Curriculum

The Neuropsychology Service at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center serves as the primary training site for all fellows.  Outpatients make up the bulk of referrals, though inpatients are occasionally seen. Referrals involve a wide variety of patient populations, including dementia, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury,  epilepsy, and neuro-oncology. 

In addition to seeing patients through the general outpatient neurology clinic with a variety of conditions including concussion, traumatic brain injuries, cerebrovascular accidents/stroke, and multiple sclerosis, fellows will rotate in the following specialty clinics:

Curriculum Overview

Epilepsy Surgery Clinic: Fellows will have the opportunity to perform Phase I clinical neuropsychological assessment for epilepsy surgery patients who are seen as part of their evaluation in our Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (CEC). There is also the opportunity for fellows to conduct post-operative assessment of these patients as well as Wada testing. 

Neuro-Oncology Clinic: Fellows will have the opportunity to conduct baseline and subsequent cognitive monitoring of patients with central nervous system brain tumors at regular intervals in the Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Movement Disorders Clinic: Fellows will have the opportunity to evaluate patients with movement disorders as part of pre-surgical work-up for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery.

NeuroRehabilitation Rotation: Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in treatment team meetings and weekly patient rounds on the adult inpatient rehabilitation unit.  Fellows will be expected to round with the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation attending doctor once per week seeing each of the patients on the rehab unit for a medical update. They will also be expected to attend one treatment team meeting per week and serve as one of the consulting neuropsychologists for the team. 
Pediatric Neuropsychology Rotation: Fellows will have the opportunity to perform neuropsychological evaluations with children and young adults between the ages of 4 and 25 with a variety of medical, developmental, and acquired neurological conditions. 
Neurodegenerative Disease Clinic: Fellows will evaluate older adults who are referred for evaluation of memory loss and/or suspected dementia. Fellows will be exposed to a wide variety of conditions including mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Parkinson’s disease dementia/Lewy Body Dementia. 

The typical caseload of adult fellows is 3 full days/6 half-day cases (or the equivalent) per week. Due to the variety of offerings, clinical opportunities range from 1-hour screenings for CNS tumors to 4-hour DBS surgery evaluations, to 6-hour epilepsy surgery evaluations.  All fellows provide consultation to referral sources, feedback with patients and families, and where appropriate, participate in intervention planning and monitoring as part of their duties.  

Research Opportunities

Our program emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model, thus fellows are expected to be engaged in both clinical activity and research. The extent of involvement in research is tailored to each fellow’s interests and career goals, though within the two-year fellowship all fellows are expected at minimum to be involved in the development and preparation of at least one report suitable for publication based on their involvement in a research project under the guidance of one of the faculty. Fellow involvement in research may take several forms, depending on the interests of the fellow and faculty, available projects and data sets, as well as projects in development.

Our research primarily focuses on epilepsy, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, and traumatic brain injury. Studies include evaluation of cognitive and emotional functioning, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, lifestyle-type interventions, and assessment of predictors of cognitive outcome, treatment-related cognitive dysfunction, and drug-related clinical trials.

Conferences and Didactics

Weekly didactic opportunities are plentiful and include:

  • Neuropsychology Seminars
  • Multidisciplinary Epilepsy Surgery Case Conference
  • Multidisciplinary DBS Case Conference
  • Multidisciplinary Tumor Boards and monthly Psychometry Meetings.
  • Neurology Department Grand Rounds are held twice monthly.

Elective didactics include:

  • Epilepsy Journal Club, Cancer & Cognition Research Meetings
  • Psychiatry Department Grand Rounds
  • Brain Cutting
  • Radiology Grand Rounds
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) Consensus meetings
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Grand Rounds.