For Kayli Kishel, MD, no two days are alike. As a child neurology resident, she is spending her year in adult neurology learning about and treating patients with stroke, dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other conditions. For this week’s “spotlight” interview, Kishel talks to us about how she first became interested in neurology (and pediatric epileptology in particular), getting married and finding comfort in a new rescue puppy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her plans for a career in pediatric epilepsy after finishing her residency.
What are your current responsibilities within the Neurology Department? What does a typical day for you look like?
Fortunately and unfortunately, there is no “typical” day. I change rotations on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. With each new rotation comes a new schedule and a new set of responsibilities. One week, I may be on our Stroke Service, managing the complications that arise from an acute cerebrovascular accident, while the next week I am on a neurodegenerative elective where I will dive into the world of dementia and ALS. One of the things that I love most about residency is that no two days are alike.
When and how did you decide to become a neurologist? How did you become interested in pediatric neurology in particular?
Early in medical school, I became fascinated by the intricacies of neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. I initially thought I wanted to become an adult neurologist. I then found that I was most interested in epilepsy. After working with a few pediatric epileptologists, I was hooked and decided to change paths.
How have your residency and personal life been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? What’s one resource or strategy that’s helped you cope?
I have been extremely lucky to have not lost any loved ones to COVID-19. I was initially supposed to get married in May, but we had to cancel the wedding. After rescheduling a few times, my husband and I were finally married in front of a few close family members and friends. Although it wasn’t the day we initially planned, it was still a wonderful and special experience.
Spending time outdoors with my husband and new rescue puppy, Jack, has been essential to deal with the stress of COVID.
What plans (if any) do you have for after you complete your residency? If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I plan on doing a pediatric epilepsy fellowship after residency.
What other passions or hobbies do you have outside of the department?
I played soccer growing up, and although I don’t play much anymore, I still enjoy getting outside and running. My husband and I recently rescued a puppy named Jack. I love spending time with him hiking trails and playing in our backyard.