Written By: Sarah
M.D, Ph.D., a native of Poland, serves as Director of an accredited Clinical
Neurophysiology Residency (fellowship) program at LSUHSC.
In late high school, he was inspired by his paternal grandmother, a midwife;
and his father, a physician, to enter the field of medicine. He opted to
specialize in neurology, and the motivation behind this was simple and clear:
"All of our humanity is contained in our brain,” he says.
As a neurologist, he encounters —and solves — medical mysteries on a daily
basis, and like most health care professionals and scientists, must deal with
regulatory and financial hurdles.
One case in particular, though, stands out as a stunning example of his own
perseverance and the power of trial-and-error — along with his bedside manner
that fosters trust among his patients.
Olejniczak gives credit to the patient himself, who suffered from medically
intractable focal onset epilepsy — a condition for which there is still no
ultimate cure. The patient has been able to make some progress because he has
placed his trust in the doctor, who experimented with multiple types of
therapies and medications before finding one that worked the best.
"He tried all available medications and encountered dangerous medication side
effects on the way,” says Olejniczak. Then, they decided to try a ‘smart brain
stimulator’ — an implanted device that delivers electrical stimulation to
regions deep in the brain. At the time, it was still in the experimental phase
and so far the results have been progressive if not perfect.
"We have been fine-tuning that device all the time to achieve modest
improvement,” he says.
Over the course of his career, the doctor and his patients have learned
together to never give up. In his capacity as a physician, Olejniczak says that
he is proud of the ability to overcome adversities to set up epilepsy care
accessible to all patients.
Medical University in Wroclaw, Poland; Medical School: Medical University in
Wroclaw, Poland; Hometown: Kalisz, Poland