Clinical Fellowship Training Program

Dystonia is a multifaceted neurological disorder.  Despite advances in clinical management and research, the diagnosis of dystonia continues to be, far too often, delayed or missed. Although treatment options have expanded with the recent approval of botulinum toxins and the success of deep brain stimulation, patients with dystonia continue to report difficulties in locating physicians who know how to evaluate their individual needs and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. In addition, there is a great need for better understanding of the disorder in its various clinical manifestations and for the development of better treatments.  This emphasizes the urgent need for training more experts in dystonia, which can be best achieved by additional fellowship training in movement disorders with special emphasis on dystonia.  

Program Overview

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) is pleased to offer one-year clinical fellowships to support the training of exceptionally qualified physicians in preparation for their clinical and/or research career in movement disorders with emphasis on dystonia and a special competence in use of botulinum toxins. In 2017, this program will support fellows through grants from Allergan Foundation and Merz Pharmaceuticals.

The fellowship should focus on training in both the clinical evaluation and care of patients with dystonia and the conduct of clinical research on dystonia.  The training must be patient-oriented and include hands-on experience in clinics as well as participation in professional meetings and workshops. Involvement in the activities of the Dystonia Coalition (https://www.rarediseasesnetwork.org/cms/dystonia) and participation in courses related to dystonia at major neurological meetings will also be expected.   

Eligibility

Applicants must be board certified or board eligible in neurology, have completed a neurology residency, hold a license to practice medicine in the United States, and intend to practice in the US upon the completion of their fellowship.  

The fellowships will only be awarded to second year movement disorder fellows who can directly engage in dystonia research at institutions with established training programs that have the appropriate resources to provide both clinical and research training in dystonia, including the use of botulinum toxin type A and type B approved for use in the United States.  The applicant must have a mentor at the institution with clinical expertise in dystonia, who will develop a mentorship plan for the fellow. To become eligible, an institution must provide information on the training environment, program curriculum, available resources and the expected amount of exposure to patients with dystonia.  Fellows should devote at least 50% of their time to dystonia research and the majority of their clinical time with dystonia patients. 

Applications for the fellowships, which are expected to start July 1, 2017, should be submitted electronically to the DMRF by December 19, 2016.

Each fellow will receive a stipend in the amount of $75,000 per year.  Up to 10% ($7,500) of the award may be used by the fellow for research expenses and travel to scientific and clinical meetings. No institutional indirect cost is allowed. The fellowship is for only one year and is not renewable.  Previous awardees are not eligible to apply. 

For further information and application materials please contact Jody Roosevelt at jroosevelt@dystonia-foundation.org

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