Fellows’ responsibilities include patient evaluation and management, call-backs, communication with patients and referring physicians, preparation for conferences, participation in and initiation of research projects, publishing original articles, reviews and book chapters, and presenting abstracts at national and international conferences.
There are two tracks offered as part of the Movement Disorders fellowship: DBS and Dystonia. DBS fellows focus on research topics related to DBS. Dystonia fellows participate in Dystonia Coalition projects and the primary research focus is on topics related to dystonia.
Goals and Objectives
The overarching goal of the program is to become experienced in the clinical recognition of various disorders of movement, including Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, Huntington disease, Tourette syndrome, tremors, chorea, athetosis, dystonia, ballism, myoclonus, tics, spasticity, rigidity, restless legs syndrome, and other motor disorders
Fellows conduct new patients’ evaluations and work in the attendings’ follow-up clinics. During the week, fellows take outpatient calls and participate in hospital consultations on a rotating schedule. Fellows meet monthly with PDCMDC faculty to review research projects.
- Evaluating primarily new patients in the clinic and in the hospital and providing follow-up information to referring physicians, describing our findings and therapeutic recommendations.
- Gaining an understanding of the biochemical, pharmacologic, genetic, and physiologic mechanisms of the various movement disorders.
- Learning about therapeutic approaches used to alleviate these disorders, including developing skills in botulinum toxin injections and programming patients after deep brain stimulation surgery.
- Becoming familiar with various clinical rating scales and videotape protocols; developing and managing a computer database for various movement disorders and research projects.
- Participating in ongoing clinical research projects conducted in the BCM Movement Disorders Clinic.
- Reviewing literature, participating in, conducting, and preparing educational material (e.g. videotapes), for video rounds, movement disorder conferences, journal clubs and other educational activities.
- Preparing abstracts and scientific papers and presenting research data at scientific meetings; preparing research grant proposals for funding by NIH and other agencies and foundations.
- Analyzing, summarizing, and critiquing published articles; working with the movement disorder nurse coordinators and other research staff in facilitating various research studies.
- Videotaping patients and participate in specimen collections (CSF, blood, urine).
- Evaluating patients on the consultation service and performing pre-operative and post-operative assessments on patients undergoing surgical interventions.
Additional objectives include acquiring skills in clinical research techniques, and in designing drug trials and experimental therapies of movement disorders. These include:
- Learning basic skills in data management and statistical analysis.
- Learning how to critically review research literature.
- Learning Good Clinical Practice and fundamentals of IRB, FDA, and other regulatory requirements.
- Learning how to design and complete case report forms, consent forms, study budget, set up regulatory binder, manage study drug and supplies
- Learning how to prepare for monitoring visits
- Learning how to detect, record and report adverse events.
- Participating in investigators' meetings.