San Juan Regional Medical Center

San Juan Regional Spine Center welcomes new neurosurgeon

San Juan Regional Medical Center
Dr. Christopher Payne

San Juan Regional Spine Center welcomes Dr. Christopher Payne to its team of talented neurosurgeons. With Dr. Payne’s arrival, there are now three highly qualified neurosurgeons providing expert care right here at home to patients across the Four Corners area.

Dr. Payne grew up in Barbados and went to college in Canada, graduating with a degree in Biology from the University of Western Ontario. He studied medicine at the University of Dublin, Trinity College in Ireland, graduating with his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. After that, he moved to the United States for Neurological Surgery Residency at Allegheny General Hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

“I’ve been all over. It has been exciting,” Dr. Payne said.

Although he’s lived all over the world, he jumped at the opportunity to live and practice medicine in the Southwest.

Dr. Dominic Cannella

“I have always been intrigued by the Southwest since I was a kid,” Dr. Payne said. “To be able to come here and join the experienced neurosurgeons at San Juan Regional Spine Center and provide care for the entire Four Corners community—it’s exciting for me to be involved in.”

Dr. Payne didn’t always plan to go into neurosurgery. When he first started medical school, he wanted to become a pediatrician. As he was training with a pediatric neurosurgeon in Vancouver, the experience opened up his eyes to the broad range of conditions neurosurgeons treat.

“You treat the brain, spine; there are so many different disorders you treat. It’s exciting to have that complexity on the clinical side. That was what intrigued me initially,” Dr. Payne said.

Dr. Payne treats a wide range of disorders, including:

  • Brain tumors
  • Spine tumors
  • Degenerative diseases of the spine
  • Herniated discs
  • Longstanding back pain
  • Failed back surgery
  • He also specializes in minimally invasive surgery

Dr. Payne has been interested in the treatment of pain disorders for a long time. As a neurosurgeon, he’s now the one helping others relieve their pain.

Dr. Paul Davis

“It’s very satisfying to treat people with these longstanding issues. They are not sure if there is a solution to the problem,” Dr. Payne said. “Everyone is different, and it is always nice to be able to cater to the patients’ needs and treat them in a way that they can find some improvement in their quality of life. It’s very rewarding and very enjoyable and keeps me motivated.”

Dr. Payne joins Dr. Dominic Cannella and Dr. Paul Davis at San Juan Regional Spine Center. The team specializes in diagnosing and treating the entire nervous system, from the brain to the spine, branching out to all areas of the body.

Dr. Cannella is a graduate of the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine in Tampa. He completed his internship at the University of Mississippi in Jackson, a Neurosurgery residency at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a brain tumor fellowship at Harvard. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and specializes in spinal and cranial surgery and carpal tunnel surgery.

Dr. Davis is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He completed medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, followed by an internship at Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany, New York. Dr. Davis also completed his Neurological Surgery residency there. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and practices general neurosurgery, including minimally invasive spine surgery.

If you are experiencing:

  • Back, neck or leg pain
  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Tumors
  • Peripheral nerve compression

You may benefit from the state-of-the-art services and personalized treatment plans San Juan Regional Spine Center’s Neurosurgery team can provide. To schedule an appointment, call 505.609.6595 or visit to learn more.