrictions are in place for all Phoenix Children’s locations. Masks are required for all visitors and for patients ages 2+. For more information, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.

Neil R. Friedman, MBChB

Edit Profile

Interim Director, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's; Director of Clinical Transformation

Neil R. Friedman, MBChB

Edit Profile

Interim Director, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's; Director of Clinical Transformation

Specialty

Locations

About Neil R. Friedman, MBChB

Dr. Neil Friedman has been observing and listening to children and their families for nearly 30 years as a leading pediatric neurologist. His problem-solving skills and innate curiosity about what he calls "the mysteries of the brain" have consistently inspired him to identify the underlying issues and guide patients to the best possible treatment options. These skills are also now serving him well as he leads clinical transformation at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's.

...Read more

Dr. Neil Friedman has been observing and listening to children and their families for nearly 30 years as a leading pediatric neurologist. His problem-solving skills and innate curiosity about what he calls "the mysteries of the brain" have consistently inspired him to identify the underlying issues and guide patients to the best possible treatment options. These skills are also now serving him well as he leads clinical transformation at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's.

Before coming to Phoenix, Dr. Friedman worked for more than 20 years at the Cleveland Clinic as a physician, educator, researcher and administrator. In 2019, his wide-ranging skills created a new career path. He was named director of Clinical Transformation at the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) at Phoenix Children's, where he is using his expertise to drive change. His goal is to leverage analytics to find new and effective ways to deliver care and improve patient-centered outcomes for pediatric neurology, with particular attention to enhancing quality of life. His areas of focus in clinical innovation include digital health, personalized medicine, mobile health, and healthcare information technology. In 2022, Dr. Friedman was appointed interim director of BNI at Phoenix Children's.

Dr. Friedman earned his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He subsequently completed rotating internships in pediatrics, medicine and OB/Gyn in South Africa before working in London, UK for several years. After moving to the United States, he completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Arizona, Tucson, followed by a residency in pediatric neurology at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Friedman is board certified in neurology with special qualifications in child neurology.

In the early part of his career, Dr. Friedman completed a research fellowship in pediatric neuromuscular disorders in London, UK under Victor Dubowitz, MD, an international leader in the field. This sparked a lifelong interest in pediatric neuromuscular disorders for Dr. Friedman, who has, since that time, been involved in numerous studies involving the identification and treatment of neuromuscular disease. Other research interests include pediatric stroke, the long-term neurological effects of congenital heart defects and fetal/neonatal neurology.

Dr. Friedman has authored more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals, written a number of book chapters and co-edited a textbook, Neurological Manifestations of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunodeficiency Syndromes. He has presented extensively at invited lectures around the world.

Listed among the Best Doctors in America since 2006, Dr. Friedman also has received awards for teaching, including the Graduating Resident Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Arizona's Department of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Chairman's Award for Education from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation's Department of Pediatrics.

"We have become very good at providing excellent clinical care, but it's not clear that we are always providing the most appropriate care in the best possible way. I'm very excited about the potential of using metrics, transparency, accountability and outcomes data to do the right thing for every patient in the right way at the right time."

"I grew up in South Africa and saw considerable health disparities. We have significant disparities here in the U.S., too. But I believe we can leverage data and technology to bridge these gaps, making care more accessible, convenient, timely and effective for everyone. Phoenix Children's is very committed to this work, and it's a privilege to be part of these efforts."

With varied interests on the professional side, Dr. Friedman has an eclectic assortment of personal interests including world travel, jazz music and collecting rare books. He is interested in the conservation of wildlife, particularly elephants. While he still loves the sports he grew up with, including cricket and rugby, he has also learned to appreciate American football and basketball.

Read less

+Education & Training

Medical School / Education

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Residency

University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Internship

Cecelia Makiwane Hospital, East London, South Africa
Share this page