Dr Amy Kolarova, Physiatrist at Shepherd Center

Dr  Amy Kolarova, Physiatrist at Shepherd Center


My name is Amy Kolarova, and I work on the
acquired brain injury unit here at Shepherd. For education, my medical school was at the
Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, and then I completed
my residency and my fellowship at National Rehab Hospital in Washington, D.C. Well, I knew I wanted to do something brain,
I knew that even from when I was in college getting my undergrad. I didn’t know whether I wanted to research
or go into the clinical realm, so when I was going through my bachelor’s degree, I made
sure to have the prerequisites for both. It was after I had the opportunity to shadow
a physician that I decided I wanted to do it from the clinical end. But from the very beginning, I knew that I
wanted to work with individuals who had brain injury, so as I was going through medical
school, it was figuring out the route I wanted to go. I’d heard, of course, of Shepherd, and it’s
great reputation, and was excited to get back into inpatient clinical work. There are very few facilities, at least from
a brain injury side, where we take patients who have had such catastrophic injuries, so
for instance, most of the rehab hospitals that I’ve worked with, worked for, around
the United States, they’ll only take someone at a certain level of injury and above, they
won’t take someone who has a lot of medical issues surrounding it, because their length
of stay tends to be longer than what they’re able to accommodate. So really, the opportunity for people who
have had these catastrophic injuries to have a place to go, have their rehabilitation,
get stronger, get better, there are very few places left like that, and Shepherd is one
of them. And I think that’s fantastic. In all honesty, most of the families that
come in have been so caught up in the whirlwind of injury, the acute care hospital, everything
kind of goes as a blur, it’s just super fast-paced, a lot of people that come in, they just are
still feeling very dazed, lack of sleep, so when people get here, the first conversation
is about making sure that self-care comes back in. Now things have slowed down, so you can go
home, you can get some sleep, make sure you rest, make sure you do your self-care, because
up until that point, a lot of them haven’t. And so the biggest piece as far as people
coming here is that we can help take care of your loved one, and we also want to make
sure that you’re taking care of you. What we’re really trying to do is get in there,
achieve the maximum amount of gains in the shortest amount of time, and then we can focus
on rehabilitation, getting people back to doing the functional things they want to do
so they can eventually discharge and return to outpatient care and eventually their real
lives.

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