Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Dr. Kristen Babinski received my PhD in Biochemistry at Duke University and then went on to earn a medical degree at UNC School of Medicine. She completed her neurology residency and multiple sclerosis fellowship at NYU School of Medicine. After that, she worked at a New York hospital before joining us at Tufts Medical Center.
Who did you go into medicine ?
Before I went to medical school, I was in a Ph.D biochemistry program. I was envious of the medical professionals in the medical center where I worked. While I was facing the frustrations of one failed experiment after another alone at my lab bench, I envisioned the medical students collaborating together with their team to have an immediate impact in people’s lives. As a physician, I could not only be a problem solver, but could also directly help and build relationships with patients. After I completed by Ph.D, I entered medical school.
What have you learned through being a physician that helps your patients?
I have learned to listen to patients’ stories. You can learn so much from patients just by sitting back listening to their narrative. Understanding a patient’s background, life challenges, and worries can help build trust and create a more effective patient-doctor relationship.
What can patients expect when they meet with you?
Patients can expect their concerns to be heard when they meet with me. I spend a lot of time getting to know my MS patients, so I can understand how I can best help them. I individualize treatment plans with input from my patient and their families, and if something just isn’t working, I am open to formulating a plan that works best for them.
One piece of advice for patients who have recently been diagnosed with MS:
Unlike in the past, there are now many medications available to help reduce relapses and slow disability progression. Newly diagnosed patient have many more options for treatment than they did prior to 2010. There is also a lot of research in the field of MS, so even more therapies may be available in the future.
To learn more about MS, visit the MS Clinic website >