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Movement Disorders

I am a movement disorder fellow half way through subspecialty training. I started out as a military neurology resident, became board certified, and then spent four years as a general neurologist attending. I did a combination of clinic/inpatient, teaching and research. I was a neurology program director for a year prior to finishing my military commitment and starting my fellowship.

My current work schedule is very interesting. Two mornings a week I spend several hours evaluating patients with movement disorders in a rehabilitation hospital. Three full days a week I see patients in an outpatient clinic academic tertiary care center. One day a week I see patients in a outpatient clinic outside of the city. I also have a research day. In between those activities I see movement disorder patients on the wards, provide lectures to medical students and residents, and cover calls from the patients.

I think that finding a position where you can combine the clinical experience, teaching, and some research is ideal, at least for me. I am a full time neurologist and the mother of two children under five years of age. It is challenging trying to be a superwoman. It is essential to have good reliable child care and a supportive family. You can have it all . . . in moderation.
¯Anna D. Hohler, MD

Movement Disorders

  1. I am a movement disorders specialist with a research interest and board certification in sleep medicine. I work in an academic institution participating in clinical care, clinical research and education.
  2. I see movement disorders patients three days a week and spend the other two either doing educational projects or clinical research. I enjoy my work and the travel it entails. I travel to participate in meetings and to present in educational programs. I particularly enjoy trying to make the science and the clinical flow into each other and to communicate this to others at all levels of training from patients through my fellow subspecialists
  3. I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of programs and projects. I never have one week that is exactly like another. I have met many interesting people and have traveled to many areas of the world. Although I did not realize it when I first decided to go into my subspecialty, this is an aspect of my career that I find particularly enjoyable. My patient population is varied but interesting. Even with a disorder such as Parkinson's disease, there are no two patients that are exactly the same. I feel that the focus of my subspecialty area allows me to provide the highest level of care to this particular group of patients.

¯Cynthia L. Comella, MD, FAAN

Multiple Sclerosis/Academic

  1. I am a neurologist, specializing in multiple sclerosis, working in an academic University setting. Specifically I am an associate professor of neurology at SUNY University at Buffalo and the director of The Baird Multiple Sclerosis Center for treatment and research as well as the director of the new Pediatric MS Center of Excellence at The Jacobs Neurological Institute, Buffalo, NY. I have chosen multiple sclerosis as my niche because of my continuing interest in immunology and the related disorders affecting the nervous system.
  2. I spend most of my time seeing primarily MS patients and supervising fellows, residents and nurse practitioners in our MS clinic for three full days a week. The rest of my time is usually spent in our research program, working on the ongoing or new developing projects, as well as seeing study patients (patients enrolled in different therapeutic trials). Weekly working research meetings are necessary to provide continuous flow in the research projects. We also have a basic science laboratory, and communication with the lab staff must be maintained in a daily basis. Presentations for fellows, residents, and other physicians are also a part of our busy schedule.
  3. Taking care of patients with a chronic disease such as MS represents a challenge because as their neurologist you often become their primary physician being involved in almost all of their medical needs. Nevertheless, this offers a great opportunity to engage in a very close and lifelong journey with our patients. You become an integral part of their life and you'll share successes as well as their down times. You will have a very big responsibility because the patients are usually giving you their complete trust and you have to deliver to meet their expectations.
  4. Over the last two decades many of the neurological diseases considered once "diagnostic entities" with only symptomatic therapies became treatable diseases. Similarly MS is now a treatable disease giving us as neurologists great satisfaction to be able to positively interfere within the natural disease process. However, we still do not have the cure, and a continuous search for more efficient interventions is necessary. Improving the research, especially by bringing "the lab to the bed" and vice versa, we will be able to get closer to the cure for these chronic diseases and new energetic physicians are necessary.

¯Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD

Neuroinfectious diseases

  1. I first became interested in infectious diseases while spending summers during medical school in Panama and Mexico working on tropical infections. This expanded when I joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for two years in the PHS. After my neurology residency, I took a fellowship in neuroinfectious diseases at Johns Hopkins to learn how to study CNS viruses in animals.
  2. For 30 years I split my time working as a general neurologist in clinics and wards with focus on CNS infections and conducting basic research in my virology laboratory studying viral infections of the inner ear in hamsters, Reye's syndrome in mice, and congenital CNS infections in humans. I now am collaborating with another infectious disease internist to study both the clinical and basic virology of West Nile virus in New Mexico.
  3. First, new CNS infections come along regularly and need neurologists to understand them. Second, we need to know lots about the old CNS infections. Third and important, is that there are few neurologists studying neuroinfectious diseases. Internists and PhD scientists know the infectious agent but not the CNS. We are really needed. Fourth, the field can take you to very interesting countries to study the CNS infection in the field.

¯Larry E. Davis, MD, FAAN


I work both in the pharma industry and in a specialty practice where I can do research in MS. It is a terrific combination crafted over a number of years . . . it allows me time to do grant work from home, travel, and work on significant health issues effecting our environment. I meet with physicians interested in investigator-initiated research with Pfizer throughout the geography for which I am responsible. Half-day per week, I also see patients. I travel two to three days per week and can work from the home the other days. I have a great deal of autonomy in this job that is fabulous. I would offer up to any medical student or resident the idea that the world has many opportunities not necessarily the norm or what might be expected while in training¯keep all of your options open and also keep an open mind! I certainly had no idea that such a job was even possible!
¯Margaret L. Frazer, MD


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