The Department of Neurology at UC Davis is offering a new ACGME-accredited, clinically-oriented Epilepsy Fellowship that also provides opportunities for participation in faculty research. The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) has designated UC Davis as a Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, the highest rating a program can receive.

Through participation in clinics, hospital and ED consults, EEG reading sessions, patient admissions, conferences, rounds, journal clubs, didactics lectures, grand rounds presentations, and other program activities, the fellow will develop and demonstrate the following core competencies in both patient care and medical knowledge:

Patient Care

  • Diagnostic evaluation, medical management, and surgical evaluations of patients with epilepsy and seizures
  • Interviewing and examining patients with epilepsy and seizures
  • Determining the differential diagnosis of the various clinical presentations of epilepsy and seizures
  • Determining the appropriate investigations for the diagnosis of epilepsy and seizures, including laboratory, pathologic, radiologic, and neurophysiologic testing
  • Inpatient and outpatient management of patients with epilepsy and seizures
  • Working in multidisciplinary teams and coordinating patient care

Medical Knowledge

  • Basic science of epilepsy and seizures
  • Genetics of epilepsy and seizures
  • Epidemiology of epilepsy and seizures
  • Neuroimaging and other diagnostic modalities in epilepsyEEG cap
  • Neuropsychology
  • Pharmacologic treatment of epilepsy
  • Non-pharmacologic treatments of epilepsy
  • Co-morbidity in epilepsy and seizures
  • Ictal and interictal EEG patterns across the lifespan
  • Prognosis in epilepsy and seizures

UC Davis offers extensive resources to support the fellowship program, including:

  • A 613-bed hospital with an Emergency Department, Level 1 Trauma Center, and 10 Intensive Care Units
  • A 16-bed Neurology unit with 4 video-EEG Telemetry beds, and a shared Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit
  • A Neurosciences outpatient clinic with 13 examination rooms
  • 4 EMU hard-wired beds for adult patients (NicoletOne) and 4 NicoletOne machines for pediatric monitoring
  • 4 Nihon Kohden EEG machines for inpatient and outpatient EEGs
  • 3-T MRI scanners, PET and SPECT (interictal/ictal) and CT
  • Adult & pediatric ICUs and the adult EMU have network connectivity allowing remote access to review video-EEG

The fellow will gain knowledge of the basic principles of evidence-based medicine and research by participating in faculty research projects. Ongoing studies in clinical epileptology under the guidance of Drs. Seyal and Kennedy include research aimed at defining mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and clinical studies involving novel antiepileptic agents. The fellow will learn to explain ongoing clinical research projects to patients before consent for a particular study is obtained.

Opportunities are also available for qualified individuals to participate in basic science research under the guidance of Dr. Michael Rogawski. Ongoing basic science projects include studies of functional effects of epilepsy-inducing ion channel mutations. Fellows may participate in studies utilizing animal models of seizures and epilepsy. A variety of treatment approaches are also under investigation, including traditional antiepileptic drugs as well as treatments delivered by non-conventional approaches such as convection-enhanced delivery and inhalation.

The fellow will be given progressive responsibility for patient management by the structure of both inpatient and outpatient services. During the first 3 months of the program, the fellow will be expected to evaluate epilepsy patients and develop management plans, and to discuss every case with the attending epileptologist. Each patient will also be seen by the faculty together with the fellow. As the fellow demonstrates increased competence and more advanced skills, he or she will be given greater leeway to develop and carry out patient management under overall faculty guidance.

The fellowship is primarily an adult epilepsy program and the fellow will attend three half-days in adult epilepsy clinics each week. A total of one month will be spent attending pediatric neurology clinics and/or rounding on inpatient neurology consults under supervision of the pediatric neurology faculty for younger patients.

The program will provide extensive experience in EEG and video-EEG monitoring. The fellow will attend daily EEG reading sessions with faculty, will pre-read EEGs and write preliminary reports, then discuss with faculty and generate final reports together. The fellow will admit video-EEG monitoring patients and discuss cases on rounds with the attending faculty, and will also be responsible for daily review of EEG and rounding on the EMU patients.

The fellow is expected to be the primary reviewer for:

  • at least 100 adult, pediatric, and neonatal EEGs and to generate reports
  • at least 50 continuous EEG monitoring records – will be on-call for review of continuous EEG with attending back-up support
  • at least 20 outpatient ambulatory EEGs
  • at least 40 scalp VET studies and to generate a report
  • at least 5 intracranial VET studies and to generate a report.

The fellow will be expected to participate in cortical mapping for language cortex, motor cortex, and somatosensory cortex and to generate a report for 5 studies, as well as to participate in Wada testing and generate at least 5 reports.

The fellow will attend all monthly epilepsy surgery conferences, present patient data to the multispecialty group (including neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropsychology, epileptologists, and EEG technologists), and will actively participate in discussion and development of the surgical plan.

The fellow will also be expected to participate in the monthly Epilepsy Journal Club and weekly Neurology Grand Rounds presentations, as well as the twice-monthly Epilepsy/EEG Didactic Lecture Series. The program is committed to ensuring that trainees acquire specialized knowledge and skills as neurologists while adhering to the highest standards of quality and safety in the delivery of patient care. Respect for fellow well-being is a core tenet of the training program. The program director will meet regularly with the fellow to discuss workloads, service/education balance, and other issues related to training and stress.

The fellowship program is directed by Masud Seyal, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurology at UC Davis. Dr. Seyal is Director of the EEG laboratory and Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, which is designated as a Level 4 Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology and provides editorial review for Clinical Neurophysiology, Epilesia, and Muscle and Nerve.

Dr. Seyal’s research interests include defining the mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and exploring human cortical physiology using transcranial magnetic pulse stimulation.

Faculty Resources

In addition to Dr. Seyal, other faculty from several disciplines will participate in the educational opportunities presented by this fellowship. Those with specific expertise in epileptology include:

Other teaching faculty participating in the fellowship, with their associated areas of expertise, include:

Qualified candidates will hold an M.D. or D.O. degree from an accredited institution and will have completed a residency in Neurology. Candidates must possess a California medical license prior to the start date of the fellowship and should apply for this at least 4 months in advance. Foreign medical graduates will be considered if they have completed a U.S.-based residency program.

To Apply

If interested in pursuing this fellowship training opportunity, qualified applicants should contact Lori Simperman, Education Programs Manager, UC Davis Department of Neurology. Please send a Curriculum Vitae and brief Statement of Interest.

Lori Simperman
Education Programs Manager
Department of Neurology
University of California, Davis
4860 Y St., Suite 3700
Sacramento, CA 95817
Email: lsimperman@ucdavis.edu
Phone: (916) 734-3514
Fax: (916) 734-6525


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