Michelle Moshkowitz’s history with Duke Neurology dates back to 2008 when she began working as a registered medical assistant at the Morreene Road Clinic. After she worked at one of Duke University’s Integrative Medicine Clinics, she returned to Moline her lord, helping schedule, organize, and maintain clinical studies in Huntington’s disease. Spotlight of the Week In her interview, Moshkowitz discusses the many behind-the-scenes activities required to continue her clinical research, the various studies she’s been involved in, and why she’s become a “clinic DJ and stand-up.” It talks about what is known as a comedian. her previous position.
What are your current responsibilities in Neurology? What does a typical day look like for you?
My weekly schedule is very busy. Whether you see a patient or not, there is always something to do. A typical week includes seeing patients on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings. I have participated in several Huntington’s disease studies and work closely with the principal investigator, Dr. Burton Scott. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I work on behind-the-scenes activities such as data entry, scheduling patient follow-up appointments, communicating with various study managers, and assisting with any issues that arise.
Each study includes various assessments that need to be done during the visit, so we need to make sure we have all the necessary tools, including the right lab kits and packing materials. Check each study daily. , it is imperative to ensure that the patient is seen on the designated days according to the study protocol. Every Friday afternoon, I go to the Huntington’s Clinic led by Dr. Barton Scott and Dr. Katie Moore. One of the studies I’m working on is a drug-free observational study. Every Thursday, I check Huntington’s clinic schedule the following Friday to see if there are any patients enrolled in his Enroll-HD study, which will be seen as an annual follow-up visit. It also provides information and support to patients and their families about current studies currently enrolled or future upcoming studies.
What were you doing before coming to neurology? How does that compare to your current job?
The Morreene Road Neurology Clinic has a long history. I started working at Duke University in 2008 as a Registered Medical Assistant at the Moline Road Neurology Clinic. This was my first job at Duke University. I worked with many of the providers he still works with on Morreene Road. I transferred to the Integrative Medicine Primary Care Clinic at Duke University seven years after him.
I learned a lot while working there. I had the opportunity to see different disabilities and different age groups. Another interesting thing about the clinic was that she focused on mind and body as a unit. As part of their treatment options, health care providers used non-alternative methods such as medical massage, acupuncture, various supplements and herbs, and various meditation techniques. has been shown to help with symptoms of chronic disease.
My previous job was interacting with patients, their loved ones, and healthcare providers. My daily schedule consists of checking in patients who come to the clinic, measuring vitals, drawing blood, refilling medicines, electrocardiograms, hearing tests, eye examinations, injections such as influenza vaccination, pneumonia, hepatitis, shingles, etc. Herpes, various lab treatments, and providing support to patients and providers.
After 7 years working at the Integrative Medicine Clinic, I had the opportunity to return to the Moline Road Neurology Clinic. She felt great here and she wanted to come home.
What clinical research projects are you currently involved in? How will your research help us understand and treat neurological conditions?
My main research is on Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is a rare disorder involving degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Symptoms include cognitive, physical, and psychiatric impairments that appear in the 30s and 40s. It can also start before the age of 20, called juvenile Huntington’s disease. There is no cure for the disease, but there are now medications to help manage symptoms.
Currently, I am working on four different studies. The Enroll-HD study is the observational study I mentioned earlier. The study just celebrated his 10th anniversary and now enrolls about 150 patients. Two of his other studies I’m working on are Kinect-HD and Proof-HD. Both have observational, physical, and cognitive aspects that require different assessments with the patient in person or over the phone. Regular monitoring by a psychiatrist is essential because these patients are at high risk of attempting suicide.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favorite part of my job is working with patients and their families. My new role as a research coordinator allows me to maintain my clinical skills while interacting with patients and their loved ones. During COVID-19, I had the opportunity to go back to school and pursue a BA in Health Psychology. I am very lucky and grateful to have been appointed to my current position. It is very exciting and interesting for me to play a role in the research world, as I am participating in creating something that might help people with Huntington’s disease in the future.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is multitasking where I have about 10 different pieces of software that are out of sync with each other and I have to make sure they are all updated with the latest data. I had never had an “office” job before. I am used to standing all day, so this part of the job is different and requires adjustments.
What other passions and hobbies do you have outside of your studies?
When the weather permits, she loves spending time outdoors with her two dogs, Adrian and Lulu. Adrian he’s a 13 year old Jack Russell mix and totally mom he’s a boy. Lulu is a total diva, she just eats and sleeps, and she occasionally plays with humans. She loves spending time with her family and friends, she loves to dance, be silly and laugh. Sometimes she thinks funny things and she can’t stop laughing. Her husband Ronnie knows me perfectly as he would say “Tell me when you’re done laughing” in situations like this. I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh. Every patient I see is trying to make them laugh too. In her previous work, she was known as a clinic DJ and stand-up comedian. Maybe that will be my future role.
moshkowitz dog Adrian and Lulu are dating her when she’s not at Duke.