By Nancy Kirsch, Brown Medicine magazine
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Teena Shetty is both the neurologist for the New York Mets and unaffiliated Neuro-Trauma Consultant for the New York Giants. The Nubian Union’s Legend Awards/Chasing Stars Holiday Gala Dinner is presently raising funds to support Dr. Shetty’s research in head trauma, which involves brain-imaging after repeated concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries.
Interested? Attend the Awards Gala. The event takes place Monday, November 23rd 6:30pm at the Alger House in Greenwich Village. Purchase $135.00 tickets on Eventbrite.
Can’t attend? Donate via Nubian Union (nubianunion.net). Contact Clark Everson of Unity Missionary Investors at (908) 884-8430 or via email email@example.com.
NEW YORK CITY | Neurologist Teena Shetty has a way with words. When asked “Why neurology?” she says, “Of all the organs we study, the brain is the closest to your soul. As compelling as the pathophysiology of the heart, lungs, and kidneys is, the brain defines who we are.”
Shetty is not your run-of-the mill neurologist. A specialist in nerve and muscle damage, she serves as the New York Giants’ neurologist and consultant for traumatic brain injuries, and consults for the New York Mets. One of a handful of women physicians in professional football, she treats such high-profile patients as the Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, who suffered a head injury last fall.
An assistant attending neurologist at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, Shetty is board certified in neurology and electro-diagnostic medicine and has a subspecialty certification in neuromuscular medicine. When she sees players with repeated concussions, migraine headaches, or related stresses, she must balance the injured athletes’ intense desire to return to the playing field with her need to ensure their neurological and physiological health before releasing them for play.
Other competing demands also require careful negotiation: Shetty teaches medical students, residents, and fellows at Weill Cornell Medical College, practices at the Hospital for Special Surgery, writes about her patients, and is mother to three daughters (3-year-old twins and a 6-month-old), whom she calls “the richest blessings in my life.”
Her greatest challenge? “Finding time to do justice to everything in the way that I wish. Balancing motherhood and work, while daunting at times, allows each part of my life to fuel the other.”
After completing her undergraduate studies at Brown, Shetty earned a master’s in philosophy in medicine from Cambridge University as a Fulbright Scholar. Her essay, “From the Deccan Plateau,” appeared in This Side of Doctoring: Reflections from Women in Medicine, a collection of essays edited by Eliza Lo Chin (Sage Publications, 2002).
Shetty received the Leah J. Dickstein Award from the Association of Women Psychiatrists in 2000 and, in 2011, Crain’s New York Business named her one of New York’s “40 under Forty” rising stars. She is currently studying a group of professional football players to understand the longterm effects of traumatic brain injury. Rather than eschewing sports because of the risks involved, she has gained tremendous respect for professional athletes and their commitment, and hopes athletics will play a significant role in her children’s lives.