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At the point in her life when sleep deprivation was at its highest, Dr. Kelly Brown became interested in sleep. The irony is not lost on her: It was during her residency that Dr. Brown began focusing on sleep-related disorders. Trained in internal medicine and neurology, Dr. Brown had always been fascinated by the brain. She was raised in Pennsylvania, but she’s lived in Nashville and worked as director of the outpatient Sleep/Neurology Clinic at Vanderbilt for almost three years. She traces her medical career back to age four, when her grandmother developed pancreatic cancer.
“That’s when I decided to be a doctor, and I never wavered,” Dr. Brown says.
Like cancer, the field of sleep has seen enormous improvements and greater awareness.“Sleep impacts diseases and overall health,” Dr. Brown says. “I saw the field of neurology, particularly sleep disorder treatment, as a way to make an impact and improve quality of life almost immediately.”
Dr. Brown is committed to building awareness of the common, but under-diagnosed, field of sleep disorders. “Treatments have come so far,” she says. “One patient told me he felt like he got a new battery. Sleep disorders can worsen critical illnesses and can even prove fatal. It’s so important to get treatment.”
As seen in the Top Doctors issue, July 2016.