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Medial student curriculum needs to include more training for EEG and epilepsy, according to researchers.

“We reviewed the neurological curriculum, and realized that it does not involve EEG, which is electroencephalography, at all,” Vinita J. Acharya, MD, an associate professor in the department of neurology at Penn State University College of Medicine, said during a presentation at the American Neurological Association Annual Meeting.

Medial student curriculum needs to include more training for EEG and epilepsy, according to researchers. Source: Adobe Stock.

Acharya and colleagues conducted a literature search and evaluated information on medical student clerkship curriculum from multiple institutions.

They noted the standard curriculum for EEG and epilepsy focused on getting a patient’s detailed history, a complete neurological examination and developing skills to localize lesions.

Acharya and colleagues found that students did learn about neuroimaging, but training on EEG was not routinely included, even though EEGs are often required to diagnose and manage epilepsy.

To fill the gap in EEG and epilepsy training, the researchers developed an elective course on EEG and epilepsy at their institution.

The course was a 2-week rotation offered to fourth-year medical students who had completed their third-year neurology clerkship. During the course, students learned about types of seizures, epilepsy syndromes and basic EEG studies. Also offered was a 4-week course, which included exposure to neuropsychology and epilepsy psychiatry.

To date, Acharya and colleagues reported that six students had completed the elective, and all had evaluation scores indicating they had passed the course. Of these students, five went on to work as neurology residents, and one became a psychiatry resident.

The curriculum can also be useful for students entering primary care, Acharya said.

“Epilepsy and seizure are very basic conditions, and not just neurologists [care for these patients],” Acharya said during the presentation. “In fact, many patients are cared for by primary care neurologists.”

SOURCE: Article by E Mitchell for Healio.com

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