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On the Brain
November 2017

Friday Music With Paul

Author Affiliations
  • 1Multiple Sclerosis Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
  • 2New York, New York
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(11):1293. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3009

As a neuropsychologist specializing in cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis, I divide my time between research and clinical work with patients with multiple sclerosis. Four years ago, Paul Tunick, MD, came to me for a cognitive evaluation. Like so many people with multiple sclerosis, Paul struggled with severe depression, debilitating fatigue, and progressive physical disability that limited his ability to live the full, stimulating life he had known until recently. Paul made his career as an accomplished cardiologist at a major medical center in New York City, and he had an impressive life story. Accepted to Princeton University at the age of 15 years, he quickly proved himself to be a talented student and, without interruption, continued on to medical school where he graduated with distinction and began practicing medicine. Paul was a brilliant physician whose self-concept was deeply informed by a lifetime of academic achievement and professional skill. Beyond that, Paul can still describe patients he treated decades ago, recalling details of their care, their condition, and their personal lives. I never knew Paul the physician, which is unfortunate because if he were still in practice, Paul would be the person to whom I would send my mother, my sister, my husband, my best friend.

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