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Faculty Spotlight: Kyle Mitchell, MD

Friday, August 31, 2018

Movement disorders, according to Kyle Mitchell, MD, is a dream specialty for a neurologist, with friendly patients, treatments that improve quality of life, and regular use of the neurological examination for diagnosis. In this week’s Spotlight interview, the new addition to our faculty talks about his new role as a clinician scientist at Duke, coming back to the east coast after five years in San Francisco and St. Louis, and enjoying international travel and pickup basketball in his spare time.

Welcome to the Neurology Department! How did you decide to come to Duke?
Thank you. I'm thrilled to join the team. The Duke Department of Neurology offered a unique flexibility to pursue my career goals as a clinician/researcher in movement disorders. My clinical expertise in deep brain stimulation aligned with a need at Duke, and the administration showed an understanding of the time and resources needed to get research projects off the ground as junior faculty.

What are your current responsibilities within the Neurology Department? What does your typical day look like?
I split my time between treating patients with movement disorders in the clinic, performing targeting and test stimulation for DBS cases in the operating room, and clinical research. An ideal day involves discussing cases with my excellent colleagues in between clinical care and working on manuscripts.

How did you decide to specialize in movement disorders?
Movement disorders has what all neurologists want: complete reliance on a detailed physical exam for diagnosis, effective treatments that improve quality of life, and grateful and genuinely kind patients.

You’re returning to the east coast after a fellowship at the UCSF School of Medicine and residency at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. What do you miss most about each of these areas? What do you enjoy most about being back on the east coast?

I'll miss the coastal cliffside views, variety of great restaurants, and walkability of San Francisco (but certainly not the cost of living) and the charm and barbecue of St Louis. Yes, I'm aware that Carolina barbecue is a thing. I love the relative proximity of Durham to friends and family on the east coast, the friendliness of southerners, and the open space to get outdoors.

What other passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I enjoy international travel with my wife Lydia (an Emergency Physician at Duke Regional Hospital), playing pickup basketball and tennis, and cheering for ill-fated sports teams.


Kyle and his wife Lydia enjoy a day off.

This article also appears as part of our 2019 Movement Disorders newsletter. Read the rest of that issue here.