The University of Cincinnati (UC) Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine has received approval for a new neuromuscular medicine fellowship from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)—the only newly approved neuromuscular program in the country.
The one-year fellowship replaces the clinical neurophysiology/EMG fellowship and will become effective July 1, 2015. Currently, according to the ACGME, there are 44 accredited neuromuscular fellowships in the United States.
"This fellowship will offer exclusive training in neuromuscular disorders including advanced techniques in EMG (electromyogram), nerve and muscle biopsy interpretation and peripheral nerve and muscle ultrasound,” says Hani Kushlaf, MD, an assistant professor of neurology and pathology who is the director of the fellowship. Kushlaf adds that the July 2015 fellowship position has already been filled.
A fellowship is the period of medical training that a physician may undertake after completing his or her residency. Fellows in the UC program will train at UC Health sites, including UC Medical Center and University of Cincinnati Physicians offices, and at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Neuromuscular specialists in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine are members of the Neuromuscular Disorders Program at the UC Neuroscience Institute (UCNI), a partnership of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. The program employs the most advanced technologies and therapies to diagnose and treat hundreds of adult patients from across the Greater Cincinnati region each year.
Its physicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, which can encompass everything from common low back pain with lumbar nerve root compression (lumbar radiculopathy) to very specific disorders of muscle strength and deterioration (muscular dystrophy).
The collaborative team includes neurologists, pulmonologists, otolaryngologists, neurosurgeons, nurse clinicians, neuroscience nurses, physical and occupational therapists and social workers. Caregivers incorporate physical therapy (legs and walking), occupational therapy (hands and arms), speech and swallowing therapy and pulmonology to maximize patients’ quality of life.
When appropriate and beneficial, they call on surgeons to help treat specific neuromuscular conditions. They also are trained in the therapeutic use of immunosuppressants.