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Dr. Grace Mandigo: Lighting the Way for Female Neurosurgeons

Grace Mandigo_MedIn the field of neurosurgery, there is one female neurosurgeon for every 20 male neurosurgeons. Dr. Grace Mandigo, MD of Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital understands what it’s like to travel the path few female physicians traveled before.

Dr. Mandigo is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia, College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she quickly realized that she wanted to be a neurosurgeon. She believes that “more ideas, and more perspectives as a whole are needed to advance the field of neurosurgery.”

Her practice focuses on vascular disorders such as brain aneurysms and arterio-venous malformations, as well as skull-base tumors. She is proud to be a part of Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital where she works with some of the leading neurosurgeons in the world. She also collaborates with leaders in other specialties who call Columbia home.

But even in the midst of giants in the field of neurosurgery, Dr. Mandigo finds the patients the most satisfying part of her practice. “Every person that I operate on, I take home with me.”

And home, she says can often be the barrier for many students who would like to pursue the neurosurgical specialty. There are many factors that a medical student weighs when choosing a specialty, and how the specialty will affect their family life is one of them.

But Dr. Mandigo, a mother herself, lights the path for family-oriented neurosurgeons who come after her. She makes herself available to talented female medical students who are trying to determine if neurosurgery is right for them. For those who know, like she did, that neurosurgery is their passion, Dr. Mandigo offers an example of how family life and a busy neurosurgical practice can be balanced.

She acknowledges that there are questions and doubts about pursuing motherhood and a career in neurosurgery.

“While I don’t have all the answers, what I can say is that at some point you have to let go of the questions and doubts and just do it. While we can never predict the future, what I can attest to is the fact that it absolutely can work.”

Learn more about Dr. Grace Mandigo, MD on her webpage here.

patient journey

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