I was born and raised in Chicago. My parents were originally from Poland, and I was lucky enough to be able to spend most of my childhood summers with extended family throughout different cities in Poland. Jolanta Marszalek, M.D., outdoorsThis cultivated my love of travel and instilled a deep appreciation of my Polish roots. By the time I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to study medicine at the same university as my parents, the Medical University of Gdansk. It is one of the oldest medical schools in all of Europe, and the city is home to the Solidarity movement. While in Poland, I continued to travel to other countries and developed a passion for exploring different cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of diversity.

Once back home in the U.S, I spent time living in Boston and researching the effects of mind-body therapy on people with chronic pain conditions at Tufts University. During my first year of residency, I came across patients struggling with a diverse spectrum of illnesses. Under the tutelage of my mentors, I learned the importance of the neurologic examination and a systematic approach to untangling the disease process.  I also worked as a research collaborator to advance my skill set in clinical research. My project focused on evaluating the risk-benefit tradeoff of anticoagulants for stroke prevention among patients with atrial fibrillation. These actions crystallized my determination to pursue a research-oriented career in neurology.

People on snowy mountain rangeOutside of my work, I enjoy cooking, snowboarding, and playing tennis. I continue to travel as I strongly believe my multi-cultural experiences have imparted a greater sense of perspective, awareness, and sensitivity. My most recent hobbies include exploring the beautiful outdoors in Little Rock and searching the city for the best brunch spots and local music performances. I’m proud to be a new member of the UAMS community and I continue to be inspired and motivated by the amazing people who I meet on a daily basis.