The 2022 Best Advances in Health Policy and Telemedicine
A ‘Meet and Greet’ with Neil A. Busis, MD, FAAN
By Caitlin West
February 16, 2023
Neil A. Busis, MD, FAAN, who serves on the Neurology Today editorial board, has no shortage of passionate interests—from helping to address burnout in medicine to advocating for the most fair reimbursement for neurologists' time in practice. Dr. Busis is a clinical professor in the department of neurology in the division of general neurology at NYU Langone Health, associate chair of neurology for technology and innovation, and clinical director of the department's telehealth program. Dr. Busis has been actively involved with the AAN for many years. Currently, he is vice chair of the Health Policy Subcommittee, participates in the Joint Coordinating Council on Wellness and Neurology Outcome Quality Measure Development Work Group, and is an alternate adviser on the AMA CPT Advisory Committee.
In the Jan. 19 issue, Dr. Busis highlighted the 2022 best advances in health policy and telemedicine for our annual feature. Here, he shared highlights about his life and career.
What drew you to the field of neurology?
A freshman course in philosophy, which considered the nature of perception. This led to studies in psychology. Cognitive psychology and physiological psychology were my favorites. When I decided to become a physician, it was quite natural that I was drawn to neurology.
What do you enjoy about participating on the Neurology Today editorial board?
The sum is greater than its parts. The conversations we have are fascinating and very productive, with a lot of creative synergy. Our meetings have contributed to making Neurology Today the best publication of its kind for neurology.
What professional accomplishment has made you proudest?
On the clinical side, every time I'm able to make a diagnosis that leads to a successful treatment for a patient, it is the most satisfying experience I can imagine. On the non-clinical side, I've very much enjoyed volunteering for the AAN in the fields of coding and billing, burnout, and teleneurology, including advocacy and member education for these areas.
What is a particularly memorable moment from your career, and why does it stick out to you?
When I made some unexpected diagnoses, particularly in my first patients with Lambert Eaton syndrome and Kennedy's disease. In both cases, the keys to diagnosis were EMG findings. In the Lambert Eaton patient, her compound muscle action potentials were so low that I thought my EMG machine was broken until I figured out what I was seeing. Similarly, in the Kennedy's disease patient, a person who seemed to have motor neuron disease had abnormal sensory nerve action potentials. I looked it up in a textbook (yes, we used those at that time), and it was a typical finding in a very unusual condition.
The most memorable moment in my non-clinical career was serving as the principal investigator for the AAN's burnout studies. This launched my career as the AAN's representative on the National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
These days, I most enjoy being with my four grandchildren. Every interaction is a delight. Lately, the most amazing experiences are taking my 3-year-old granddaughter to her ballet class, then having lunch with her at a diner across the street. When we were at the table waiting for our food, she looked up at me, smiled sweetly, and said, “Grandpa Neil, let's talk.” I melted.
What would you be doing if you weren't working in this field?
My second favorite field of medicine was obstetrics and gynecology. Reproductive medicine is absolutely fascinating. If I wasn't in medicine, I'd be an engineer, either working in the aerospace field or on computers.