Fellowships and Internships

Clinical Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship

The Clinical MS Fellowship provides a rich educational framework that can be tailored to emphasize clinical care or clinical research. Upon completion of the fellowship, graduates are superbly positioned for a range of excellent career opportunities in the academic and private sectors. Our fellowship encompasses the following areas: clinical care, neuro-imaging, neuro-ophthalmology, rehabilitation medicine, mental health, and clinical trials.

Clinical Care

Optimal care of a person with MS requires integration of a vast amount of information that is distilled into a personalized and dynamic treatment plan that evolves over time. Central to our MS Fellowship is hands-on training in patient care in a comprehensive, state-of-the-art MS treatment facility. Fellows are closely mentored and supervised by one or more of the MS specialists. For each patient, we conduct systematic discussions of the clinical presentation, physical findings, neuro-imaging studies, ancestry, environmental exposures and ancillary studies. Fellows lead a weekly case conference and attend weekly Grand Rounds as part of their training.

Neuro-Imaging

Neuro-imaging plays a major role in the diagnosis, prognosis and assessment of treatment effects in MS patients. The Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Center, in close collaboration with the Department of Radiology, utilizes three 3Tesla GE MRI scanners and two 1.5 GE MRI scanners for clinical care and clinical research. Most crucially, a highly collaborative relationship exists between the Neuro-Radiology Faculty and the MS Center. MS-specific MRI sequence protocols are rigorously maintained to ensure valid scan-to-scan comparisons. Routinely, patients’ clinical data along with their MRI data are entered into a longitudinal secure database. MS fellows spend a minimum of one month in Neuro-Radiology with an attending Neuro-Radiologist mentor to develop a deeper understanding of both the utility of different MRI sequences and the interpretation of results.

Fellows with a special interest in Neuro-imaging are encouraged to participate in one of several ongoing research projects. Dr. Susan Gauthier heads a collaborative research effort with members of the Radiology Department, using novel MRI and PET Scanning approaches to quantify injury, repair and inflammation in MS. Our close collaborative relationship with Dr. Ashish Raj, Director of the IDEAL Lab, Physicist Dr. Thanh Nguyen and Dr. Shankar Vallabhajosula, Director of PET Research has fostered several innovative approaches.

Neuro-Ophthalmology

Involvement of the different and efferent visual pathways is common in MS. A quantitative assessment of the efferent visual pathway is made through Goldman Perimetery, Automated visual fields, low contrast visual acuity, visual evoked potentials, and optical coherence tomography. Fellows spend one month with Dr. Mark Dinkin, Director of Neuro-Ophthalmology, to develop clinical skills in the interpretation of eye-movements, visual fields, and vestibular function. During this month, fellows also work closely with Dr. Siliard Kiss to acquire a basic knowledge of optical coherence tomography and its special utility in MS. Dr. Gauthier heads a clinical research effort integrating OCT and MRI and clinical/treatment outcomes in which fellows may participate.

Cognition, Higher-Cortical Functioning and Neuro-Psychology

Impairment of higher cortical functioning in MS occurs in a subset of patients and is secondary to combined effects of cortical and white matter lesions. Our patients undergo a computerized battery of cognitive tests to ascertain if there are observable deficits in relevant domains. Fellows participate in the administration of these tests and will be mentored in their interpretation. Fellows interested in higher cortical functioning in MS may pursue projects with one of several faculty in Neurology, Rehabilitative Medicine, and Psychiatry.

Rehabilitation Medicine

A key facet of caring for people with MS is Rehabilitation Medicine. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is home to one of the premier Rehabilitation Medicine Programs in the world. MS rehabilitation is headed by Dr. Michael W. O'Dell, who along with his team of Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists, utilize the most advanced technologies to assess and treat MS patients.

Masters in Clinical Research

Fellows are encouraged to complete formal training in Clinical Investigation at Weill Cornell Medical College. This program is a joint-teaching endeavor between Weill Medical College, the Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Cornell University Ithaca Campus. Fellows can pursue either a one year program to earn a Certificate in Clinical Investigation, or a two year program to earn a Masters Degree in Clinical Investigation. Research requirements in the Clinical Investigation Program can be pursued at the MS Center. For further information please see clinical research homepage. In addition, prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the Clinical and Translational Science Center website, to explore the rich collaborative clinical research environment in New York. Residents interested in pursuing clinical research and a fellowship in MS should contact Dr. Susan Gauthier.

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