Hi, my name is Michael Yochelson I’m the
chief medical officer at Shepherd Center. I’m a neurologist and physiatrist and
specialize in brain injury rehabilitation. I always thought that I
wanted to be an ophthalmologist until about the fourth year of medical school
and I was about to start an ophthalmology rotation and it got
cancelled so I had to scramble and find something else and I picked physical
medicine and rehabilitation and I just absolutely fell in love with the
specialty, particularly neurorehabilitation I was in the Navy for about
eleven and a half years, and during that time was very involved with brain injury,
particularly from soldiers and military members coming back from Iraq and
Afghanistan so ended up specializing in brain injury rehabilitation and then
when I had the opportunity to come down to Shepherd and take a look, it’s really
a magical place for anyone who does neuro rehab, specializing in more catastrophic
care brain injury and spinal cord injury rehab. When I’m treating patients, everything is patient centric. It’s about the patient, it’s about the
patient’s family, and what are their needs, what do they need to get back to
to get back into the community to function, and I work with my team to give
them back everything that they possibly can after they’ve suffered a
catastrophic injury or illness. To prepare for coming to Shepherd, you need to really understand that we are an intense rehabilitation program, and so
you want to be able to put your all into it. You’re gonna be getting at least
three hours sometimes more a day of therapy, various disciplines, and then there’s a
lot of opportunities as well during your stay here working with rec therapy,
getting out into the community doing group activities, so you want to take
every opportunity to learn as much as you can in our environment, it’s a safe
environment, it’s the right environment to make those mistakes, to almost get
hurt and realize how you can protect yourself from those same types of
mistakes or injury once you go back home. It’s almost everyday that I have an aha
moment that says this is why I’m here at Shepherd and in my role as chief medical
officer, I’m not working directly with patients every day although I do have a
clinical practice here, but it’s really watching the patients who come in on a
gurney, who can you know barely talk and barely move ,and can now roll around
in a wheelchair, get around independently and you see them going down the
hallways and smiling and talking to others and and every single day is
special like that. when I look back at my Shepherd career, and I hope that that’s
many years out, I would like to see that we have been able to expand the
services, provide more care, make sure that we’re providing state-of-the-art
care and I’d also like to see that we have increased educational opportunities
and I hope to see that by the time I retire.