Guiding Medical Students Through Early Career Decisions: Craig Blackstone, MD


The chief of the Movement Disorders Division at Mass General Hospital discussed the challenges medical students face in pathing their career and the importance of a strong mentor figure. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

"One of the challenges of medical school is you don’t get full exposure to all the different types of medicine, or all the subspecialties of neurology like we do. Of course, there’s a lot of innovation in terms of how medical education is, but at the end of the day, a lot of it is still in the hospital setting. A lot of what I do, as a movement disorder specialist, is in outpatient practice."

Career path decisions for medical students in education can be difficult and overwhelming, especially in neurology, where there are dozens of different subspecialties to choose from. There are several different ways to shape a career, whether that may be as a clinician treating patients or as a basic researcher, who spends more time in clinical lab settings.

At the recently concluded 2023 American Neurological Association (ANA) Annual Meeting, held September 9-12, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Research Careers Reimagined course covered the broader career options young medical professionals have at their disposal, and where they may turn to once their schooling is done. The course, led and directed by Craig Blackstone, MD, PhD, FANA, has been in existence for nearly 15 years. It was originally named the Translational and Clinical Research (TCRC) course, but over time, many at the AMA felt as though there was more needed than just training individuals to be clinician researchers.

In an interview with NeurologyLive®,Blackstone, chief of the Movement Disorders Division at Mass General Hospital, shared his thoughts on the challenges young medical students face in deciding their career path. He provided thoughts on how the medical community and educators specifically can help during this process, as well as how the medical field has changed over the years. Furthermore, he spoke on the importance of a strong mentor, and the specific values mentors should embody when helping their mentees.

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