We are excited to welcome Dr. Doreen Ho as our newest faculty to the Healey Center for ALS. Dr. Ho completed her medical school and residency training at Tufts Medical Center and her neuromuscular fellowship at Mass General Brigham, where she was colleagues with Dr. James Berry, now chief of our ALS and Motor Neuron Diseases Division. After fellowship training, she joined Tufts University/Lahey Health, where she became an integral part of the neuromuscular team. She worked alongside Dr. Jim Russell in the ALS clinic for a decade, eventually taking over leadership of the clinic and becoming the site NEALS investigator. She also held a leadership position in the Neuromuscular Division and directed the Lahey portion of the Tufts Neurology Residency, where she was a mentor and educator.
We asked Dr. Ho about her return to Mass General Brigham, her approach to patient care, and her hopes for new treatments and cures for ALS.
How did you choose ALS as your field of study?
Our patients. Over time, I’ve met many truly remarkable and courageous people with ALS who are committed to moving the field forward in the most difficult of circumstances. Their families and caregivers have been beyond dedicated and compassionate. I have been moved by these patients to contribute to this field of ALS clinical care and research – to help find a cure and improve quality of life for patients, families, and caregivers.
What led you to return to Mass General Brigham?
After completing a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine at MGB, I started my career as an attending physician at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. In this department, I developed a collaborative, patient-centered approach and gained extensive clinical experience in a range of neuromuscular disorders in both ambulatory and acute care settings. I looked to improve the clinical care of patients by designing and delivering innovative programs. With the help of mentors at Lahey, I assumed a leadership position in the ALS clinic and worked to help the center offer clinical trials to ALS patients. I had received exceptional training and mentorship at MGB and coming back to MGB gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for clinical care of ALS patients and to work on a team to move ALS research forward.
What do you hope to achieve here?
First, I hope to care for patients with ALS and to focus on collaboration and education. Second, I hope to push research in this field forward by working on clinical trials in ALS. To these ends, I believe that every member of a team is essential to the success of any endeavor. I am inspired to further expand ALS research alongside my new colleagues at the Healey Center and NCRI and to play a small role in helping to find a cure for this disease.
What would you like your new patients to know about you and the care they receive here?
I would like patients to feel comfortable asking any questions and knowing that we - as their team of health care professionals – will listen to them and their concerns or feedback. That we will place them at the center of all discussions. I would like them to know that I will be honest with them and if I do not know the answer, I will try my best to find out what I can, and that I will work with all members of our team to provide them the best clinical care possible.
How hopeful are you about new treatments and cures for ALS?
Very hopeful. Together, we will find a cure for this disease, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work at the Healey Center alongside a group of very committed and motivated colleagues.