Paul Willems was trained as an orthopedic surgeon at the University Hospital Maastricht and the Atrium MC Heerlen, The Netherlands. Additionally, he followed a 1-year certified AO-Spine Fellowship at the Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen in 2003. After 4 years of general orthopedics at the Viecuri MC in Venlo, he devoted his clinical and research practice to Spine Surgery at the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+).
In 2011 he defended his thesis “Surgical decision making for chronic low back pain”, and in the following years he was president of the Dutch Spine Society (Association of Spine Surgeons), co-founder of the “DSSR”, a national Dutch quality registry of spine surgery, and additionally, he presided the national guideline “Instrumented spine surgery for degenerative disorders of the thoracolumbar spine”.
He is leader of the Multidisciplinary Spine Center Maastricht, with special settings for evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders, ranging from 1st line nonspecific low back pain patients to last resort complex spine cases. Scientifically he has a special interest in spinal deformity and spinal aging.
Since January 1, 2020 he is professor of Integrated Spinal Care at the Maastricht UMC.