The Vascular Neurology Fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Medicine prepares fellows to independently practice the subspecialty of vascular neurology. After completing the program, fellows are prepared for either an academic or private practice position.

Funded as a PGY-5 position, this Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited fellowship is a one-year experience involving clinical care and research. Stroke fellows will be well-trained in acute evaluation and management of stroke patients and will receive significant training in the use of intravenous thrombolytics and endovascular treatments.

Fellows are eligible for the Vascular Neurology Boards after they successfully complete the fellowship.

Why Train at Wake Forest?

The U.S. is facing a shortage of subspecialty-trained vascular neurologists, and the need will increase as the population ages. The school of medicine meets this need through specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular disease, using advanced techniques such as neurosonology.

All fellows attend neurovascular ultrasound courses and meet eligibility criteria for the Neurosonology Certification Examination of the American Society of Neuroimaging. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. Fellows will interact with the multi-disciplinary stroke team and stroke service, with the dedicated stroke faculty.

Clinical Training Goals

At the end of the training program, fellows will have developed:

  • Competence in the comprehensive diagnosis and management of all forms of cerebrovascular disease (patient care)
  • A rich knowledge base in both clinical and basic neuroscience with the focus on cerebrovascular disease (medical knowledge)
  • Competence in obtaining an appropriate medical history (including sensitive issues such as substance abuse) in a professional and humane manner (interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism)
  • Competence in communicating diagnosis and treatment plans; competence in communicating potentially sensitive information such as terminal prognosis; and competence in rapid assessment and family interactions in the emergent setting of the patient with an acute stroke syndrome (interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism)
  • Competence in communicating succinctly and clearly with other health care professionals, with a proper respect for the principles of HIPAA regulations (interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism)
  • Skill in self-assessment and self-improvement (practice-based learning and improvement)
  • Skill in practice assessment as well as both practice and systems improvement to enhance quality of care and improve patient safety (practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice)

Academic and Research Goals

  • A scholarly approach to the practice of cerebrovascular disease, including the incorporation of evidence-based medicine into clinical decision-making (practice-based learning and improvement)
  • Basic knowledge of clinical trial design and statistical testing, as well as the ability to utilize this knowledge for critical interpretation of medical literature (medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement)
  • First-hand experience of the process of clinical research via participation in a clinical or translational research project (or even by assisting with patient enrollment into an ongoing project) (interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement)