MEDIA

Caregiver Profile

Caregiver Profile

Meet Dr. Alyssa Lebel

EDUCATION

Medical School

  • Tufts University School of Medicine , 1983 , Boston , MA

Internship

  • Boston Floating Hospital for Infants and Children, New England Medical Center , 1985 , Boston , MA

Residency

  • Boston Floating Hospital for Infants and Children, New England Medical Center , 1985 , Boston , MA

Residency

Child Neurology
  • Massachusetts General Hospital , 1989 , Boston , MA

Fellowship

Pain Management
  • Massachusetts General Hospital , 1991 , Boston , MA

Philosophy of Care

As with many caretakers' histories, my family's experiences focused my early interest in the neurology on understanding the mechanisms of persistent pain and investigating potential treatments for this compelling problem. A psychologist parent provided a balanced introduction to cognitive science and the value of psychological therapies. A mother's central pain disorder following severe infection challenged me to understand pain related to nerve damage. A sister's struggles with the complex symptoms of terminal cancer secured my decision to become a clinician first and, then, a clinician- investigator, with a practice enriched by a comprehensive specialty team, ready access to expert colleagues, academic research, and inquisitive and caring trainees to truly advance the field. My patients are amazing, resilient, and have taught me all I know.

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

Dr. Lebel earned a degree in Neurobiology from Wellesley College with highest honors as a Durant Scholar in 1979 and then received her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1983, elected into Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership in her third year and awarded the Outstanding Senior Clinical Clerk in Neurology. She completed a residency in Pediatrics at The Floating Hospital for Children, New England Medical Center, followed by completion of fellowship training in Child Neurology and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1989. She then was recruited to stay at MGH in the Departments of Neurology and Anesthesia, developing novel pediatric pain rehabilitative and cancer pain consultative services as well as serving as an Instructor in Neurology and Anesthesia with clinical contributions as a pediatric neurology attending and a pain medicine attending for the MGH Pain Service. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in Pediatric Neurology in 1994, and, in 1996, the Pain Service LeBel Award for Excellence in Teaching was established at MGH. In Philadelphia from 1996-2001, she established a chronic pediatric pain service at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and at Hahnemann Hospital. She was appointed Assistant Professor of Neurology at MCP Hahnemann University and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania. She returned to Boston in 2001 and has been an Assistant and now an Associate Professor of Anesthesia (Neurology) and Senior Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Pain Medicine to date. During her most recent time at Boston Children's Hospital, she has developed into a national and international leader in the field of pediatric neuropathic pain, pediatric headache, and functional neuroimaging of pediatric pain disorders.

Postgraduate training, Dr. Lebel chose to devote her clinical practice primarily to the treatment of patients with significant pain, initially in both adults and children with cancer, and then in patients of all ages with intractable neuropathic pain. Early in her career, she sought additional training in regional anesthesia and rehabilitative medicine to provide a comprehensive service for challenging referrals. Concurrently, she maintained a general pediatric neurology outpatient clinic and served as a teaching attending for the Department of Neurology. In Philadelphia, she continued to work for the Departments of Anesthesiology, Pain Division, and Neurology, on the inpatient and outpatient services as well as within a partial hospital program for pain rehabilitation, ultimately focusing on pediatric care while at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Currently, at Boston Children's Hospital, she has increasingly focused on patients with chronic headache. She has written extensively and lectured nationally and internationally on both the mechanisms and treatment of pediatric headache. She established and directs a multidisciplinary pain-management program for patients with chronic head pain. She is recognized by her colleagues as an expert in the comprehensive assessment and management of pediatric and young adult patients with headache and cranial neuralgia.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child and Adolescent Neurology
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Pain Medicine
  • Safe Zone Trained