Meet Grand Prairie NDT PD Marc Williams

Marc Williams, BVE, FASET, R.EEG/EP T., CNIM, CLTM, is eminently qualified (see credentials following his name) to be Program Director of the Neurodiagnostic Technology (NDT) program at Concorde’s campus in Grand Prairie, Texas. Like many of Concorde’s Program Directors (PDs), Williams came to the college from a background in the military.

He’s always had a healthy fascination with the brain and its inner workings and, for the last year, has passed his enthusiasm and knowledge on to his students at Concorde – Grand Prairie.

Let’s take a little time to learn more about Marc, what excites him most about being a PD in NDT, his background working with epilepsy patients, as well as … his background as a stand-up comic?!!

Meet Marc Williams.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A CONCORDE NDT PROGRAM DIRECTOR?

My career in NDT started in 1972 while in the Navy. I had just finished a short tour with the Marines as a Hospital Corpsman and was offered school and a bonus if I stayed another six years. Looking through the career opportunities, I picked NDT because I wanted to know more about the brain and what happens to it under different circumstances.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A PROGRAM DIRECTOR?

Watching the students when a topic or case story registers and their eyes open wide and they smile and say, “I got it.” I was given a rubber light bulb from one class as a gift to hold up every time the light goes on for a student. It has become a game to see whose light goes first. They get control of the light bulb until the next key topic is discussed and someone else “gets it.”

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOUR NDT PROGRAM IN GRAND PRAIRIE STAND OUT, SEPARATES IT FROM A TYPICAL PROGRAM?

The NDT program here has undergone a lot of changes and is still in that growing stage. I’m hoping to add an online component which will allow students to either be part of the class live or at a later time watch the recording of that class period. I’m also looking to add another sub-specialty (intra-operative neuro monitoring) to the program and join independent companies to help with clinical time for the students.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU EVER WERE GIVEN?

I was working as a technologist at an epilepsy center serving as the technologist who was the one who was responsible for the application of the electrodes, maintenance of them during recordings and assisting the MDs and PhDs when they were doing their studies. There was something new every day it seemed and a lot of it is now routine procedures or methods used by epilepsy centers all over. At the same time, I was going back to school for my degree and bringing my homework to work to make sure I got the best grades possible. Then, one day a fellow neurosurgeon came into the lab and asked me what I was doing. I said trying for good grades so I can keep going in school if possible. He looked at me and asked me, “Do you know what we call the person who graduates at the bottom of medical school?” When I replied no, he looked at me and said, “Doctor.” His advice was to concentrate more on you enjoying it because it makes the studying more of a pleasure than a task and that makes work more rewarding when you get the concepts without cramming but instead digging for answers for the enjoyment. It definitely made time go by faster, and I retained more information and tended to dig more into a topic.

WHAT’S A FAVORITE TV SHOW, RECENT MOVIE YOU’VE SEEN OR BOOK YOU’VE READ?

Any medical show is of interest to me. I watch to see if they use any neurodiagnostic procedures on a patient, and then I critique it for accuracy. I then come back to class and give extra credit for anyone who also watched it, found the procedure and could explain if it was correct or wrong and how so. It gets the students involved and the “rubber light bulb” gets passed around a lot more.

WHAT IS A HIDDEN TALENT, FAVORITE HOBBY OR LITTLE-KNOWN FACT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I once attempted to do stand-up comedy when I lived in California. I used some simple humor as a lead-in to a hypnosis show. I studied hypnosis for a few years and used it for such things as studying for exams, running a couple of marathons without having run any distance greater than 10 miles, and of course I had to use it to help the various habits people wanted to quit. I let both the comedy and hypnosis retire from my activity and focused on NDT. Forty-four years later I am still watching all the new technology that comes out and look at it and think, “I had that idea before.” I will leave the new technology ideas and techniques to my graduates, and I hope they will think back on the rubber light bulb and pass it on, too.

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