Data regarding the clinical experience of movement disorders subspecialty training are currently not available. In order to provide information to help design a well-rounded clinical experience, we reviewed the number and types of patients seen by all clinical movement disorders fellows over the course of 1 year at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). We conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients seen by four full-time clinical fellows and one part-time fellow during the 2001-2002 academic year, using billing records to tabulate all clinic visits and patient charts to certify diagnosis. One thousand six hundred sixty-two patients (1, 132 new and 530 follow-ups) were seen by five fellows. Each full-time fellow evaluated and treated a mean of 263 new patients, 116 follow-up patients, and 15 in-patient consultations. The part-time clinical fellow evaluated and treated 81 new patients and 65 follow-up patients. Approximately half of the new patients had idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Full-time fellows saw equivalent numbers of patients but they evaluated few patients with uncommon movement disorders. Weekly video rounds allowed all fellows to see many more patients, aiding the recognition of movement phenomenology and enhancing understanding of diagnoses and treatment strategies. Thus, CUMC fellows evaluate a large number of patients with a wide range of diagnoses within a 1-year period. Video rounds allow greater exposure to uncommon diagnoses. Similar data from other movement disorder training programs are needed to help create guidelines for formal accreditation and to improve clinical training in this subspecialty.
- Parkinson's disease