The Division of Movement Disorders offers a one-year or two-year fellowship.

The VCU Division of Movement Disorders offers a one or two-year fellowship that provides clinical training in the diagnosis and management of movement disorders. Fellows can expect in-depth exposure to a broad spectrum of common and rare movement disorders, involvement in clinical and translational research and electives tailored to their specific goals and interests.  In addition, fellows will receive extensive training in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Focused Ultrasound (FUS), and the application of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) injections for the treatment of movement disorders.

One-year fellowships are primarily clinical, with some additional opportunities for research projects and clinical trial design. Two-year fellowships provide expanded time during the second year for pursuing more in-depth clinical training and/or research projects and research training to further develop fellows into clinician investigators.

Click on the links to learn more about the Division of Movement Disorders and its faculty as well as visit the Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Center website.

Supervised clinical experiences will take place with each of the movement disorders faculty in their respective clinics, primarily at the Short Pump Pavilion (SPP) in Short Pump and less frequently in the newly opened Ambulatory Outpatient Pavilion (AOP) at the downtown VCU campus.

Fellows will care for patients with a wide range of common, uncommon, and rare movement disorders. In addition, they will participate in dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for Parkinson's Disease, Huntington’s Disease, and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and other atypical parkinsonian syndromes. In these clinics, fellows will work closely with a skilled team of Physical/Occupational/Speech therapists, dieticians, social workers, genetic counselors, geriatric psychiatrists, and nurse navigators for the care of these patients. The fellow will also be able to participate in a Supportive Care (Neuropalliative) Clinic and collaborate closely with our division-dedicated neuropsychologists and our two functional neurosurgeons during their training.

Additional Clinical Experiences Include:

  •  BoNT injections (for dystonia, hemifacial spasm, spasticity, and sialorrhea)
  •  EMG guidance of BoNT injections
  •  DBS programming
  •  DBS surgeries, which include both microelectrode recording and implantation.
  •  FUS
  •  Clinical electives

 Below, is a sample weekly clinical schedule. Fellows will staff patients with the respective attendings listed for that day.

 

Monday 

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

AM|  

Dr. Barrett

Dr. Berman

HD Clinic (1st) or DBS implantation (O.R.)

Dr. Berman

(BoNT)

Dr. Barrett

PM|

Dr. Cloud

Admin

HD Clinic (1st)

PSP Clinic (2nd)

Dr. Baron

Didactics, Electives, Research

The schedule for a potential second year of fellowship, if desired, will be designed in conjunction with the fellow, Program Director, and research mentor based on the fellow’s specific interests and career goals.

Elective Experiences

The program offers a number of elective opportunities for fellows, including:

  • Neuropsychology
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Palliative Care
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy

Additional elective experiences can be crafted based on the fellow’s specific interests.

Within the first 12 weeks of the fellowship, fellows will receive lectures from VCU Movement Disorder faculty on the fundamentals of common diagnoses, treatments, and practices. Topics include:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Parkinson Disease (Parts I & II)
  • Phenomenology of Movement Disorders
  • Deep Brain Stimulation 101
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Huntington’s Disease and Chorea
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Dystonia (Parts I & II)
  • Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes
  • Functional Movement Disorders
  • Botulinum Toxin Injection 101
  • Introduction to research
  • Clinical rating scales training and certification (UPDRS, HDRS, SARA, etc)

Fellows will also attend the “Comprehensive Review of Movement Disorders for the Clinical Practitioner” course in Aspen, Colorado (or a comparable review course) early in their fellowship. Financial assistance to attend this course will be provided by the fellowship.

 

Additional Regularly Scheduled Educational Conferences Include:

  • Journal Club (monthly)
  • Video Case Conference (monthly)
  • Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center Education Conference Series (monthly)
  • Neurology Departmental Grand Rounds (weekly)

For comprehensive information on fellowship benefits and institutional policies, please refer to the VCU GME website

Our movement disorders fellowship program participates in the SF Match each year, and applications will only be accepted through the SF Match system. The application deadline is May 15

Applicants to the movement disorders fellowship must have be on track to successfully complete an ACGME-accredited residency program in neurology, child neurology or general psychiatry in the U.S. or Canada prior to starting.

After acceptance, but prior to joining the movement disorders fellowship program, applicants are required to provide a list of the rotations completed during prerequisite training. This must be received no later than July 15th of the starting year and must appear on letterhead from the institution where prerequisite training was completed.

Applicants must be within 4 years of direct patient care activities (independent practitioner or trainee); observerships or research do not count.  Applicants must also have at least 3 months of direct patient care in the US or Canada within the last 4 years.

Applicants must have at least 3 letters of recommendation from US or Canadian physicians that can speak to the applicant’s clinical skills and personal characteristics. A chair letter is not required, and all of the letters don’t need to be from neurologists (though we suggest that at least one of them be).

If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Christine Rucker
Email:Christine.Rucker@vcuhealth.org 

 

Matthew Barrett, MD, MSc, Program Director
Email: matthew.barrett@vcuhealth.org