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John Kylan Lynch, D.O.

Celebrated NIH neurologist speaks at OU-COM

John Kylan Lynch, D.O., gives first 2009-2010 Career Medical Specialties lecture

By Richard Heck

Sept. 28, 2009 

Research experience and health policy knowledge make physicians better practitioners, a noted researcher with the National Institutes of Health told first- and second-year medical students Thursday at the first 2009-2010 Career Medical Specialties lecture.

“Physician researchers form the conduit between science and medical treatment,” says John Kylan Lynch, D.O., M.P.H., a staff clinician at the Section on Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics at the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke. “Science provides the information, but we, as physicians, provide the translation to patient care.”  

In 2001-2002, Lynch completed a Heritage Health Policy Fellowship at OU-COM, an experience that has enhanced his career in research, he says. “A lot of the health care policy aspects have been helpful. I learned about the relationship between cost effectiveness and quality, and how that relates to patient care.”

During his lecture, Lynch discussed his career path as a neurologist, clinician and stroke researcher at the National Institutes of Health. His primary focus has been on pediatric stroke, which is one of the top 10 causes of death among young children. Among adults, stroke is the third-leading cause of death. 

Asked what advice he would offer to today’s medical students, Lynch recommended identifying a mentor as soon as possible, along with receiving at least one to four years of advanced research training.

“Find someone at the mid-career level who is well-published, available and easy to get along with and talk to,” he says in terms of mentors, explaining that younger physicians are usually too busy establishing their careers, while senior physicians are focused on the advanced aspects of their careers.

No matter what specialty a student chooses, engaging in research now can only assist in securing a good position later, according to Lynch. “Being diversified and well-rounded allows you to have more opportunities,” he says.  

Physicians also benefit from continuing biomedical research throughout their careers, he says, encouraging the osteopathic medical students to consider participating in clinical trials and studies throughout their careers.

Friday, Sept. 25, Lynch delivered the luncheon address at the CME and All-Class Reunion in Columbus.

Lynch earned his D.O. degree from the University of Health Sciences – College of Medicine in Kansas City, Mo., and his Master of Public Health degree in 2003 from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in neurology and an internship in preliminary medicine, both at Northwestern University Medical School in Evanston, Ill.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016