Throughout the Epilepsy Fellowship, you alternate between rotations in the electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory and epilepsy inpatient and outpatient services.
EEG experience is included in your training. During the time spent in the EEG lab, you interpret a large number of EEG records from adults and children with epilepsy and related disorders. You are given increasingly independent responsibility to oversee complex problems, take emergency call, oversee and perform prolonged EEG and surgical monitoring, teach residents, and present lectures and seminars.
You are exposed to a variety of seizure problems, monitoring techniques used to evaluate patients with seizure disorders (including prolonged monitoring and ambulatory monitoring), and pre-surgical and intraoperative electrocorticography studies.
During the time spent on the epilepsy service, you care for patients on the inpatient epilepsy monitoring service as well as see patients in the epilepsy outpatient clinic and the hospital epilepsy consulting service. You also are involved in prolonged EEG monitoring in patients admitted to the ICU and gain experience in the planning and interpretation of intracranial EEG recordings in pre-surgical patients.
The schedule of clinical activities is designed to achieve a balance between the outpatient and inpatient settings to ensure that you have experience with different aspects of epilepsy care. You work with both adult and pediatric patients and are involved with drug therapy and surgical treatment for both new-onset seizures and refractory epilepsy.
You also participate in:
- Amytal testing
- Intraoperative monitoring
- Video EEG recordings
The rotations are designed to give you gradually increasing responsibilities in these areas. By the end of your fellowship, you should be able to perform these activities independently.
Clinical conferences, lectures, lecture-demonstrations, seminars, small discussion groups and one-on-one instruction are integral parts of the Epilepsy Fellowship.
A weekly epilepsy lecture series covers key elements of integral epilepsy care. You have the opportunity to attend conferences in the EEG laboratory and a weekly multidisciplinary epilepsy surgery conference. In addition, a patient problem-oriented journal club for epilepsy and EEG meets on alternate months.
You also can attend other weekly seminars and conferences in neurology, neuropathology and pediatric neurology.
Opportunities for teaching and research are available.
You are encouraged to complete at least one investigative project during your training. The type of research project you select depends on your interests and capabilities and the time available. Opportunities are available for collaborative studies with other clinical and basic science sections at Mayo Clinic.
Epilepsy research is conducted at all three Mayo Clinic campuses. Mayo Clinic research led to significant developments in MRI techniques that are now used widely in the selection of patients for epilepsy surgery.
When you complete your research, you are expected to present it at a scientific meeting or prepare it for publication in a scientific journal. This experience teaches you how to comprehend and critically evaluate other reported investigations and gain insight into the conduct and principles of research. Mayo covers expenses for travel, hotel and registration to support the presentation of research performed during fellowship training.
To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop your technical skills, your performance is monitored carefully during the Epilepsy Fellowship. You are evaluated formally by supervising faculty members after each clinical rotation and meet with the program director to review these evaluations.
In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty members to ensure that your educational needs are being met.