Chia-Chun Chiang, M.D.

Chia-Chun Chiang, M.D. What attracted you to medicine and neurology?

Growing up as a daughter of a neurosurgeon, the nervous system has always been very fascinating to me. I devoted myself to researches of memory and long-term-potentiation in high school, which introduced the mysterious world of neuroscience to me. During my neurology clinical rotations in medical school, I encountered several interesting cases, and the process of searching for the diagnosis behind various presentations of neurological diseases have intrigued me again and again during my clinical training. 

However, the fascinating complexity and intellectual challenges of neurology are not my only motivations to become a neurologist. Seeing relatives and friends suffering from neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or migraine, together with the experiences taking care of patients with debilitating neurological diseases, made me realized how their quality of life were diminished. I urged myself to become a neurologist as I saw their frustration, and beyond that, the unlimited potential to make a difference by contributing to the advancement of neurology.

What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for residency training?

I did a rotation at Mayo Clinic Arizona's Department of Neurology, headache division, as a visiting student. The invaluable opportunity made me realize how tormenting headaches can be, and how adequate treatment can tremendously improve the quality of patients' lives.

In addition to witnessing how consultants provide amazing patient care, I had the chance to participate in research projects such as investigating the fMRI changes in migraine patients in response to painful stimulation, and conducting a comprehensive systematic review of the treatment of medication overuse headache. These exciting experiences exploring important but controversial issues in clinical neurology reinforced my strong commitment to patient care and dedication to cutting-edge research.

Most importantly, I was very impressed with how the consultants devoted to the education of the residents. I was convinced that Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus would be a perfect place for me to launch my career in neurology.

What makes Mayo Clinic's Adult Neurology Residency in Arizona unique?

The combination of the awesome faculties, the structured curriculum, and most importantly the warm and welcoming atmosphere, is what makes Mayo Clinic Arizona's Adult Neurology Residency unique. The faculty members — many of whom are world-renowned experts — are kind and approachable.

The patient population here is diverse, and we have the opportunity to do international rotations, volunteer clinic, or tele-neurology to explore different aspects of clinical neurology.The well-designed courses, including neuroanatomy, neuroscience, clinical neurophysiology, and neuropathology, greatly enhance our knowledge base. In addition, there are always an abundance of research opportunities to devote time to and great mentors to work with.

What is living in Arizona (Phoenix area) like for you?

Scottsdale provides a serene and relaxing atmosphere that can be soothing after a busy and tiring day, while one can always find lots of exciting and fun places to hang out. It is less crowded and less busy than other big cities, and traffic is rarely a problem.

Summer here can be very warm, but winter in Arizona is absolutely beautiful. During weekends I enjoy exploring the magnificent canyons, spectacular national monuments, and amazing hiking trials in Arizona. The landscape and natural features in Arizona are breathtaking.

What does your future look like right now?

I envision becoming a physician-scientist devoted to academic neurology. I believe this residency program will prepare me well to achieve my career goal.