By Matthew Drakeley, MD\nWhen I was a sophomore in college, I started to develop numbness and tingling in my left arm and was unable to discriminate between hot and cold temperatures. I was ultimately diagnosed with a Type I Chiari Malformation with extensive syrinx (fluid-filled sacs) lining my spinal cord for which I underwent decompressive brain surgery at the age of 21.\nMy neurosurgeon, Raymond Sekula, MD, was amazing throughout the whole process. Whether it was answering my family\u2019s questions for over one and a half hours at the initial consultation or personally washing my hair on day two after surgery, his compassion was unparalleled.\nMy experiences as a patient helped fuel my desire to pursue a career in medicine and I am currently a chief resident in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UPMC.\nLast week when I was seeing a rehab consult on the neuro step-down unit at UPMC Presbyterian, I had the pleasure of watching Dr. Sekula walk one of his post-operative patients down the hall. After greeting each other with big smiles and a hug, I told Dr. Sekula that I remembered that day very well.\nAt that moment, I realized that my journey through medicine as a patient had come full circle. Now on the other side of the white coat, I have the responsibility of continuing to treat every patient, family, and staff member with the same dignity and integrity that I was fortunate enough to receive.