Thanksgiving: Why Are Staff Thankful to Work at Barrow?

While many people are enjoying a relaxing day with their family this Thanksgiving, many Barrow doctors and nurses will be putting in a long day at work. We asked some of the on-call residents and an attending physician why they are thankful to work at Barrow, even though it sometimes means working on holidays. Their answers are below.

Dr. Macaulay Nwojo, PGY-4 Neurosurgery Resident


Dr. Macaulay Nwojo is a PGY-4 neurosurgery resident at Barrow. He grew up in Nigeria and moved to the United States for college in 2005, an opportunity he is still very thankful for.

He is working this Thanksgiving Day, but he will spend the evening having dinner with his family and colleagues at Neurosurgeon Dr. Kumar Kakarla’s house.

Feeling like part of a big family is one of the many reasons Dr. Nwojo is thankful to be doing his residency at Barrow.

“Every medical student wants to be at Barrow; it’s really a no brainer,” he said. “The caliber of residents that are at Barrow, those are people you want to be friends with for life. The attendings that work here, they all embody family culture. … The case volume here is like no other place. The operative experience is like no other place. For me, getting into this place was a blessing.”

Dr. Nwojo is also thankful for his wife, 18-month-old daughter, parents, and friends who all support his dream, even though it means working some holidays and long hours.

“Neurosurgery is a field that’s like no other,” he said. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything different than this.”

Dr. Suraj Muley, Neurologist


Dr. Suraj Muley is a neurologist specializing in neuromuscular diseases at Barrow.

He volunteered to be one of the on-call neurologists this Thanksgiving Day, but he expects to have some time with his family after his morning rounds.

Dr. Muley is thankful to be a neurologist because it allows him to help people in need and give back to others every day.

“Why I’m thankful to work at Barrow, I think Barrow is the most amazing place for neurology in the country and possibly the world,” he said. “This is one place where we have amazing neurologists, especially clinical neurologists. … We’re trying to explore new things within neurological treatments with clinical trials and also some basic lab trials. So, this is a very unique model. There’s not a lot of models like Barrow’s in the country.”

Dr. Muley is also thankful for the health, happiness, and love in his family.

“I think at the end of the day, that’s what is most important to me,” he said.

Dr. Steve Yuen, Junior Neurology Resident


Dr. Steve Yuen is a junior neurology resident at Barrow.

He is working on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. He said neurology residents are often needed over the holidays to evaluate people who arrive at the hospital with stroke-like symptoms.

“During these holidays, I run into a lot of sick patients and their families, and I really see the help that they need,” he said. “It makes it all worthwhile to be here.”

Dr. Yuen said he is thankful to be doing his residency at Barrow because of the experts, co-residents, and other staff with whom he gets to work.

“I’m thankful for my health, the health of my family, the friends that I’ve met here at Barrow, and the chances I get to grow and develop as a resident,” he said.

Dr. Michael Mooney, PGY-4 Neurosurgery Resident


Dr. Michael Mooney is a PGY-4 neurosurgery resident at Barrow.

Because he is working Christmas Day, he will enjoy Thanksgiving Day off. He plans to have dinner with his wife, son, and colleagues at Neurosurgeon Dr. Kumar Kakarla’s house.

Dr. Mooney said he is thankful to be pursuing a career in neurosurgery because it is interesting and challenging every day, and he is thankful to be doing his residency at Barrow because of the opportunities he is given to innovate.

“We’re able to take on a lot of interesting research projects and try to bring a lot of new technologies right into patient care, and that’s probably the most exciting thing about Barrow,” he said.

He is also thankful for the support of his wife and parents in the pursuit of his goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.

“And then just the good fortune to be healthy and able to take on a job like this, able to enjoy the journey with my co-residents and family, and be in a special place to do it,” he said.

About Barrow Neurological Institute
Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.