My name is Michael Okun, MD, and I am a board-certified neurologist, movement disorders specialist, neuroscientist and author who practices with the philosophy that ‘the patient is the sun’ and should be at the center of all care decisions.
I co-founded and co-direct the internationally-renowned Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases with my neurosurgeon partner and friend, Kelly Foote, MD. Since 2006, I have served as both the Medical Director and most recently as the Medical Advisor for the Parkinson’s Foundation.
I completed my medical degree in 1996 from the University of Florida. Following my medical degree, I completed my internship in 1997 and neurology residency in 2000, both at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). I then completed my fellowship in movement disorders and surgery for movement disorders in 2002 at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
I see patients for a variety of movement related neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor Tourette syndrome, dystonia and more. As a care provider, I strive to translate physiological principles underpinning neurological disorders into real-world therapies to improve a patient’s life and wellbeing.
When I am not caring for patients, I conduct human research including clinical trials and the cognitive, behavioral and mood effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) and neuromodulation. My research projects have included the application of DBS and neuromodulation therapies for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome and tic disorders, dystonia, essential tremor and obsessive-compulsive disorder. My research has received support from the National Institutes of Health, the Smallwood Foundation, the Tourette Association of America, the Parkinson’s Alliance, the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
As a doctor, I am passionate about the importance of arts in medicine. In 1995, I authored my first book of poetry, Lessons From the Bedside. Since my first book, I have authored 14 books related to living a full life with neurological disorders including Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life and Ending Parkinson’s Disease. I have also published more than 600 papers and review articles on Parkinson's and other movement disorders.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, podcasts, reading history, going on walks with our family dog and watching baseball.