Career Choices

Atom Sarkar, Neurosurgeon

Brain Surgery
Atom Sarkar
David Moxness
Procedure Solutions Specialist
Compound Machines
Eric Westervelt
Electrical Engineer
Ray Morrow
Exhibit Engineer
Teresa Brusadin
Welding Engineer
Crash Scene
Alexia Fountain
Mechanical Engineering Student
Ed Conkel
Emergency Medical Technician
Trooper Fred J. Cook
Crash Scene Reconstruction
Matthew A. Wolfe
Highway Safety Specialist
Kim Bigelow
Engineering Professor
Hip Surgery
Wilma Gillis
Chief Clinical Anesthetist
John Heiner
Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Pat Johnson
Medical Assistant
Shawn Knock
Surgical Technician
Karen Myung
Orthopedic Surgery Resident
Pat Schubert
R.N. Team Leader, Orthopedics
Richard Illgen
Orthopedic Surgeon
Carolyn Steinhorst
Nurse Clinician
Eric Stormoen
Unit Coordinator, Orthopedics
Szymon Wozniczka
Physical Therapist
Knee Surgery
Leanne Turner
Orthopedic Prosthetic Engineer
Dr. Joel Politi
Orthopedic Surgeon
Jan Augenstein
Physician Assistant
Ed Lafollette
Registered Nurse
Jeremy Daughtery
Clinical Manager Neurosurgery and Orthopedics
Sickle Cell DNA
Andre Palmer
Chemical Engineer
Matt Pastore
Genetic Counselor
Rick Toracinta
Research Associate
Ben Gelber
On-Air Meteorologist
Atom Sarkar, Neurosurgeon


2005 - Chief Resident, Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
2002-2004 - Postdoctoral fellowship, Columbia University, New York, NY
1998-2005 - Neurosurgery residency, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
1990-1998 - M.D./Ph.D. student, Univ. of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Ph.D., Physiology and Biophysics, Molecular Neuroscience: "Cloning and Characterization of a Calcitonin Receptor from the Guinea Pig Brain"
B.S. Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI

Career Description

I have two jobs. I am a neurosurgeon and a basic science researcher. As a neurosurgeon I treat and deal with problems that afflict the brain and spine. As a researcher I focus on nanotechnology and how force affects single molecules in normal and diseased states.

There are no typical days. All are hectic and fulfilling. It is exciting to know that I interact with the human nervous system that has been evolving for 500 million years. In any given day I see patients with brain tumors to brain hemorrhages to spinal cord injuries. I wanted to be a neurosurgeon because I felt it was the most challenging vocation.

The best and worst part of my job is that the disease processes that I deal with often leave people on the brink of life, death, or paralyses. The tolerance is high and the demands are challenging.

Change has come about through technology and the way we are using more and more minimally invasive procedures to obtain the same outcomes.