About the Program
Learn about movement disorders fellowship...
The Division of Movement Disorders offers a one-year or two-year fellowship.
The 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, focused ultrasound, and the application of botulinum toxin 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 research projects and research training to further develop fellows into clinician investigators.
Supervised clinical experiences will take place with each of the 6 movement disorders faculty and 2 APPs in their respective clinics, primarily at the Neurologic, Orthopedic, and Wellness Center (NOW Center) in Short Pump, and less frequently at the downtown Richmond main VCU hospital. 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, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, and Ataxia. 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 collaborate closely with our 2 neuropsychologists and 2 functional neurosurgeons during their training.
Additional Clinical Experiences Include:
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Deep brain stimulation programming
- Deep brain stimulation surgeries, which include both microelectrode recording and implantation.
- Focused Ultrasound surgery
- Clinical electives
Below, is a sample weekly clinical schedule. Fellows will staff patients with the respective attendings listed for that day.
|AM|||Dr. Brian Berman||Dr. Jon Snider||
Dr. Claudia Testa or DBS implantation (O.R.)
Dr. Mark Baron or DBS programming
|Dr. Matthew Barrett|
|PM|||Dr. Leslie Cloud||Admin time||Dr. Claudia Testa||Botox injections (Dr. Jon Snider) or DBS programming||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 research goals.
The program offers a number of elective opportunities for fellows, including:
- Geriatric Psychiatry
- 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 Aspen “Comprehensive Review of Movement Disorders for the Clinical Practitioner” 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 (weekly)
- Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center Education Conference Series (monthly)
- Neurology Departmental Grand Rounds (weekly)
Benefits and GME Policies...
Information for fellowship applicants...
Interviews are held from April through August.
Due to COVID, interviews will be entirely virtual. In-person visits are currently not allowed by VCU. Applicants will be informed if this policy changes during the course of the interview season.
Only J-1 visas are accepted.
Applicants to the movement disorders fellowship must have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in neurology, child neurology or general psychiatry in the U.S. or Canada.
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).
Movement Disorders Fellowship