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Dr. Nancy Greenwald has been a solid fixture in the Boise rehabilitation community since the late 90’s, when she moved here to join Idaho PM&R fresh out of residency from the University of Michigan program. She graduated from the Brown-Dartmouth University School of Medicine program.
Colleagues comment on her outstanding care and advocacy for brain injury patients, care with wisdom and heart. For her part, Dr. Greenwald says that these are some of the most special moments in medicine, the long-term journey with patients which is a privilege: sometimes sad and sometimes joyous. “I wanted to specialize in PMR because it allowed me to treat the whole patient rather than focusing on one organ or body system. “
The evolving world of brain injury research fascinates her. Both in sports and in the military, she points out, ongoing research is emerging. In order to protect people’s brains in these fields, it does require social changes and the public’s attitude. These changes are already slowly occurring such as recommendations to encourage young children from avoiding contact sports early on all the way to penalizing targeted tackling moves in pro football. News covering the effects of blast traumatic brain injuries in soldiers and veterans from IED or missile attacks has also changed American’s perspectives and led to advances in combat helmet design.
Over the year’s she has enjoyed the input of mentors from her partners at IPM&R and her patients who have taught her much about practicing the art of medicine. She enjoyed working with different teams of different rehab therapists who taught her the strength of providing good medicine is with teammates, and not a solo event.
In fact, Dr. Greenwald says that the one thing she knows is the strength of any medical community is our ability to share knowledge. “This requires effort,” she admits, but you have to “reach out, keep talking to one another. Sometimes it is easy to get isolated because of our work schedule.”
Even before she retired this year, she always built fun into her life to ease the pressures of practicing medicine. She and her husband, Eliot Werk, can often be found on the local slopes at Bogus Basin or biking in the foothills. They have been solid attendees of ACMS’ annual Winter Clinics in McCall, always competing against some of her Idaho PM&R partners and their spouses.
Earning some “clinics cash" at Winter Clinics with Rachelle Gussner and Nancy Werdel.