Dr. Roy Hamilton received his bachelor of arts in psychology from Harvard University and his masters in health sciences and technology from MIT. He received his medical degree from Harvard University. He completed his residency training in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed a fellowship in cognitive neurology. Dr. Hamilton is currently a UPHS assistant professor of neurology as well as physical medicine and rehabilitation. He also serves as assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine.
What made you interested in your current field of medicine?
Neurological diseases are among the most challenging and fascinating maladies in all of medicine. Diseases of the brain and nerves rob patients of their ability to speak, perceive, act, communicate, and think, and thus impact the very essence of a patient’s existence. The problems that we deal with are common, but the diagnosis and treatment of these illnesses is a demanding art that combines deductive logic, experience, and creativity to piece together the pathology of an organ system that cannot be visualized with the naked eye, palpated with the hand, or auscultated with a stethoscope.
What do you enjoy about working in the UPHS-CHOP system?
I have the luxury and pleasure of working with some of the brightest and most talented individuals in the field of medicine, from our eminent senior faculty to our amazing fellows, residents, and students; they are always an inspiration to me to be better.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Philly?
My most important, fun, and demanding job is being a husband and the father of two incredible children. Philadelphia is a great place to raise a family, especially a culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse family like my own.
Any words of wisdom to share?
“Mind the gap”
I suspect that many readers may be the first person in their family to become physicians, as I was and still am. As first-timers in medicine (and general academia), I believe that there is a potential process knowledge gap for many of us compared to peers who come from backgrounds where medicine is a more common and available career decision.
Mindfulness and mentorship are important keys to overcoming these hurdles. Mindfulness involves cultivating a conscious awareness of career options in your profession, the typical intermediate steps that people take to get there, and the "currency" of excellence that individuals typically accumulate in each stage of career development. The very process of being mindful about the journey improves your preparedness for the road that lies ahead of you, wherever it may lead. Mentorship involves actively finding a network of persons, whose experiences and thoughts can inform your own journey. Penn is full of accomplished and invested mentors who will be willing to help you on your journey. In my own career I cannot overemphasize the role that a team of outstanding senior mentors and savvy peers has played in helping me to mind--and step over--the gaps in my knowledge and experience.