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My Philosophy

My Philosophy

There are overarching principles that guide my personal approach to my practice and professional activities. Whether I’m engaged in the evaluation and management of patients in clinic, consulting with professional athletes, agents, and/or leagues, directing the Kerlan-Jobe Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine, directing the educational program for our Sports Neurology Fellowship, or taking part in Medical-Legal Expert activities, my goal is to do so with the following themes in mind:

Education and the Cycle of Pedagogy

I love to learn, and I am constantly learning. I’ve always felt this way, but I was profoundly affected by a chance interaction with a stranger on the last day of my last medical school rotation. I was studying Cardiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. I met a gentleman at a corner Pub down the street from the hospital. We struck up a conversation about medicine and why I had chosen to pursue Neurology as an area of specialty. I told him that the brain was like the “Final Frontier” in medicine. Much was known about the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. The musculoskeletal system was very straightforward. I was fascinated by all there was still to learn about the brain. He looked me in the eye and asked, “You don’t really believe that everything that’s been “learned” about the other organs and systems is actually true, do you?” His response shaped my approach to Neurology, Pain Management, and Medicine in general. There are opportunities to learn, represented by the things we know that we don’t know. But there is also a humble acknowledgement that even the things we think we know should be continuously re-considered with an eye for opportunities to learn more, expand the related fund of knowledge, or even disprove and update with a more accurate understanding.

With insight, experience, and understanding comes an obligation to educate. We define pedagogy as the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. I believe studying how the brain works significantly improves successful teaching. I strive to educate all patients and clients because I believe in education as therapeutic intervention. When patients and clients understand information, the brain triggers several responses that contribute to health and healing. I also strive to educate other medical professionals, trainers, coaches, league and school administrators, agents, attorneys, juries, and judges in ways that result in effective knowledge transfer. As a Neurologist, I understand that brains make models and organize information in certain ways. One way to optimize an educational experience when teaching is to organize information and present it in terms of content, concepts, and context. I believe that progressively ascending to higher levels of understanding begins with teaching content (lists, definitions, and pieces of information; one way to think about this level is that it consists of information that can be memorized). Next, teaching concepts (understanding relationships between pieces of information and developing the ability to constructing metaphors) contributes to an elevated grasp of information. Finally, information can be understood in context (how that topic, subject, or issue exists in the real world and under practical circumstances).

Continuous learning, and purposeful focus on the best ways to transfer knowledge are major components of my philosophy and approach.


Sir William Osler’s famous essay Aequanimitas was given as the farewell address to medical students at the University of Pennsylvania in 1889. It was also the title of my Medical School Yearbook in 1992. In the essay, the concept of Aequanimitas is used to discuss the connection between the soul of the healing practitioner and the soul of the patient. It implies a deeper connection than just the discussion of physical signs and symptoms. I’m paraphrasing discussions and descriptions on this concept, but according to Osler that calm, balanced and compassionate underlying quality of the healing relationship originates in the mind and soul of the healer that resonates with the mind and soul of the person seeking to be healed. I practice in a technologically advanced environment. Our Center for Sports Neurology is state-of-the-art, with access to cutting edge diagnostic equipment, brain-training technologies, Neuromodulation tools, computer, and tablet-based instruments. I believe that all the technology, all the science, all the brilliance we offer in a healing relationship is not only enhanced by, but only possible when framed with Aequanimitas – an understanding of the source of health and healing processes.

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