Autonomic Disorders Fellowship
The Autonomic Disorders Fellowship Program, under the directorship of Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D., is a one-year clinical program accredited by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties that provides training in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the autonomic nervous system. The fellowship emphasizes a comprehensive approach to multidisciplinary patient care and clinical/translational research. Fellows will gain an understanding of the interplay among neuroanatomy, cardiovascular physiology, and pharmacology. Fellows will also become proficient in neurophysiological autonomic testing.
- Clinical faculty and training in both neurology and cardiology
- Multiple training sites with diverse patient populations including UT Southwestern, Parkland hospital, and the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) - 4 separate autonomic function laboratories with a variety of testing equipment including pupillometry
- Dr. Vernino is a world expert in autonomic and autoimmune neurology and president of the American Autonomic Society.
- Dr. Ben Levine is a world expert in autonomic and cardiovascular physiology. He developed the exercise training program for POTS based in part on his experience working with NASA.
- Faculty have other unique special expertise including metabolic disorders, amyloidosis, and thermoregulation.
- Close collaborations with other specialties including gastroenterology, physical medicine, palliative care, sleep medicine
- Fellows experience a large volume of patients across the spectrum of autonomic disorders including genetic disorders, POTS, and neurodegenerative conditions.
- Multiple system atrophy (MSA) multidisciplinary center of excellence
- Fellows have abundant opportunities for research and to participate in national autonomic meetings.
- When appropriate, fellows can work as junior faculty.
- Hands-on clinical training in the autonomic testing laboratories (typically 4 half-day sessions per week) with planning of studies, analysis of data and preparation of reports
- Observation of more advanced testing, including cardiopulmonary exercise testing, skin biopsy, microneurography, and autoantibody assays
- Hands-on patient care experiences in the autonomic clinics (typically 4 half-day sessions per week), plus monthly MSA multidisciplinary clinic
- Regularly scheduled weekly teaching conferences, journal club and case presentations
- Research project working with one or more of the autonomic faculty members who are international experts in autonomic disorders
- Optional clinics with associated specialists in GI motility, cardiac amyloidosis, thermoregulation, and hypertension
Autonomic disorders fellows are usually at PGY6 level. Applicants must have completed a ACGME-accredited neurology residency or accredited fellowship program in cardiology and must be board-certified or board-eligible. Although not strictly required, the following are desirable (prior to start of autonomic fellowship):
- Completion of one or more years of subspecialty training following neurology residency
- Full unrestricted Texas medical license (J1 visa applicants must be eligible for a TMB training permit)
- Evidence of interest in academic career development including prior research and publications
Most fellows join the autonomic fellowship after completing one or more years of subspecialty training following neurology residency (commonly neuromuscular or movement disorders). Applications are accepted throughout the year. Interviews and offers typically take place in the calendar year prior to the expected starting year.