Boston Children's Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School
1990, Boston, MA
Phillip Pearl | Certifications
American Board of Pediatrics (General)
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Child and Adolescent Neurology)
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Clinical Neurophysiology)
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Neurodevelopmental Disabilities)
Phillip Pearl | Professional History
Phillip L. Pearl, MD is Director of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology and William G. Lennox Chair in the Department of Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pearl, originally from Baltimore, attended Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Conservatory of Music and University of Maryland School of Medicine. He took his residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Pearl has published over 210 manuscripts, over 100 chapters and reviews, and authored or edited five books in the field of child neurology, two of which have been translated into Chinese and Japanese. He is also on the faculty of the Music and Health Institute of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. His major research interest is inherited metabolic epilepsies. Dr. Pearl is Past President of the Professors of Child Neurology and former President of the Child Neurology Society.
Phillip Pearl | Media
Meet Dr. Phillip Pearl
Phillip Pearl | Publications
When I was 11 years old, I devoured a book called "Stories of Great Physicians." I was an avid reader as a boy and was captivated by tales of Hippocrates, Pasteur, Salk and others. I remember thinking that being a doctor had to be the best thing to be; early experiences stick. My own pediatrician was a role model and I always loved working with kids, having been a camp counselor for seven summers.
Born and raised in Baltimore, I attended Johns Hopkins University and enrolled in a medical ethics course. I was assigned to work with the head of pediatric child neurology, the late John M. Freeman, and was inspired by the intellectual challenge coupled with the emotional valence of the work. This led to my first published paper, on quality of life for patients growing up with spina bifida, and a lasting interest in developmental neurobiology and pediatric neurology.
The son of a professional musician, I also attended Peabody Conservatory of Music, both as a preparatory student and then as an undergraduate in a combined Hopkins-Peabody curriculum. I am a jazz musician and play the piano, vibes, and drums, and my first CD, "Live at Jazzmatazz," debuted at the Blues Alley Jazz Club in Washington, D.C. and supported medical care for indigent children at the Children's Hospital there. I have enjoyed combining my interests in music and medicine, and have had the opportunity to lecture on the neurological problems of famous musicians in venues throughout the world.
My career in child neurology became focused on epilepsy based on experiences I had as a resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and then fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Challenging patients and a longstanding interest in biochemistry led me to a subspecialty interest in metabolic epilepsy, which has involved combining aspects of inborn errors of metabolism with childhood seizure disorders. It is not so different than combining passions for children and neurology into pediatric neurology, or music and medicine into studying the neurological problems of musical legends.