Neurosurgeon and Catholic Deacon Brian Beyerl, MD, FACS, helps patients and family members navigate brain tumor treatment at Atlantic Health System’s Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center
After a 35-year career as a neurosurgeon specializing in the treatment of brain tumors, Brian Beyerl, MD, FACS, knows full well what it’s like to be at the ready for patients who are facing life-changing diagnoses. Today, however, he’s on call in a different sense – helping individuals navigate the journey of brain tumor therapy as a patient and family advocate at Atlantic Health System’s Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center.
“In this role, I’m able to complement the expertise and time that physicians and staff at Glasser dedicate to guiding patients through very difficult junctures in their lives,” Dr. Beyerl explains.
“While I don’t direct their medical care, I help patients and family members by drawing on my experience as a neurosurgeon – and a spiritual leader – to support them along their journey. Often patients and families have follow-up questions after their visits or questions that require longer conversations to work through. That’s where I step in as an additional resource.”
Counseling patients and family members in person at Overlook Medical Center, on the phone or during house calls, Dr. Beyerl is available to answer any questions and provide further insight on concerns such as a patient’s prognosis, adjusting to life with a brain tumor and understanding what to look for down the road. Positive yet realistic, he provides emotional support and offers faith-based support to patients when appropriate.
“The diagnosis of a brain tumor almost always prompts questions from patients and loved ones regarding issues of faith,” says Dr. Beyerl, who is also an ordained deacon. “I do the best I can to help them navigate those tough questions, at their prompting, and have found that faith can play a huge role in supporting and sustaining patients with brain tumors.”
Dr. Beyerl adds that his involvement as a patient and family advocate varies according to each person’s individual needs. “Whatever the concern, I encourage patients and family members to call me whenever they feel the need. They have my cellphone number, and that’s exactly what I’m here for.”