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Pediatric Epilepsy Fellowship (Minnesota)

Program Description

Epilepsy represents one of the most common serious neurologic problems affecting children, with an overall incidence approaching four percent for febrile seizures and one percent for epilepsy. However, approximately 50 percent of all epilepsy begins during childhood. Diagnosis is complicated by protean clinical manifestations that are age-dependent and differ substantially from adult seizure disorders.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester offers a one-year Pediatric Epilepsy Fellowship Program, which provides an intense experience for those wishing to specialize in pediatric epilepsy. A second year of fellowship may be considered depending on your clinical and research interests and long-term career goals. The fellowship is divided into epilepsy and EEG training. Trainees also participate in the research and publication of at least one scholarly activity during each fellowship year.

The pediatric epilepsy program at Mayo is balanced between inpatient and outpatient experiences. There are two pediatric epileptologists. A strong relationship exists between the pediatric and adult programs, such that there are joint epilepsy surgery rounds and good opportunity to interact with both the pediatric and adult epilepsy staff, and with the adult epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology fellows.

Your Pediatric Epilepsy training will include:

  • Outpatient pediatric epilepsy clinic: Clinics are held most afternoons. Fellows would have the opportunity to run their own clinic, under the supervision of the pediatric epilepsy staff.
  • Inpatient video EEG monitoring unit: The inpatient unit consists of 3 dedicated beds on the pediatrics ward. Additionally, patients in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units can also be monitored.
  • Pre-surgical evaluation using:
    • High-resolution, 1.5T and 3T MRI
    • Functional MRI
    • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)
    • Ictal and interictal SPECT co-registered to MRI (SISCOM)
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
    • Extra-operative and intraoperative electrocorticography
    • Sodium amobarbital testing
  • Initiation and maintenance of the Ketogenic diet
  • Implantation and adjustment of vagus nerve stimulator
  • Epilepsy-related research that could include epidemiology, genetics, clinical electrophysiology and behavior
  • There is also an opportunity to rotate through our pediatric sleep disorders program

The EEG portion includes both didactic and clinical experiences. During the fellowship you will become proficient in:

  • Interpreting pediatric EEGs, including neonatal records
  • Supervising prolonged recordings
  • Coordinating special studies
  • Surgical monitoring
  • Teaching other residents and fellows

The fellowship also offers formal neurophysiology course work and research opportunities.

The optional second year of fellowship provides additional clinical training and up to 50% research time, and is designed for those who wish to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the comprehensive management of children with epilepsy and related disorders.

The fellow would be fully funded to attend a national meeting each year with the expectation that he/she would present their research there.

Evaluation

To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop your technical skills, your performance will be monitored carefully during the course of your program training. You will be evaluated formally by your supervising faculty member after each clinical rotation and will meet with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, you will regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure that your educational needs are being met.

Program History

The Pediatric Epilepsy Fellowship Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester was established in 2004. The first fellow was accepted in 2005 and completed a two-year program in 2007. It is anticipated that one trainee will complete this fellowship annually.

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