Episode 040 — Meet Dr. Kimberly Brown

'I still get to deliver babies…and sometimes I pronounce people. So I really get to see life from its beginning all the way to its end stages. I see people from all walks of life and that is why I truly love emergency medicine.' --… Click To Tweet

Dr. Kimberly Brown headshotAs stroke survivors, Emergency Room physicians play an important part in our survival and rapid treatment, but we often don’t think about them. We build ongoing clinical relationships with our neurologists, physiatrists, OTs, PTs, Speech Therapists. Rehab nurses, CNAs, and more, but not the ER docs. When they see us, our brains are in full crisis/panic mode, our loved ones are terrified, and the doctors are busy making rapid assessments, decisions, and referrals. By the time we get a chance to calm down and assess our new landscape, they are long gone and have transitioned off our care team.

That’s one reason I enjoyed talking with Dr. Kimberly Brown. It was a chance to get some insight into a field I knew little about.

'Once we hear that a possible stroke patient is coming in, we mobilize.' -- @drkimberlyb_ #stroke Click To Tweet

Among the things I found interesting was how she talk about the impact of technology in medical education — listening to a heart murmur on the computer during school work and later tying that into the real world in listening on an actual patient.

We also talk about the role of ER Pharmacists, the role Methodist University Hospital has had in treating folks with the clot busting drug tPA, and some of the challenges around public health.

We do have some discussion of the politics of healthcare in this episode. Regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the future of Medicare and Medicaid, the political decisions around these programs will directly affect the lives of millions of stroke survivors and potential survivors in the US, and it’s important to be aware of what’s going on and express your views to your elected officials.

'A lot of times our legislators don't know about the long-term down the road impact.' -- @drkimberlyb_ #stroke Click To Tweet

We reference the FAST signs for stroke. If you’re not familiar with them they are:

Stroke warning signs: Face, Arms, Speech, and Time

'Time is tissue. Time is brain.' -- @drkimberlyb_ #stroke Click To Tweet

We also talk about sepsis or being septic. Sepsis can be the result of the body’s attempt to fight an infection. Basically, the infection results in the body dumping an excess of chemicals into the blood stream to fight the infection, but it instead leads to inflammation in other organs. Symptoms of sepsis can sometimes mirror stroke. Sepsis is a life threatening condition.

Fortunately whether you come into the ER with Sepsis, Stroke, or something else, folks like Dr. Kimberly Brown are there to take care of you.

'If you need us, we're there for you.' -- @drkimberlyb_ #stroke Click To Tweet

Dr, Kimberly Brown working on a laptop at a cafe

Dr. Kimberly Brown is an emergency physician in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her undergraduate degree from Fisk University. Loving warmer weather, Dr. Brown earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Florida in Public Health Management and Policy. She attended Ross University School of Medicine and recently completed her emergency medicine residency as a member of the inaugural graduating class of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Brown’s clinical interests include neurologic emergencies, critical care, sepsis, and education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, watching too much reality tv and trying new restaurants.

Improving Care in the Stroke Belt

'Public health is emergency medicine and emergency medicine is public health.' -- @drkimberlyb_ #stroke Click To Tweet

Dr. Brown serves patients in the Stroke Belt of the US. This is the region of the country that since the early 60s has had a significantly higher about of stroke patients and higher mortality from stroke than the rest of the country. It includes:

  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  1. Making sure all patients have access to coverage
  2. Decrease food desserts
  3. Programs to incentive physicians to go to under-served communities in Appalachia and urban centers to ensure access to care
  4. Make sure schools are good so kids can read and understand their health
  5. Medical professionals have to do a better job at educating patients about how their body works and what’s going on with it.
'You can not take your insulin. You can not take your Metformin. It's not going to hurt you today, tomorrow. Might not even hurt you until 5 months down the road, but you WILL feel the impact of it eventually.' -- @drkimberlyb_… Click To Tweet

Hack of the Week

When you arrive at the ER, especially as a previous stroke survivor or person with disabilities. It’s important to provide the team with as much information as possible. The need to know about the medications (legal AND illegal) you are taking, any previous stroke or medical issues, what disabilities you already had, and more.

Any video or recent photos of you prior to this incident can also be extremely helpful to the staff so they can get a better sense of what’s changed.

'I need as much information as possible, but the main question that you will guaranteed be asked is When was he or she last normal.' -- @drkimberlyb_ #stroke Click To Tweet

Every Branch and Leaf — National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month. These people make a huge difference in our lives, and it’s important to recognize and thank them for their support. One way to support caregivers is to read Dr. Kate Lorig’s book, “Building Better Caregivers.” I talked with the author back in Episode 19 at

Larry Benitez is one of my colleagues from a professional networking group. He’s also a banjo player who volunteers at the Old Friends Club in the Seattle area. The Old Friends Club support folks with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Larry recently recorded a song dedicated to care givers. You can learn more about it here. Or just watch the video below. Be sure to comment on and like the video over on YouTube, too.



Dr. Kimberly Brown’s Website

Dr. Kimberly Brown’s Email

Dr. Kimberly Brown’s Facebook

Dr. Kimberly Brown’s Instagram

Dr. Kimberly Brown’s Twitter

Chronicles of Women in White Coats

Methodist University Hospital Emergency Medicine

Stroke belt on Wikipedia

Sepsis on Wikipedia

FAST from the American Heart Association

Strokecast Episode 19: Meet Dr. Kate Lorig

Old Friends Club

Larry’s Song on YouTube

Larry’s post on LinkedIn


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