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Stanford University School of Medicine

Why become a doctor? Deep brain stimulation hooked this Stanford neurosurgeon

Neurosurgeon Casey Halpern, MD, can't remember a time when he wasn't interested in the brain. Thanks to a mentor at the University of Pennsylvania, he was able to refine his interest and gain exposure to an actual brain surgery as an undergraduate.

The procedure he watched was a deep brain stimulation surgery, which is often likened to installing a pacemaker for the brain. It can help patients with tremor, Parkinson's disease or even with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

"It was that experience that made me realize this is what I wanted to do every day," Halpern explains in the Stanford Health Care video above.

He continues:

What inspires me is how effective it is and how minimally invasive it is at the same time... And it is able to transform these patients' lives into what many of these patients would say is almost feeling completely normal. And many of these patients haven't felt normal in 15 years.

To be able to have that kind of an effect on patients has been what inspires me every day.

Previously: Why become a doctor? A personal story from a Stanford plastic surgeon, Why become a doctor? Here are 10 reasons, and Why become a doctor? A personal story from a Stanford neurosurgeon

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