Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Movement Disorders Fellowship

The Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center offers a one or two-year clinical fellowship in Movement Disorders. Fellows will be exposed to a multitude of movement disorders at one of the largest centers of its kind nationwide. The fellowship offers training in diagnosis and recognition of movement disorder phenomenology along with medical and surgical management of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

In addition to three fellowship-trained Movement Disorder neurologists, the Center is also home to two functional neurosurgeons, two PhD neuroscientists, as well as clinical and research collaboration with neuropsychology and cognitive neurology.

Clinical Experience

The Center provides medical and surgical management for patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, Huntington’s disease, ataxia and other movement disorders.

The bulk of the fellow’s clinical experience will occur in the outpatient neurology clinic, where the fellow will see patients for eight sessions per week.  The fellow works side-by-side with an attending, spending most of his or her time evaluating new patients.

The Center has a mature deep brain stimulation (DBS) practice, including patients with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tic disorders.  All programming takes place in the Center.  Fellows spend one out of eight sessions per week providing DBS programming services, but additional exposure is available if the fellow is interested.

Chemodenervation (using Botox®, Myobloc®, Dysport® or Xeomin®) is provided for all movement-related indications during two dedicated clinic sessions each week, providing the fellow with ample clinical experience.  The Center’s panel also includes patients being treated with Duopa®.   

While there is no overnight or weekend call, the fellow will also have the opportunity to provide inpatient consultations for a variety of movement disorders, as requested by the inpatient neurology service.

Diadactic

Beyond clinical care, the fellowship curriculum includes bi-monthly Video & Journal Club Rounds with the faculty.  A joint video rounds with faculty and trainees from Jefferson and Penn occurs approximately once per month.

The fellow is also an active participant in the monthly DBS conference.  During this conference, held between neurosurgery, neurology and neuroscience, physicians discuss possible DBS candidates and evaluate the outcomes of recent surgical cases. Collaborative research efforts within the Center regarding DBS is often discussed as well.  This provides an ideal forum for trainees to gain a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of movement disorders, basal ganglia anatomy, identification of potential DBS candidates, and surgical target selection.

Community outreach, such as speaking at patient support group meetings, is also available for interested fellows. The Center is a participant in multiple charity events such as The Parkinson’s Council’s Walk to Stamp Out Parkinson’s and the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation’s annual Zoo Walk.

The Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University is one of the nation’s largest private medical colleges.  If the fellow expresses interest, there are ample opportunities to teach both Jefferson medical students and neurology residents. 

Research Opportunities

For fellows who wish to do a two-year fellowship, fellows could initiate a longitudinal research project in their first year that would carry over into the second year. In addition to continued clinical training, fellows in their second year would have time to devote to scholarly research projects in clinical movement disorders with a faculty mentor.  All three attendings are engaged in clinical research, most of which concerns the management of both movement and non-movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.  Research opportunities in neuropsychology and cognitive neurology are available, should the fellow express interest. 

Fellows will have time and a stipend for academic travel.  Attendance at the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society’s course in Aspen is highly encouraged.  Opportunities are fostered for trainees to present research at national and international conferences, such as the AAN Annual Meeting or Annual Congress of the International Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder Society (MDS).

For more information, contact Jeffrey Ratliff, MD

Dr. Rostami

Letter from
A.M. Rostami, MD, PhD

Professor & Chairman
Department of Neurology

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