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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Jan 11, 2022

It is a long road to become an anesthesiologist – four years of medical school and another four years of postgraduate training and residency. To subspecialize in cardiac anesthesiology requires at least one more year. And Dr. Jonathan Lessin, our guest today, did all of that before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his late 30’s, forcing him to adjust his career path.


Anesthesiology is a very “hands on” practice, requiring dexterity to insert and manipulate breathing tubes, intravascular catheters, and imaging, ventilatory, and other mechanical devices. It also requires stamina for long operations. Jonathan was able to continue working for some time after implantation of a deep brain stimulator (DBS). But, taking into account the safety of his patients, he eventually knew it was time to give up the profession he loved. In this episode, he relates his history, how he came to receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis from a friend, how he persevered as long as was practical, and what his DBS allows him to do now.