Medical student and resident M. Omar Subei, MD was fascinated by the brain and the complex functions of this still little-known organ.Now a second-year epilepsy fellow, Svey I honed my EEG skills, kept up with the latest advances in the epilepsy literature, and attended epilepsy clinics. FIRST SPOTLIGHT FOR 2023 In his interview, Subei was moved by his passion for learning about epilepsy while teaching other trainees and medical students, as well as seeing photos of successfully resected epileptic patients driving for the first time. told me about it. He also shares his love of boating and spending time outdoors when he’s not at Duke University.
What are your current responsibilities as an epilepsy fellow? What does a typical day look like for you?
As a second-year epilepsy fellow, I am focused not only on honing my EEG reading skills, but also on improving my understanding of intracranial EEG monitoring. My day starts with reading long-form studies in the morning, and I go to epilepsy clinics and read short studies in the afternoon.
How did you become interested in neurology? How did you decide to specialize in clinical neurophysiology, especially epilepsy?
It’s been a long time since I made that decision! Nevertheless, I was (and still am) fascinated by the mind. The fact that, despite all technological progress, there remain many unknowns about how the brain works is what motivates me to continue reading and learning about neurology. Also applies to I enjoy integrating semiology, EEG, and imagery to try to accurately predict seizure focal points.
You presented a summary on seizure recurrence and management in antibody-positive autoimmune encephalitis at the recent Epilepsy Society annual meeting in Nashville. What were the main findings of this study, and how might they help us understand and treat epilepsy?
Autoimmune encephalitis, and also autoimmune epilepsy, is a relatively new and growing area of research. We followed patients with epilepsy associated with autoimmune encephalitis to understand their relapse patterns and see if we could correlate relapses with antibody types. I hope this helps us and others in deciding how to manage newly seizure patients in the setting of autoimmune encephalitis.
What are your plans after completing your fellowship? If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
If I could have a job in the world, I would be a fellow, a resident, an educator for medical students and at the same time learn from experts in the field of epilepsy.
Please list one experience as a fellow that has been particularly memorable or useful to you.
One of my most memorable experiences was seeing a pediatric patient with intractable post-ablation epilepsy. The patient was doing very well, finally the seizure subsided, and showed me a picture of him driving a car for the first time. Stories like this remind me why I chose epilepsy as my practice and motivate me to rethink my approach to all patients.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favorite part of the week is the Surgical Case Conference where we discuss patients planning epilepsy surgery. I enjoy the discussion among my multidisciplinary team as we hypothesize the location of the epileptogenic zone and discuss what the next steps in patient management are.
What is the hardest part of your job?
It’s also our surgical case conference! I very much enjoy discussing surgical cases, most of which are very complex cases that are difficult to approach right. It’s always enlightening to hear the gradual convergence of approaches to do.
What other passions and hobbies do you have outside of your studies?
I am fascinated by nature and probably one of my favorite pastimes is boating. Helps you relax after a busy week of work. If you’re lucky, you might catch some fish that you can cook when you return.