Sarah C. Jernigan, MD, MPH | CNSA Physician | Charlotte Neurosurgeon | Neurosurgeon in Charlotte NC

Patient Ratings

Read Reviews

My Locations


Sarah C. Jernigan, MD, MPH

Special Interests

  • Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Adult & Pediatric Hydrocephalus
  • Adult & Pediatric Spasticity

Board Certified

  • Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery (ABPNS)
  • Neurological, Spine Surgery


As a neurosurgeon at Carolina NeuroSurgery & Spine Associates, Sarah C. Jernigan, MD, MPH, provides adult and pediatric neurosurgical care. Her clinical interests include pediatric neurosurgery, craniosynostosis, and pediatric and adult hydrocephalus and spasticity. Additionally, Dr. Jernigan holds a Master of Health in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health.

Dr. Jernigan was proud to be the first female neurosurgeon to join Carolina NeuroSurgery & Spine Associates in 2017. She provides neurosurgical and spine care from the practices’ Charlotte, NC office and brain and spine surgical intervention at Atrium Health, Levine Children’s Hospital, Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, and Carolina Center for Specialty Surgery.

She is board certified in neurological, spine surgery, and pediatric neurosurgery. She completed medical school at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and her residency at Harvard at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jernigan went on to complete her Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Jernigan has been a proud Castle Connelly Top Doctors Award recipient since 2021. Dr. Jernigan was also named by Becker's Spine Review in their list of the top 50 neurosurgeons to know about in 2023


Dr. Jernigan was drawn to the sciences and medicine from a young age. She reluctantly set aside her elementary school goal of becoming a professional ballerina as her gravitation toward a career in science grew. Her love for the sciences led her to explore a profession as a doctor, veterinarian, or medical researcher. By high school, she had decided to go into medicine.

Her further collegiate education and experiences confirmed that neurosurgery was the career path that fit her skills and passion for making a difference. Dr. Jernigan now performs life-changing neurosurgical interventions for adults and children while extending compassion and empathy to her patients and their families.

In addition to her daily commitment to patients, Dr. Jernigan has also given back during her career. After finishing college at Tulane University, she joined the Peace Corps. Dr. Jernigan worked as part of a WHO initiative to improve health outcomes in women and children in the remote mountain villages of Morocco. During these two years, she worked with the health staff on vaccination drives in partnership with a community organization to provide microeconomic programs for women.

Reflecting on her experience, Dr. Jernigan comments,

“Even more than the reward from these work efforts, the generosity, support, and overwhelming welcome from the Berber villagers made a lasting impact on me. The Peace Corps provides a way for you to integrate and give of your skills in a different community, but also allows you to experience the sense of awe when one realizes just how much these communities have to teach us about life.”

Lessons such as these throughout her career and the demonstrated strength of her patients inspire her drive and dedication to provide the highest quality and latest advancements in neurosurgical care to adults and children.

Outside of caring for patients, Dr. Jernigan enjoys building and maintaining a solid support network of family, friends, and mentors or colleagues.


  • Fellowship 
    Pediatric Neurosurgery, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Residency
    Harvard at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital, 2005 -2010
  • Medical School
    University of Louisville School of Medicine, 2004
    Master of Public Health – Tulane University School of Public Health

Research & Awards

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Member of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons (ASPN)
  • Member of the American Association of Neurosurgery (AANS)
    •  Certified in Pediatric Neurosurgery Section (AANS/CNS)



Being a Kid - CNSA
Meet Christopher, a story of resilience and hope.

Meet Christopher, a story of resilience and hope. This seven-year-old patient is able to be a kid again after surgery.  

Read More
Meet Amanda, who faces being diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation.

An active mom, Spanish teacher, and competitive runner shares her story of an unexpected diagnosis of a Chiari Malformation.

Read More
Congrats to our 2023 top doctors!

We are thrilled to announce 19 exceptional doctors who have been recognized as Charlotte Magazine "Top Doctors." Join us in celebrating the expertise and dedication of these exceptional physicians. They have consistently demonstrated their commitment to providing the highest standard of care and have impacted the lives of countless patients.

Read More