Mary Alexis Iaccarino, MD: You Can Be Successful After Experiencing Significant Neurotrauma

After sustaining a spinal injury as a teenager, Dr. Mary Alexis Iaccarino changed the trajectory of her future. She spent months and years in rehab for her neurological injury then went on to become a physiatrist who specializes in treating and rehabilitating people with the most clinically complex cases of sports concussion, traumatic brain injury, and repetitive head trauma. When she treats veterans and service members, she harkens back to her own experiences, encouraging them toward second careers and full lives even with a TBI.

Dr. Mary Alexis Iaccarino is director, Clinical TBI and Brain Health Services, Home Base

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I got into neuro rehabilitation after suffering a spine injury as a teenager and myself being in an in-patient rehabilitation for neurological injury for months and years. I was young. And I think I had an opportunity to look to the future, to think about new careers and new pathways for myself. And honestly, I find humbly some parallels in that with military service members. You know, they enter the military often very young and they’re coming out of the military with injuries, but they might be in their late 20s. Or even folks with a 20-year career can be in their, you know, late 30s and they still have so much life ahead of them. Second careers, new opportunities, starting a family. And so, I harken back to sort of my own sort of reinvention of myself with my new life and with some difficulties and challenges, but how I could be successful and how I think veterans and service members can be very successful even after experiencing some significant neuro trauma. BrainLine is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families.

Posted on BrainLine September 28, 2021. Reviewed September 28, 2021.

About the author: Mary Alexis Iaccarino, MD

Mary Alexis Iaccarino, MD, is a board-certified physiatrist with sub-specialty training in brain injury medicine. Her clinical and research areas of interest include diagnostic and treatment strategies in mild traumatic brain injury including blast and sport-related concussion. Dr. Iaccarino joined the Home Base team in 2016 as a brain injury physiatrist for the Intensive Clinical Program (ICP) and outpatient TBI program. Her goal is to provide comprehensive, evidenced-based brain injury care to veterans through multidisciplinary collaboration with psychology, neuropsychology, physical therapy, psychiatry, and other specialists. She specializes in the treatment of physical, cognitive, and behavioral deficits that occur after brain injury including headaches, pain, dizziness and vision symptoms, sleep difficulties, fatigue, concentration, and memory problems.

Headshot of Dr. Mary Alexis Iaccarino in a salmon button-down shirt