Naraharisetty Rau, MD
My name is N. Anita Rau. I am a PGY-3 in neurology at Albert Einstein Healthcare Center, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
My rather unconventional path to neurology defines my career as a neurologist and future educator. Prior to attending medical school, I had worked in social work in New York City. I became a assistant program director for the Association to Benefit Children and my programs were amongst the first supportive housing programs for previously homeless mothers and children living with HIV/AIDS. This gave me formative informed what I believe is a fundamental role of a physician: to be an advocate in addition to the provider of the communities we serve. This is a path that I have committed my career to.
I later worked as research coordinator for the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank at Mt. Sinai Hospital, the largest biorepository for NeuroAIDS research in the country. I worked on two major HIV/AIDS Neurological Protocols: Manhattan HIV Brain Bank and CHARTER (CNS HIV Antiretroviral Effects Research). Though I had experienced the psycho-social and medical impact of HIV as a social worker, this experience piqued my academic interest in neurology. I made a leap of faith, and decided to go to medical school in India, where my family is originally from.
My experience gave me insight into the great social experiment that is India, and I was lucky to study medicine in one of the largest hospitals in India. My experience also gave me the opportunity to connect the disparate themes of my life: what both sides of the hyphen meant in my cultural identity, and how to remain optimistic about the state of the world, in the setting of pervasive, and sometimes incurable, malady.
I later returned to do research at Mt. Sinai, but this time to work in the field of Neuro-creativity. Our protocol involved the use of fMRIs to study the neural mapping of professional artists as they produced creative work.
As a PGY-3 at Einstein, there has been no dearth of fascinating clinical presentations, and I have found that nothing exemplifies the complexities and challenges of neurology more than neuromuscular disease. It is my plans to pursue this field as a fellowship following the completion of my residency. It is an honor and privilege to present this case at this conference, and I thank you for the opportunity.