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Department of Neurology

University of Pennsylvania's Movement Disorders Fellowship

A 2-year Movement disorders fellowship is available at the University of Pennsylvania and includes two sites: Pennsylvania Hospital's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center (PDMDC) and the Philadelphia VA's Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Care Center (PADRECC). The Movement Disorders Program at Penn is one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind and serves a large, diverse clinical base, has an expansive experimental therapeutics program and a large network of investigators studying basic mechanisms of disease. The fellowship emphasizes clinical care, education and research. Numerous opportunities for collaborative research with investigators throughout the Penn system are available.

We pride ourselves in the flexibility of the program. The fellows' time and experience are tailored to allow the fellow to meet his/or career goals along with individual mentorship.

Application

We participate in the match program; please go to www.sfmatch.org for details on the application process. Interviews typically occur June to July. The application includes a personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation, and curriculum vitae. Applicants must be graduates of an ACGME Accredited Neurology residency and eligible for medical licensure in the state of Pennsylvania.

Clinical Education

In addition to the state-of-the art care offered by the movement disorder physicians at our center, our patient care team includes a social worker, clinical nurses, counselors, physical/occupational/speech therapists and a community outreach coordinator. This multidisciplinary, multifaceted approach to patient care provides an optimal learning environment for our fellows.

The program offers various opportunities for development of clinical skills ranging from the most common movement disorders to the rare and obscure. In addition to a general Movement Disorders clinical experience, which includes an extensive hands-on experience with chemodenervation and DBS programming, several specialized rotations are available. These include neuropsychiatry, ataxia, and pediatric movement disorders clinics. Education on physical and occupational therapy strategies for Parkinson's and other Movement Disorders can also occur. The opportunity to participate in community outreach programs (such as support groups) is available and encouraged.

Fellows participate in various educational activities including weekly case discussions, bi-monthly topical educational sessions, monthly journal club, and monthly city-wide video rounds, among others.

Research

One of the main goals of the fellowship is to launch the careers of the next generation of Movement Disorders academicians. Early in the fellowship, research mentorship is established for the fellow based on his/her interests. Clinical research opportunities include involvement in our highly productive Morris K. Udall Center for Parkinson's Research. Other clinical research opportunities include exposure to clinical trials, epidemiology and health outcomes research. The fellow may choose to develop research interests in basic science (including the chance to work with the world-renowned investigators at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease).

Completion of a certificate in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics is encouraged. If the fellow is interested in pursuing more advanced degrees starting the 2nd year of fellowship, there are opportunities through the Masters in Science in Clinical Epidemiology program, Masters in Translational Research, and Masters in Medical Education. Support for additional years of training to complete these degrees may be available.

Career Development

The fellow is supported early on with mentorship for career development. In addition to clinical education and research, the fellow has the opportunity to teach medical students and residents and travel to national and international conferences.

Where Our Prior Fellows Are Now

We pride ourselves in the success of our fellows. Since the fellowship was established, many have completed our program and have gone on to successful academic careers as well as flourishing private practices and careers within industry.

Year of Graduation Name Current Status
1991 Charles Adler, MD, PhD Professor of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Arizona
1995 Amy Colcher, MD Professor of Neurology, Cooper/Rowan Medical School
1996 Tanya Simuni, MD Professor of Neurology, Northwestern
1997 Rafiya Khakoo, MD Private practice, New Jersey
2001 Bernard Ravina, MD, MS Medical Director in Translational Neurology at Biogen Idec
2002 Mahmood Eisa, MD Private Practice, Georgia
2003 Selina Parveen, MD VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System
2004 Kelvin Chou, MD Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Michigan
2005 Paul Kotzbauer, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Neurology, Washington University
2005 Grace Liang, MD Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center
2005 Tsao-Wei Liang, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson
2005 Dan Kremens, MD, JD Assistant Professor of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson
2007 David Houghton, MD, MPH Private Practice, Louisiana
2007 Jayne Wilkinson, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, VA Parkinson's Center (PADRECC), University of Pennsylvania
2008 Adrian Chan, MD Private Practice, Pennsylvania
2008 Nick Galifianakis, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology, UCSF
2009 Alice Chen-Plotkin, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania
2009 Randolph Stephenson, MD Private practice, Virginia
2010 Lee Kubersky, MD Private practice, Pennsylvania
2010 Rachel Goldmann-Gross, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania
2011 James Morley, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Neurology, VA Parkinson's Center (PADRECC), University of Pennsylvania
2012 Meredith Spindler, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
2012 Lama Chahine, MD Instructor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania
2013 Amy Hellman, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Nebraska
2013 Rizwan Akhtar, MD, PhD Instructor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania

For more information please contact:
Matt Stern at mbstern@mail.med.upenn.edu.