Name: Lina Palaiodimou, MD
Hometown: Athens, Greece
Current Position: Neurologist, Second Department of Neurology, “Attikon” University Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Q: What made you interested in a career in stroke?
A: Until the recent past, the following playful dogma prevailed: “Neurologists know everything, but do nothing.” Stroke and the recent therapeutic advances regarding acute treatment really changed that scenery. Rapid information processing, accurate critical thinking, effective cooperation, and, of course, the adrenaline rush constitute the core of acute stroke management and actually describe my dream job. So, when I first got involved with an acute stroke patient being thrombolyzed and getting dramatically better, I was determined that a stroke career would suit me. That has not changed a bit since then.
Q: What has been your career path into this field?
A: I graduated from Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece, and the Military Medical Academy in Thessaloniki, Greece. In late 2019, I completed the neurology residence in Attikon University General Hospital of Athens. Currently, I am a PhD student in Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and my thesis is focused on stroke management and prognosis. I am also working with a team of dedicated stroke neurologists in the Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases of Attikon University General Hospital of Athens, where more than 600 stroke patients are being evaluated per year, in an inpatient and outpatient setting.
Q: Who is your stroke mentor or stroke hero?
A: That’s an easy question for me. My stroke mentor could have not been anyone but Georgios Tsivgoulis, MD. Dr. Tsivgoulis is a professor of neurology in National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the director of the Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases & Neurosonology Laboratory. I consider him as the “incarnation” of evidence-based medicine in stroke management and in neurology in general.
However, nothing would have been possible without my stroke heroes: my former fellow residents and the nurses of 05 Department of Attikon University General Hospital of Athens.
Q: What is a piece of advice you would give to a trainee?
A: As C. Miller-Fisher quoted, “learn neurology stroke by stroke.” Use stroke training to unravel the function of the whole nervous system.
Also, now more than ever, search for and rely on evidence-based medicine and be skeptical of authoritarian advice and empirical clinical practices.
Q: What is your favorite hobby or way of de-stressing?
A: Searching for an adrenaline rush, I got involved with windsurfing, skiing, and canyoning. On an easy Sunday, I also enjoy running long distances and hiking. Apart from amazing beaches, Greece also has breathtaking summits and outstanding hiking routes.
Q: What is a good book you read recently that you recommend?
A: “The Story of San Michele” is a book of memoirs by Swedish physician Axel Munthe. I was truly inspired by the author’s quote: “We can learn the science of others, but we must seek wisdom within ourselves.”