Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams is a top neurologist and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Williams completed her internship and residency in neurology as well as a Clinical Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. Dr. Williams has a strong interest in understanding and furthering research in MS in ethnic minority populations. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter and has discussed her research both nationally and internationally at various scientific meetings. She has spearheaded and participated in multiple Steering Committees and Work Groups to further research in underserved population with MS. She also has recently increased involvement in efforts to increase diversity in clinical research and educate the community about the importance of research participation. Dr. Williams is the author of MS Made Simple: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis. Because of her passion for teaching and advocacy. 

When a patient is first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, there are a lot of emotions. There’s a lot of things that are often running through people’s minds. The first question often is why me? Or how did this happen or what’s going on? And so often what I try to do in that first visit when someone is diagnosed is to really explain what the disease is in terms that they can understand. I also talk about things like the risk for MS. Many people have questions about if they’re family members or children will inherit MS or if they should have children. And so we have many of those conversations. And so it often is a very long conversation. I usually broach initially treatments, but we usually don’t have a very in-depth conversation about treatments because there’s just so much going on. There are so many questions and I really want to make sure that people absorb the information.

So we spend a lot of time just kind of going through the diagnosis, the risk factors, the things that they can do to help themselves on a daily basis. And then we kind of talk about the goals of treatment. But if possible, I usually schedule a follow-up visit within a couple of weeks and then we come back and sit down, answer more questions that they may have or that they found their family members may have. And then we also talk about treatments at that time. I think that when we talk about treatment plans for MS, we’re talking about several different things. I always tell all of my patients that there’s a role medicine plays, but there’s also a role that you play and there is no medicine that will remove the things that you can do to help yourself on a daily basis to live a healthy life with or without multiple sclerosis.

And I think the other important thing is that we have to set expectations. So there are many different treatments for multiple sclerosis. And the treatment landscape

Positive MS Diagnosis, Now What? Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams (Video)

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

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