The goal of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Neuromuscular Fellowship program is to train the fellow in the skills, knowledge, and attitude necessary to take care of patients with neuromuscular disorders. This is achieved as the fellow interacts with patients under the guidance and supervision of faculty members who give value, context, and meaning to those interactions.
Graded and progressive responsibilities are earned as the fellow gains experience and demonstrates growth in their ability to care for patients with neuromuscular disorders. The objectives of the program will be achieved as the six ACGME core competencies in the areas of patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice are attained.
The Neuromuscular Fellowship program offers a unique setting for the fellow to become an expert in neuromuscular medicine. This is made feasible because of 1) a large patient population within UNC Health Care serving the Research Triangle area, the State of North Carolina and the states surrounding North Carolina and 2) faculty expertise in all aspects of neuromuscular medicine.
At the end of the fellowship, the neuromuscular fellow will be able to expertly evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with a wide variety of neuromuscular disorders. The fellow will know the values of the tests relevant to neuromuscular conditions, their cost and limitations. The fellow will have a background that will enable them to critically appraise data published on neuromuscular conditions, and take the neuromuscular medicine ABPN board as well as the ABEM electrodiagnostic board.
The neuromuscular fellow will spend three to four half days in the outpatient neuromuscular clinic. The fellow will be rotating through the:
- Myasthenia Clinic with Dr. James Howard every other Monday morning.
- Myopathy Clinic every Tuesday.
- ALS clinic every other Friday.
- Peripheral Neuropathy Clinic every other Friday morning.
During their rotation, the neuromuscular fellow will be assigned pre-triaged patients with increasing complexity as they earn more experience. The fellow will be responsible for:
- Obtaining a thorough patient medical history and neurological examination;
- Formulating a differential diagnosis and management plan;
- Presenting to the neuromuscular faculty the findings, discussing the differential diagnosis and formulating a plan;
- Explaining to the patient the impression and the plan of care;
- Following up with the patient.
Patients will include an adequate number of patients of both sexes, and a spectrum of socioeconomic status and age, including pediatric, adolescent and geriatric groups. The fellow will be supervised by a neuromuscular faculty member.
The fellow will be knowledgeable of the current literature and level of evidence regarding of the management of particular disorders in the field of neuromuscular medicine.
The fellow will be evaluating neuromuscular inpatient consultations, including the intensive care setting. The patients seen at the hospital will have a variety of neuromuscular conditions and the fellow will provide expertise for inpatient neuromuscular consultations and emergencies. These consultations will occur up to twice a week.
Electrodiagnostic, autonomic studies, nerve imaging, chemodenervation, and nerve and muscle biopsies
The fellow will spend six half days in the EMG laboratory. The fellow will be performing nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography under the supervision of a neuromuscular faculty. With further experience gained, the fellow will learn more advanced techniques such as single fiber EMG, short and long exercise tests, chemodenervation, nerve ultrasound and more.
The last half day of the week will be either spent in the autonomic laboratory or observing muscle and nerve biopsies. When the fellow feels confident, opportunities to perform and interpret autonomic testing and muscle or nerve biopsies will be offered.
- Neuromuscular medicine didactic lectures series – Mandatory lectures are held every other Wednesday at 7:15 am (apart from major holidays and national/international meetings).
- Neuromuscular pathology conference – Held every other Wednesday at noon.
- EMG-clinical correlation conference – Held every Friday at 7:30am.
- Journal Club – Held once a month, Monday at noon.
The fellow will be trained in the basic principles of research including how research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients and applied to patient care.
The fellow will be expected to participate in scholarly activity. In addition to being able to participate in resident and medical student teaching, the fellow will be trained on how to review and write a scientific paper.
The fellow will be encouraged to contribute to the scientific community by writing case reports, case series and if possible designing a research study (an additional year of research fellowship may be needed).
UNC allocates adequate educational resources to facilitate the fellow’s involvement in scholarly activities. The faculty is compensated for teaching, research activity and publications.
How to Apply
Thank you for your interest in our program. Please send the following required materials to our program coordinator via email (as an attachment), United States Postal Service or Federal Express:
- Personal Statement
- Four Letters of Recommendation:
- One letter from the program director of the residency program in which the applicant most recently served.
- Two letters from members of medical staff of the hospital affiliated with sponsoring institution of that residency.
- One letter from the EMG lab director.
UNC Department of Neurology CB#7025
170 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599