Meet Dr. Paul Van Ness


Epilepsy expert Paul Van Ness, M.D., regularly sees the life-changing impact that proper treatment for epilepsy can have on people who suffer from seizures.

Our goal is to provide people with epilepsy the best care we can.”

”It’s all about the seizure control. If we can eliminate the seizures, in general, people will get their life back,” says Dr. Van Ness, a Texas Monthly Super Doctor.

But he also knows that not enough people who suffer from epilepsy get the right treatment. 

“Epilepsy is frequently misunderstood, and patients often don’t get the right kind of medical or surgical treatment, so they suffer for years even though many treatments are available,” Dr. Van Ness says.

As Director of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Epilepsy Program, Dr. Van Ness coordinates a multidisciplinary effort to offer the best care possible for epilepsy patients. The physicians in the Epilepsy Program each have their specific areas of knowledge, Dr. Van Ness says, and the whole team is essential to getting patients the care they need.

Dr. Van Ness says his goal is to more quickly connect patients with experts so they can find the best medicine or surgery to eliminate seizures. The average patient is not referred to the Epilepsy Program until he or she has had seizures for 20 years. Dr. Van Ness says patients should be getting help from an epilepsy specialist after no more than two years of intractable seizures with the failure of at least two appropriate medications.

As part of his efforts to increase epilepsy awareness, Dr. Van Ness serves as Chair of the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas, an independent organization that provides programs to help epilepsy patients. He also was involved in creating quality measures for physicians to help them better treat epilepsy patients.

Clinical Specialties/Interests


  • Convulsions
  • Epilepsy and pregnancy
  • Seizures