Skip to main content

Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Quan, DO

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

For Duke Raleigh’s Melissa Quan, DO, the decision to become a neurologist was an unexpected one, occurring after she decided to shadow a practicing neurologist during a Christmas break from medical school. This week, Quan talk to us about her interests in Neurology, being married to a fellow Duke neurologist, and using children’s book as a therapy for insomnia.

How long have you been at Duke? How long have you worked at Duke Raleigh?
I started working at Duke Neurology of Raleigh in August 2010. I was fortunate enough to be offered an interview when my husband Patrick was interviewing for the Movement Disorders fellowship here at Duke. I am mainly in the outpatient setting on the Duke Raleigh campus but also rotate call with my partners approximately every four weeks at Duke Raleigh Hospital.

What does a typical day for you look like? What do you enjoy most about your work?
I am usually dead asleep when my three-year-old son Liam comes and wakes me up because his “alarm clock turned green” - which it really does when he is allowed to officially wake up! Patrick and I then groggily and miraculously get the two kids (three-year-old Liam and nine-month-old Maddie) ready and out of the house in time to make it to work. Sometimes my hair is brushed, sometimes the makeup makes it on my face, but somehow I am out the door with school bags in hand and kids in tow, on my way to drop them off at their nanny’s.

I make it to the office just about on time to see morning and afternoon patients, some being all business and some of my long time patients being more of a social visit. I fill in any gaps with the treacherous in-basket. The work day comes to an end and off to get the kids I go. Once home, it’s always a hoot seeing what kind of bargaining tactics Liam has up his sleeve to avoid eating at the “big table,” taking a bath, and going to sleep. His little sister, on the other hand, is all about the eating and sleeping. They’re fast asleep after a story, and Patrick and I have a little down time before another busy and fun day!

How did you decide to become a neurologist?
Before medical school, I always thought I’d do something like OB but who knew there’d be so much human fluid involved in that specialty?! It wasn’t until I just happened to shadow a neurologist for a day during Christmas vacation in California that I realized what a neurologist does. Headache, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and dementia are all fascinating. The people are nice and some have off-the-wall stories, but it seems to keep me entertained.

You’re married to another Duke Neurologist, Patrick Hickey, DO. What’s one thing that most people in the Department don’t know about him?
Did you know that Patrick is a Michigan State fan? Oh wait, most people probably already know that since he stealthily hangs up and flaunts his MSU flag in Burt Scott’s workspace every March Madness.

Have you recently read any books, articles, or websites that would be of interest to others in the Department?
I highly recommend reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site for all those with insomnia. It’s very calming before bed.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I have always enjoyed craft projects since childhood but my latest hobby when I have a spare moment is sewing. I pretty much taught myself sewing so the projects are not complicated and pretty much consist of Paw Patrol pillowcases, blankets, and zippered bags for Liam, not to mention Star Wars pajamas for Patrick!

Quan zoo

Quan with husband Patrick, and children Maddie and Liam enjoy some time at the Detroit Zoo.