Written by: Aleah Chang
Dr. Loni Neal is an internist in the division of General Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is a 1989 graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and for ten years prior to that, worked as a medical technologist in Milwaukee, WI. Her medical school graduating class was composed of about 200 members of whom 30% were women. Womanhood rarely challenged her career, even during her pregnancy as a third year resident at the University of Minnesota.
She expressed she would not change her choice of career as it has provided a wonderful range of experiences and exposures for her, allowing her to connect with patients through conversation and their experiences and diagnoses. She serves as an encouraging figure for her patients and also enjoys educating them. It was evident that Dr. Neal had a solid sense of humor when she gave me the following advice, “Be sure to examine your patients with their clothes off.” It seems like a silly thing to say, but physicians and patients can certainly miss things when they skimp on the physical exam. Dr. Neal also stated that medical students should strive to remain curious and always question the diagnosis especially when the “pieces don’t fit”. They should attempt to dig deeply into what they’ve learned in medical school and remain up to date as medical improvements are revealed.