Dr. David Van der Planken studied medicine at the Universiteit Antwerpen (University of Antwerp) from 1994 to 2001. After that, he was an assistant in internal medicine for 2 years in order to then specialise for the following 6 years in neurosurgery.

His neurosurgery training was completed at the Universitair Ziekenhuis te Antwerpen (UZA) (University Hospital Antwerp) from 2003 to 2009, initially under Dr. Verlooy and thereafter under Dr. De Ridder and Dr. Maas from the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. He was also an assistant in neurosurgery in the Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg (East Limburg Hospital) in Genk for 1 year under the supervision of Dr. J. Wuyts.

Starting from 1 October 2009, he reports to the Neurosurgery Department at the AZ Nikolaas (General Hospital Nikolaas) in Sint-Niklaas. His areas of special interest are general neurosurgery, complex spinal surgery and neuro-oncological neurosurgery. Furthermore, he is also a consultant to the Neurosurgery Department of the UZ Antwerpen.