Shepherd Center Neuropsychologist Talks About Making a Career Out of Helping People
Gregory Brown, Psy.D., is a neuropsychologist with the SHARE Military Initiative and Complex Concussion Clinic.
Greg Brown, Psy.D., has had several different jobs throughout his career, but they’ve all had one thing in common: helping people. He started in his hometown of Alto, Georgia, working as a paramedic. Feeling he needed a change, he moved to Atlanta and became a research coordinator, before ultimately returning to school to study neuropsychology. Since 2018, he’s been working at Shepherd Center as a neuropsychologist with the SHARE Military Initiative, as well as the Complex Concussion Clinic.
Q: What exactly is a neuropsychologist?
At the core, we are clinical psychologists but as neuropsychologists, we specialize in understanding brain-behavior relationships. Our training goes further in understanding how the brain works, and what it means cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally in the presence of neurological illness and injury. Our primary role is assessment and testing of cognitive function. We can evaluate patients post-injury/illness, look at their function – such as memory, problem-solving skills, attention and language – and identify deficits and form a plan to address those deficits.
Q: How did you get interested in the field of neuropsychology?
This is really a second career for me. After spending 11 years as a paramedic, I relocated to Atlanta and worked with a psychiatrist as a research coordinator. That’s when I became interested in brain health. I realized I wanted to be part of the patient’s care team. Given my medical background, neuropsychology seemed to be a good fit.
Q: What is it like working with SHARE clients?
It is an amazing experience. There is a challenge with the complexity of their history and injuries, but I like that challenge. I follow them from the beginning of their treatment at SHARE through discharge, and I love seeing them at their graduation ceremony – celebrating the progress they’ve made and all they’ve accomplished. I always feel as though they leave with a new sense of hope, and in the end, I receive hope as well. It’s infectious and it motivates me every day.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
I wake up every morning and look forward to coming to work. I am surrounded by a great group of people in this area of expertise. I learn something new every day. I think it is the collective group of us that make a difference in our patients’ lives. I get to be part of something bigger that is life-changing for those we serve.
Q: Can you tell us some of the exciting things happening in your department?
The Department of Psychology and Neuropsychology has been growing to keep up with the service demands in all of the programs at Shepherd Center. We recently welcomed new staff on the ABI and SCI units, SHARE, and we are looking for more talent to join our team at Pathways. A number of our staff have been here a long time – Dr. Jill Koval celebrates her 30th anniversary this year, and Dr. Gary James just celebrated his 15th anniversary. Our goal is to meet the patient and family needs across all of our clinics and programs.
As for me, I have been seeing patients in both SHARE and the Complex Concussion Clinic. Each program is growing rapidly and it has been great to be a part of both. With the addition of our new rehabilitation psychologist in SHARE, I will be shifting more of my attention to the Complex Concussion Clinic. However, I get to remain a part of SHARE in a consulting role.
Gainesville College and Argosy University
- B.S. in PsychologyGeorgia School of Psychology
- M.S. and Psy.D.Clinical Neuropsychology Internship at the Central Arkansas VA
Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Shepherd Center
OUTSIDE OF WORK
Dr. Brown enjoys spending time with his family – including his husband and two grown sons – and traveling and socializing with friends. He also serves as the consulting neuropsychologist for the Atlanta United soccer team.
WHAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT HIM
Dr. Brown is actually quite handy and routinely takes on projects from “the small to the complex.” He grew up in the North Georgia mountains surrounded by a large extended family, many of whom were in the construction business. He learned a lot from them and built his first house from the ground up at age 23. He also built a garden shed for his house in Atlanta.
Written by Sara Baxter
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.