Chief - Neurosciences Integrated Center of Clinical Excellence, Jonathan Edwards, M.D., MBA

Jonathan Edwards, M.D., MBA

While turnover in health systems is not unusual, it is unusual for both the neurology department chair and the neurosciences ICCE chief to leave at the same time. As a testament to his experience and leadership skills, Dr. Jonathan Edwards was named Interim Chief – Neurosciences ICCE and interim Chair of the Department of Neurology. He is a nationally recognized epileptologist, whose clinical interests include epilepsy treatment, clinical neurophysiology, neuro-stimulation, epilepsy surgery, neurological education, and functional brain mapping. Fortunately, his brain is wired to manage both the clinical and the academic demands of those two disparate, yet related, jobs.

Rather than shrinking from this intimidating assignment, he is energized. “Unlike a focus on singular patient, my focus is moving the whole operation forward,” Edwards explains. He says the interesting thing about doing both roles is that you get a global view, which is fun.

The role of the chair is to direct the MUSC tripartite mission of research, education and clinical care. The role of the neurosciences ICCE chief is to manage another tripartite mission – the clinical operations of neurology, neurosurgery and otolaryngology. “In both of them, you have to think about multiple components,” he says. “But the components are different.”

As chair he says “you have to also think about the students, residents and fellows, and the training they are getting.” There were more than 500 applications from around the world for just seven resident spots – for not only neurology and neurosurgery, but the otolaryngology department that is one of the best in the country. Not only has the quantity of the applicants been impressive, but the quality of the applicants has, as well.

Edwards reflects back on how his training did not prepare him for this role. “This is something you don’t think about in med school. You think about learning your clinical skill sets and just what that one patient needs.”

As ICCE chief, he thinks about the patient experience for all patients and the engagement and experience for all providers in the clinic and OR. “We have a lot of outstanding physicians, but we also have a lot of fantastic nurses. Our nurses are engaged, and the Magnet program has further increased the level of engagement and empowered them,” he says. “So everyone is on board to make the whole thing better.”