Dr. Neal Hall found his passion for medicine a long way from home; in fact, it was a long way from the United States. When he was 19 years old, Dr. Hall went on a mission to Africa where he experienced firsthand the powerful impact medicine could have on a community. “I spent a couple years there and had the chance to really learn about the culture and the people. It showed me how you can make a difference as a physician and help heal a community,” explained Dr. Hall.
After returning to the United States, he completed medical school at Ross University School of Medicine, then his residency in radiology at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, in his native Michigan. When asked how he chose radiology, Dr. Hall acknowledged that he enjoyed all types of medicine. “I wanted to work in pediatrics, and obstetrics, and geriatrics, and gastroenterology. Radiology allows me to work with all of these areas of medicine and with all different physicians,” Dr. Hall said.
Following his passion for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Dr. Hall completed a fellowship in magnetic radiology from one of the leading programs in the country, the University of Wisconsin. “The new techniques in radiology and specifically in MRIs are fascinating to me. My undergraduate degree is in biophysics, and I was able to do a lot of research in this space as an undergraduate. Radiology allows me to continue my learning about the new procedures and technologies that help improve my practice.”
A Day in the Life of a Radiologist
Admittedly, his days are “pretty busy.” Dr. Hall says most days start by reviewing the overnight emergency room studies and checking for any discrepancies. “The rest of my day depends on the type of day it is. I might spend most of my time covering all of the ER studies and any new cases that come in,” he said. “Other days, I’ll be performing procedures and working primarily with the patients. Every day is challenging, but it’s also exciting.”
A Diagnosis That Can Make a Difference
When asked what keeps him passionate about his work, Dr. Hall explained that he has the unique opportunity to see the results of his work instantaneously. “Radiology allows you to see that weird pathology or cancer and right away I can make a diagnosis and a difference for that patient and their family.” He continued, “With radiology you have an incredibly accurate idea of what the best course of action or therapy should be. People are amazed at what we can see from just one scan. You know what the next steps are to help that patient and how you can change that patient’s life. It’s very satisfying.”
Technology and the Right Time for Radiology
Dr. Hall believes that we are living in a great time for radiology. “The technology has come so far, even since 20 years ago. The level of detail and the sheer amount of information that I can see from one CT scan or MRI is amazing. We can make a diagnosis without tissue pathology and can extend life farther than ever before.” Dr. Hall has embraced the opportunities in radiology and is expertly trained in all aspects of MRI including cardiac, neurological exams, musculoskeletal and prostate MRI. Dr. Hall’s interest in expanding his expertise in these areas is one of the ways he stays passionate about his work.
Advice to His Community
Dr. Hall’s number one piece of advice to community members is to realize that each individual has the most power in his or her own health. He explains that no one knows your body as well as you do. “When patients come to see us, they still know their bodies best. When they have a sense of responsibility for their health and their health care decisions, it helps doctors to narrow down a plan and determine the best therapy”. Likewise, to Dr. Hall the best therapy starts with balancing your lifestyle, and everything in moderation. “I tell patients to be honest with yourself about the type of food you put into your body and take responsibility to get exercise when you are able to.” He continued, ” Having that balance helps you keep down stress. I also tell patients to remember to mentally check-in and be sure you are present with your family and loved ones.”
Dr. Hall describes the Crittenton community as a very enjoyable one to serve. He emphasizes that having patients who are active in their health is one of the great benefits of Crittenton Hospital. He also complimented the strong Crittenton physician network and their dedication to providing the best care for their patients.
For Dr. Hall, the powerful impact of the people who make up Crittenton, both members of the medical staff and the patient base, make his job at Crittenton gratifying. Said Dr. Hall, “Medicine is a great profession. You truly wake up and feel good about what you are doing.”
Outside of the Hospital
In his free time, Dr. Hall enjoys traveling across the globe with his wife. “I am a certified scuba diver,” said Dr. Hall. “I really enjoy anything that gives me the chance to get outside.” That includes hiking, camping, and off-roading among other activities. His other passion includes reaching out to the communities downtown and spending time in the food banks and soup kitchens.