We love learning more about our CNS physicians – this week, we’re meeting Dr. Jonathan Tisdell, who sees patients in our Worcester location.
Dr. Tisdell, what inspired you to become a neurologist?
“Entering medical school, I had no idea what type of physician I wanted to be. When I started classes in the first year, I almost left medical school because I did not like all the sitting in classrooms and it was not what I thought being a doctor was (there is a lot of classroom learning in the first year!). Soon I was paired up with a community neurologist who eventually became my mentor and a very close friend. He showed me what being a doctor was all about. I saw so many ways he could help his patients manage their various conditions. Then going through the rest of medical school, I was able to discover that neurology was the thing for me.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a neurologist?
“I think being able to offer so many different treatment options for conditions that were once thought to be untreatable. Our choices for medications and lifestyle interventions have significantly increased over the years. “
If you could have a superpower related to neurology, what would it be and why?
“Cure the uncurable diseases, such as ALS and Alzheimer’s.”
Outside of work, what are your hobbies or interests?
“I enjoy spending time with my family and two dogs. I like to do things outdoors, such as hiking and playing my own sports such as baseball and soccer. I love watching my children do their various activities in the world which includes excelling in law school, dance, soccer, and flag football. I also enjoy traveling with my family.”
What is your favorite neurological disorder to study or treat, and why?
“Although not really a disorder, I really enjoy performing EMGs and nerve conduction studies. This test is an extension of our physical exam which is so important to the neurologist. This test allows me to discover the cause of a variety of neurological symptoms affecting the peripheral nervous system so that we can focus on proper management. “
If you could give one piece of advice to patients to promote brain health, what would it be?
“Exercise is so important to overall health and that includes the brain. It does not have to be running a marathon, it can be 20-30 minutes of walking to get your heart pumping for example. “
What is one misconception or myth about neurology that you would like to debunk?
“That neurologists have all the answers. I think we are a pretty smart group of docs but we do not know all there is to know about the neurological system and sometimes we just cannot explain or sort out what is the cause of a person’s symptoms. We will work hard to try to understand or explain, but sometimes we just do not know the diagnosis. “
If you weren’t a doctor, what other profession do you think you would have pursued?
“Prior to medical school, I worked briefly in the television industry and I think if I had not planned on medical school already, that is something I would definitely have pursued. If we are talking about the ideal profession without regard for talent, a Major League baseball player would be my ideal job!”