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Fellow Spotlight: Kavya Moravineni, MD

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Kavya Moravineni, MD,

Kavya Moravineni, MD, was drawn to movement disorders as a resident, first through her rare interactions with patients, and then after attending a conference focusing on the subspecialty. Now, as a movement disorders fellow at Duke, she’s learning more about the field, and about deep brain stimulation (DBS) in particular. In this week’s “Spotlight” interview, Moravineni talks to us about what she most enjoys about her current work, her plans for the future, and what DBS can offer patients.

What are your responsibilities as a Movement Disorders fellow? What does a typical day for you look like?
A typical day in the life of a movement disorders fellow is primarily evaluating patients in the outpatient setting. We see patients with a variety of movement disorders like essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, dystonia and ataxia to name some. It has been a good experience so far, and the training has helped with understanding the subtle differences in many conditions that can appear similar which then translates into directing management to the particular disease. It's amazing how much we can improve a patient's quality of life with the right intervention.

How did you decide to specialize in movement disorders? What about the field interests you the most?
During residency there was very little exposure to movement disorders but whatever few cases I saw I found them very interesting. I wanted to know more and so decided to attend one of the conferences organized by the Movement Disorders Society which was directed towards educating residents about the scope of the sub-specialty. That absolutely helped me make my decision for further specialization. My main area of interest is deep brain stimulation which is an intervention where electrical stimulation is used to decrease abnormal movements. While most of these conditions are neurodegenerative and are progressive DBS has had a great impact in improving symptoms and quality of life for our patients.

What kinds of benefits does DBS offer to patients? What is one thing you wished more people knew about DBS?
The patients who think about DBS are usually are at a point where they are taking very high doses and not getting the same benefit as previously with increased bothersome side effects. DBS improves symptoms and can also help in medication dosage reduction. Most patients are apprehensive when DBS is suggested by providers (understandably since it is an invasive procedure) but it can dramatically improve quality of life for patients who are considered advanced in the disease.

What plans do you have for after you complete your fellowship? If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
My plans for right after fellowship are to work in an academic setting with DBS as my main focus of practice.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of work?
I am not trained but dabbled in salsa, and am interested in Latin American dance. I love to read and recently started Malcolm Gladwell's latest called Talking to strangers. Both my husband and I love to travel. We are also looking forward to exploring the Carolinas while we are here.

Denver vacation photo

Moravineni and her husband enjoy the mountains of Denver, Colorado.