E. Matthew Hoffman, D.O., Ph.D.
What attracted you to neurology?
The manifestations of neurological diseases are so different from non-neurological diseases. From the uncanny autoimmune or neurodegenerative behavioral syndromes to varying patterns of neuromuscular weakness, I have always been intrigued by the diversity of ways in which neurological dysfunction is expressed.
The algorithmic thought process employed to localize neurological dysfunction to a specific level of the nervous system using knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology further drew me to consider pursuing neurology.
Seeing neurologists sort out complex neurological histories, come up with lists of differential diagnoses, test each by performing that all-mystifying neurological examination, and then settle on a diagnosis prior to obtaining further testing was what sealed the deal for me.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for residency training?
I learned quickly in medical school that "the eye sees what the mind knows," and that if I wanted to recognize diverse presentations of neurological diseases, especially rare diseases, I would need real-life exposure to them. I also recognized that the field of neurology was broad in scope and that didactics from excellent educators would be vital to getting a grasp on the field in just a few short years of training.
I admire efficiency anywhere but especially in health care delivery systems. Mayo Clinic has such commitment to continuously becoming more efficient in order to provide better health care to its patients.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Adult Neurology Residency unique?
The breadth of pathology (neurological and non-neurological) seen at Mayo Clinic is unparalleled. With the ever-increasing scope of neurological diseases, Mayo Clinic offers not only the opportunity to care for patients with rare or newly described neurological conditions but also structured and relevant didactics to provide a necessary foundation that facilitates and accelerates clinical learning.
Residents are also adequately exposed to common neurological conditions in their continuity clinics, which must be composed strictly of regional patients. The ancillary support, also known as the "well-oiled machine" that is Mayo Clinic, allows physicians (residents included) to focus on providing excellent care to patients and minimizes the amount of time spent on activities that could distract from clinical decision-making.
What is living in Rochester, Minn., like for you?
I lived my entire pre-residency life in Oklahoma, so the weather is probably the most notable difference for me. While the winters are definitely cold and long, that hasn't stopped my wife and me from getting outdoors with our dog and going on hikes. In fact, I've walked to and from work for the majority of my residency.
Each winter, we learn new ways that Minnesotans embrace the weather and thrive. Rochester is a very friendly, easy-to-live-in city. Traffic is usually nonexistent. I have always felt safe. Social opportunities abound for those who are single, married or have children.
What does your future look like right now?
I anticipate a career in academic general neurology after completing fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology with an emphasis on electromyography.