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Toral Patel, M.D.

  • Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
  • Neurosurgical Oncologist
  • Director, UTSW Brain Tumor Program
Toral Patel
“Taking care of patients is a privilege.”

Early Influences

Dr. Patel was interested in medicine beginning at a young age. “I was drawn to the idea of helping people – I also loved science,” she said. “Throughout my education, I was fortunate to find mentors to guide me. Some mentors had careers that are like my own, but many did not."

"All of my mentors were kind, proactive, thoughtful, and encouraged me to pursue my passions. As a group, they have made a tremendous impact on my life. I try my best to work hard and make them proud.”

Contributions to STEMM

Dr. Patel graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School in 2006 and rejoined as a faculty member in 2014. Today, she is a “neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of brain tumors. Most of my days are spent in the operating room, performing surgeries on patients with intracranial malignancies.” She employs cutting-edge technologies to provide unparalleled care to patients. These include laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) and advanced brain mapping strategies. Her experience in these techniques allows for precise removal of tumors in critical locations, preserving the brain’s key speech, motor, and cognitive functions.

In addition to her clinical focus, Dr. Patel said she “also spends time teaching residents and medical students, mentoring, and participating in translational research studies.”

Taking Risks

She encourages young women interested in science to pursue their passions. “I chose to enter a field that is male dominated. This can seem daunting as a young woman,” said Dr. Patel. “However, I have witnessed a tremendous positive change in attitudes and demographic make-up in my own specialty over the past 15 years."

"I would encourage any woman to pursue their passions to the fullest. Times are changing and you can be part of that change.”

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