From Neuroscience to Stem Cell Therapy: An Interview with Dr. Christopher Phillips
"My practice has grown from a small town oriented neurology practice to an international consulting practice utilizing virtual systems to bring that capability to far away locations on three continents." - Dr. Christopher D. Phillips
Dr. Phillips is an internationally recognized neurologist specializing in stem cell treatments of neurodegenerative diseases. His expertise includes MS, headache, stroke, epilepsy, and movement disorders. Christopher D. Phillips, MD, FACP, is also diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He offers in-person and online doctor consultations to his patients around the globe through RingMD. Here is an excerpt from a recent conversation with Dr. Phillips. Katya: What piqued your interest in neuroscience?
Dr. Phillips: I was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA and grew up in a small town northwest of Chicago, Illinois, USA. I was an avid reader as a young child and became fascinated with the writings of Sigmund Freud. By the time I reached third grade, I knew that I wanted to make this interest my career. My relatives were predominantly in engineering, so my uncle wanted me to pursue that field, but even then I was a bit of a rebel. I found these studies to be challenging and interesting. Of course, back then, there was still much to be discovered about the inner workings of the brain as is true today.
Katya: Did you go on to study neuroscience at University?
Dr. Phillips: When I started at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a pre-med student, I had already narrowed my focus to psychiatry, neurology, or neurosurgery. I enjoyed my time so much in the the lab that I considered getting a PhD in the same studies. I worked in the psychology clinic and performed neurosurgery in the lab, on lab rats, for my research project. I still have memories of the Nerst Equation which I spent much time trying to understand.
My family was poor so I worked my way through college and joined the U.S. Army which enabled me to travel the world and experience many different cultures. Photo of Dr. Phillips
Katya: Were you able to continue studying or working in the field after you joined the U.S. Army?
Dr. Phillips: I received a full Army scholarship to medical school at Southern Illinois University where I met a wonderful gentleman in Roger Elble, MD who was the department chairman at the time. He saw that I was dedicated and mentored me in the field. Besides being one of the greatest clinicians that I have had the pleasure to work with, he taught me to strive for excellence in my field and he has a great bedside manner which I strove to emulate. Although I was somewhat saddened to graduate medical school, I was excited to continue my clinical training!
Katya: What was the next step in your clinical training?
Dr. Phillips: I was a accepted at Cook County Hospital in Chicago for an internship which is well known for the intensity of its training. This hospital is featured in several television series and movies such as “The Fugitive”. Some of my trauma professors are actually in that movie!
After I completed the internship, I served four years on active duty with the Army as a medical officer. I was accepted to what I consider the best neurology program in the country, Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University. I met the chairman of the department, Herbert Schaumburg, MD and knew right away that I wanted to train with his team. After completing my residency, I completed further training with the J.Kiffin Penry Adult and Pediatric epilepsy mini fellowship program at Wake Forest University and a clinical program with Martin Samuels, MD at Harvard University and entered private practice.
I worked at a multiple group practice and a neurology specialist practice before starting my own practice in New York. I also accepted a faculty position with another great neurologist, John England, MD at LSU school of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA which enabled me to work with excellent clinicians while growing my own practice.
Katya: How has your private practice evolved through the years?
Dr. Phillips: My practice has grown from a small town practice to an international consulting practice utilizing virtual systems to bring that capability to far away locations on three continents. However, I maintain the small practice philosophy by direct communication with my patients.
See Dr. Phillips' article on how to maximize your experience with online consultations with your physician here.
Katya: What does your practice specialize in?
Dr. Phillips: My attention is on emerging therapies for neurological illnesses and combining Western medicine with Eastern medicine to improve efficacy in therapeutic outcomes in a patient-centered model. I include the patient, the family, and their primary physicians in the decision making while working as the guide through the process.
My current research focus is on stem cell therapy and translational medicine in neurodegenerative diseases. I am very excited about the potential of RingMD in helping me to achieve the goal of worldwide expert neurological care. I am honored to be recognized by numerous awards for clinical excellence.
To find out more about Dr. Christopher Phillips or contact him directly, see his profile on RingMD.
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