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Clinical training

The clinical component of the Fellowship involves evaluation and management of patients with all forms of neurological autoimmune disorders, interpreting serological studies, and participating in clinical treatment trials.

Principal activities will involve:

  • Learning to interpret neurological and oncological correlations of newly recognized profiles of neuronal, muscle, and glial autoantibodies identified in patients' sera and spinal fluid
  • Participation in the neuroimmunological consultative process through translation of autoantibody profiles to patient-specific problems, through communication with primary care physicians
  • Participation in the further evaluation and therapeutic planning for seropositive patients with a staff neurologist or oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  • Additional clinical activities in a template custom-tailored to match the career goals of the trainee (e.g. EMG, EEG, MS clinic)

The outpatient clinic provides the opportunity to evaluate patients new to Mayo Clinic referred directly to Neurology, and also consultations referred from other Mayo health-care providers. Patients seen in the Autoimmune Neurology Clinic present with diverse neurological presentations.

The training program includes clinical conferences in the Department of Neurology and basic and clinical immunology conferences: weekly Neurology Department Grand Rounds, a weekly hospital-based case conference, a weekly rotating subspecialty conference, a weekly Neuroimmunology Laboratory Conference, and a weekly Department of Immunology Seminar.

The evidence-based medicine program, case conferences, visiting faculty conferences, and all didactic courses are open to both residency program members and fellows in all subspecialties. Autoimmune Neurology fellows are encouraged to audit Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine's didactic course in Immunology (offered in the fall).

Research training

The research component of the fellowship includes the use of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory's serological data-base and Mayo Clinic's diagnostic indexing system, training in medical research methodologies, development of research protocols and the organization and completion of at least one clinical research project Statistical education and advice is readily available from the Center for Translational Science Activities.

You will work with chosen mentors among the Autoimmune Neurology faculty on research project(s), develop data collection forms, collect data, analyze the data, and submit abstracts and manuscripts.

Additional skills to be acquired include:

  • Writing research proposals
  • Handling clinical research data in a computerized format
  • Editing and validating data sets
  • Analyzing and reporting results

There is a formal Clinical and Patient Oriented Research Training Program in the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Fellows may take courses of their choosing within this program to enhance their skills in all aspects of clinical research.

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To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop your technical skills, your performance is monitored carefully during the course of your program training.

At the completion of each rotation, fellows are evaluated by the faculty to whom they were assigned. This is accomplished through Mayo Clinic's Residency Management System, MedHub. MedHub is linked to the six core competencies identified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Interpersonal Skills and Communication, Professionalism, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, and Systems-Based Practice).

Completed faculty evaluations are reviewed by the program director, who assigns a pass/fail grade based on the scores and comments by the faculty member. Upon approval of the evaluation by the program director, the evaluation immediately becomes available electronically to the fellow in the MedHub system.