PNA Spotlight: Dr. Debraj Mukherjee

 

mukherjeeThis month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Debraj “Raj” Mukherjee, director of neurosurgical oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and assistant professor of neurosurgery and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Mukherjee earned his M.D. from Dartmouth Medical School. He went on to study epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical design at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and served as co-director of the Neuro-Oncology Surgical Outcomes Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery. He did his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an open and endoscopic skull base fellowship at the Center for Skull Base Surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Mukherjee was kind enough to answer some questions from the PNA; his answers follow.

What inspired you to choose your career path?

 My interest in pursuing a career in medicine was sparked by very personal experiences. As the son of immigrant parents who settled just outside of Chicago, I found the physicians caring for my family and me were always compassionate and provided wisdom, guidance, and support that was truly life-altering, regardless of our ability to pay for their services. Beyond this initial curiosity, as I began to interact more with patients as a clinic volunteer in high school and college, I found my ability to connect with patients on an individual level to be inspiring and deeply meaningful. As a medical student, I was drawn to neurosurgery, given its promise of dramatically improving patients’ lives through the surgical sciences. During my training, I found that I excelled in the skull base cases that were often the most challenging, including dissection along critical neurovascular structures with significant implications for patients’ quality of life. As an attending neurosurgeon focused on the surgical treatment of skull base tumors (inclusive of pituitary lesions), I have been fortunate to merge all of these interests and skills into a comprehensive skull base tumor practice that allows me to demonstrate empathy toward my patients and their families, while also providing excellent surgical care and pushing the field forward with my research initiatives focused on quality-of-life issues.

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Medical Corner: Socioeconomic Status and Pituitary Surgery

 

aghikunwartheodosopoulosThis month the PNA Medical Corner presents a study co-authored by multiple members of the PNA: Drs. Theodosopoulos, Kunwar, Blevins and Aghi, all colleagues at UCSF. The study looks at whether a patient’s socioceconomic status has any predictive value as to the presentation or outcomes after the resection of a nonfunctioning pituitary tumor. They looked at five indicators of SES (race, ethnicity, insurance status, estimated income, and having a primary care provider) and conclude that having a primary care provider was the most significant factor and protected low-income patients from increased risk of recurrence.

Socioeconomic predictors of case presentations and outcomes in 225 nonfunctional pituitary adenoma resections

Robert C Osorio 1, Matheus P Pereira 1, Rushikesh S Joshi 2, Kevin C Donohue 1, Patricia Sneed 3, Steve Braunstein 3, Philip V Theodosopoulos 4, Ivan H El-Sayed 5, José Gurrola 5, Sandeep Kunwar 4, Lewis S Blevins 4, Manish K Aghi 4
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PMID: 34598141 DOI: 10.3171/2021.4.JNS21907

Abstract

Objective:  Clinical presentations and outcomes of nonfunctional pituitary adenoma (NFPA) resections can vary widely, and very little prior research has analyzed this variance through a socioeconomic lens. This study sought to determine whether socioeconomic status (SES) influences NFPA presentations and postoperative outcomes, as these associations could aid physicians in understanding case prognoses and complications.

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