In this post, I get the chance to interview one of the newest members of Team Magee, neuropsychologist Dr. Nermine Tawadrous. She’ll be working primarily on the 3rd floor of the main hospital in our General Rehab program.
Ashley Stoddard: Nermine, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Dr. Nermine Tawadrous: I was born in Cairo, Egypt and came to the U.S. when I was a little under the age of 1. I grew up in South Philadelphia, as a number of our patients do, so I am always ready to discuss with them the best cheesesteaks, pizza, and tourist spots! My parents are hardworking folks who came to this country knowing very little English. I learned all about discipline, sacrifice, and work ethic through their example. I did my undergraduate training at Temple University and my doctoral work at Widener University. I started school early as a child, so I was only 20 when I started the doctoral program. My classmates didn’t realize how young I was until we went out to lunch early in the semester, and they realized I couldn’t drink alcohol! I worked with many patient populations and in a variety of settings throughout my career, including hospitals, outpatient mental health clinics, rehabilitation centers, and private practice, and I’ve learned a great deal about people by these varied experiences.
AS: What interests or excites you about the field of neuropsychology?
NT: I initially went to school to pursue a degree in medicine but fell in love with neuropsychology after taking an undergraduate course in cognitive neuroscience my sophomore year. I have always been fascinated with the human brain and how people think, feel, and respond to situations. Neuropsychology is a lot like detective work. It involves heavy critical thinking and analysis, which I thoroughly enjoy. Another exciting aspect of psychology in general is the resilience of human beings and what enables a person to overcome a sudden medical event, like a stroke, traumatic brain injury, amputation, or spinal cord injury. It is a privilege and honor to help patients along this oftentimes challenging journey.
AS: What drew you to want to join Team Magee?
NT: A good friend of mine who is also a neuropsychologist at Magee, Dr. Katherine Vojtko, told me about the opening, and I thought it would be wonderful to work with her and the rest of the psychology team. Of course, I was also drawn to Magee’s reputation, being one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, and I loved the prospect of working with a diverse patient population and in my hometown.
AS: So far what has been your favorite part about working at Magee?
NT: I love that I can share my input as a neuropsychologist with a team of physicians, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, and case managers in order to generate the best possible treatment plan for a specific patient. We truly are a team. It is evident in every case we discuss. Each specialist brings something new to the table and it enlightens the case. I also love the vigor and enthusiasm of each of my colleagues. Everyone here is incredibly focused on providing the absolute best clinical care for each patient, and this has always been very important to me, as well.
AS: What kind of activities do you enjoy in your free time?
NT: I love spending time with my husband and our young son. We try to do some sort of family outing every weekend, often church, libraries, and parks. We also have memberships to virtually every museum and aquarium in the Tri-State area! We love to travel and are looking forward to our upcoming vacation in Florida next month. I also enjoy biking, nature walks, listening to music, and going to concerts.