Nils Petersen, MD, PhD, is a neurointensivist in the neuroscience intensive care unit (NICU) of Yale New Haven Hospital. He treats life-threatening diseases that involve the brain, spinal cord and nerves, from stroke to central nervous system infections, neuromuscular diseases and neurosurgical post-operative care. “To be a skilled neurologist requires not only knowledge of how the brain works and the latest treatments,” he says, “but also the clinical acumen to pick up subtle exam findings, interpret complicated histories and apply critical thinking skills to compose the best treatment plan for each patient.”
He was recruited by Yale in 2014 to design and implement a state-of-the-art neurovascular ultrasound lab. “Hospitalization after stroke or in the NICU represents an important and vulnerable time for both patients and families, a time during which physicians have the most impact,” he says. “I feel privileged to be a part of this journey for my patients and their families, a journey that continues to inspire me both personally and scientifically on a regular basis.”
An assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Petersen hopes his research on brain blood flow and how it is affected by neurologic injury, particularly stroke, will help doctors improve functional outcomes after stroke.