A well-informed partnership
for your healthcare

East Bay Brain & Spine Medical Group believes in educating patients in order to help them make well-informed decisions. We aim to maximize function, avoid surgery when possible, and to minimize recovery time so that patients return to their activities as quickly as possible. Using clear explanations and conversation, we take great pride in guiding patients through stressful times in their lives.

Maxwell B. Merkow, MD, FAANS

Dr. Merkow is a board-certified neurosurgeon with East Bay Brain & Spine Medical Group and BASS Medical Group in Walnut Creek, California. He specializes in minimally invasive approaches for both common and complex spinal disorders as well as brain and pituitary tumors, including stereotactic radiosurgery. Dr. Merkow treats Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor with deep brain stimulation, and he alleviates facial pain via microvascular decompression and focused radiation. His practice includes the management of cerebral aneurysms. Dr. Merkow is an expert in surgical navigation, which he finds enhances surgical precision and improves patient outcomes.

After receiving his medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Merkow completed a seven-year residency in neurological surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and a clinical fellowship at Wellington Public Hospital in New Zealand.  Dr. Merkow has published research on memory, brain rhythms, and brain stimulation in such journals as Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Merkow has extensive experience caring for the gamut of spine and brain issues. He takes pride in providing excellent, individualized neurosurgical care in the community setting.

Dr. Merkow practices in Walnut Creek, California and has full privileges at John Muir Medical Center and the BASS ambulatory surgery center. He serves as the Neurosurgical Division Chair, Neurosurgical Medical Director, and Spine Program Consultant at John Muir Medical Center 

Brandon McCutcheon, MD


Dr. Brandon McCutcheon is a neurosurgeon with East Bay Brain & Spine Medical Group and the Neurosurgery Division of BASS Medical Group. He has operating privileges at John Muir Medical Center’s Walnut Creek Campus.

After completing a master’s degree at Harvard University, Dr. McCutcheon completed his Medical Degree at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. McCutcheon went on to complete his residency training in Neurological Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He also completed the Biodesign and Innovation Fellowship at Stanford University.

Dr. McCutcheon manages the gamut of general cranial and spinal neurosurgical conditions. He specializes in the surgical management of common and complex spinal disorders including the use of minimally invasive and robotic approaches. He treats a variety of spinal conditions including degenerative spine disease, disc herniation, cervical and lumbar stenosis, and spinal deformity.

Dr. McCutcheon’s philosophy is to work with his patients to custom tailor their surgical approach for their unique conditions. He leverages state-of-the-art technologies to maximize therapeutic benefit while minimizing recovery time and surgical risk.

Benjamin Yim, MD


Dr. Benjamin Yim is a dual-trained cerebrovascular neurosurgeon with East Bay Brain & Spine Medical Group and BASS Medical Group. He has privileges at John Muir Medical Center–Walnut Creek Campus. Dr. Yim has a particular interest in endovascular and open cerebrovascular approaches to intracranial vascular pathologies – complex aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, arteriovenous fistula, Moyamoya disease, intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhages, subdural hemorrhages, cervical and intracranial carotid stenosis, vascular tumors, intracranial venous hypertension, and brain tumors. He also performs spinal decompression and stabilization procedures for the full spectrum of spinal pathologies through a minimally invasive approach when appropriate.

Dr. Yim received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and obtained his medical degree from Albany Medical College where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Society. He completed his neurological surgery residency at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County General Hospital. He further specialized by completing a CAST-accredited neuroendovascular fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and an open cerebrovascular fellowship at Stanford University.

He has published research and chapters on ischemic stroke, trans-radial endovascular approaches, cerebral aneurysms, Moyamoya disease, and various cerebrovascular pathologies in Stroke, Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery, Neurosurgical Focus, and World Neurosurgery with several presentations at national conferences. He serves as a review editor in Frontiers in Neurology.

His approach is to consider each patient’s unique clinical, anatomic, and personal factors to collectively develop a customized management for their diagnosis.

Ehsan Ejaz, PA-C - Board-certified Physician Assistant

Ehsan Ejaz, PA-C

Ehsan Ejaz is a board-certified physician assistant with a passion for neurophysiology and neurosurgery. Ehsan received his B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at UC Davis where he conducted extensive research at the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (M.I.N.D.) Institute at UC Davis and the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine at Shriners Hospital.

Ehsan began gaining experience as a surgical neurophysiologist at Yale New-Haven Hospital.  He has conducted over 2000 intraoperative neuromonitoring consultations on a wide variety of cases. Keen to further his passion for neurosurgery and patient care, Ehsan then completed his Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Samuel Merritt University. Ehsan’s philosophy for patient care involves empowering patients as equal members of their health care team, as patients are their own best advocates.

Ehsan practices evidence-based medicine. He stays abreast of the latest developments and research by reviewing medical and neurosurgical literature as well as attending conferences. When he is not at the bedside or in the operating room, Ehsan can be found traveling to new places, hiking California’s expansive state parks, or capturing the perfect Milky Way photograph.

Kyleigh Coker

Medical Assistant

Kyleigh’s passion for helping others fueled her career choice. This trait also explains her steadfast compassion, which combined with excellent communication skills helps our patients navigate their complex problems. East Bay Brain & Spine/BASS Neurosurgery is fortunate to have Kyleigh as part of our team. In Kyleigh’s spare time she loves to travel, craft and spend time with her family.

Yadira Martinez

Medical Assistant

Yadira brings a passion for helping those in need to East Bay Brain & Spine/BASS Neurosurgery Division. The practice and our patients benefit from her diligence, sensitivity, and caring attitude. She is an integral member of our team. In her free time Yadira likes to enjoy time with her friends and family, explore new hiking trails, and try new recipes.