Meet Judy Willis, MD, MEd

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Meet Judy Willis, MD, MEd

Hi! I'm Judy Willis. I'm a neurologist and for the last 10 years, I was a classroom teacher in grades 2, 5 and 7 and most recently, I predominantly do workshops and give presentations nationally and internationally for parents and educators for whom I write books. The reason I made the change and the thing I love to do the most is puzzles – solve problems, evaluate situations. I mean free time and work time and a change happens in my practice. While I was doing neurology, all these kids were coming to me with diagnosis of ADD and OCD and hyperactive and depressed from their teachers. The notes were coming. Their consultations were coming because the teachers found this. When I evaluated them, there was no higher incidence and this happened about 12 years ago so this is really a concern. I saw this in my own friends’ kids and family and so I made a life change and stop my neurology practice, went back to school and got my teacher credentials and my Master’s and have the benefit of more time with my daughters and my husband but also got to start figuring out what can neuroscience, what can neurology do for the alienation that's happening in the classroom. Whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for connections and big ideas.
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Judy Willis, MD, MEd


After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Judy Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to university to obtain her teaching credential and master's of education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and middle school for 10 years.

Dr. Judy Willis is an authority on brain research and its applications regarding learning. With the unique background as a parent, neurologist, classroom teacher, and neuro-educator she writes extensively for parenting magazines and professional educational journals. Dr. Willis has written six books for parents and educators about applying brain research to parenting and teaching.

Dr. Willis is on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate School of Education, University of California and gives presentations to parents and educators nationally and internationally about how to help children learn joyfully and successfully. She is on the Board of Directors of the Hawn Foundation, dedicated to helping children improve academic performance and acquire vital social and emotional skills. In 2011, she was honored by Edutopia, as a “Big Thinker on Education”.

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