Movement Disorders Fellowship

Fellowship Director: Mya C. Schiess, MD
Educational Curriculum: Raja Mehanna, MD
Fellowship Coordinator: Gloria Galvan 

The academic and clinical faculty at UTHealth Neurosciences division of UTMOVE offer an innovative, scholarly, comprehensive and procedural heavy fellowship program in Movement Disorders. The UTMOVE fellowship program provides training expertise in an effective learning environment to accurately diagnose and treat movement disorders and associated diseases. With a focus on hands-on training, the UTMOVE fellowship emphasizes theoretical and practical knowledge; teaches procedural skills for chemodenervation therapy; the selection, management, microelectrode recording and programming of patients with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS); and the selection and management of patients with spasticity using Intrathecal Baclofen Pumps (ITB).

Established in 2001, this fellowship is approved by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and has trained 29 movement disorders specialists, including 3 Child Neurology specialists.

Currently, like all Movement Disorders Fellowships in North America, it is a non-standard program that follows all the guidelines and recommendations for ACGME approved programs and is funded by Hermann Memorial Hospital Foundation as a one-to-two-year PGY 5 or PGY 6 fellowship. Prerequisites for the 2-annual positions in the training program include completing an ACGME-accredited residency program in neurology or child neurology.

Fellowship 1st Year Program

The first year of training for the Movement Disorders fellow emphasizes clinical care. It involves sufficient one on one teaching, supervision, and experience to become competent, proficient and independent in (1) Diagnosis of movement disorders and the ability to medically manage specific symptoms and chronic diseases, (2) Appropriate selection of candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation for all FDA approved indications, participation in intraoperative microelectrode recording and testing; and in programming the pulse generators for optimal symptom control, (3) Appropriate selection of candidates for intrathecal baclofen pumps,  performing baclofen L-P trials,  assessing spastic tone and programming the ITB pumps to optimize control over spastic tone, (4) Appropriate selection of patients for botulinum toxin injections and proficiency in the injection procedure, including identifying the muscles to treat and determining the doses to use.

Didactics occur weekly and are primarily led by the fellows and based on an Educational Curriculum developed by Dr. Raja Mehanna that follows topics from the Movement Disorders Society and the AAN Movement Disorders Curriculum.  Topics include educational lectures, journal clubs, DBS/video vignette conferences, as well as research updates from the faculty to help facilitate shared learning and research initiatives. All lectures, video cases, podcasts and relevant webinars are uploaded into a Movement Disorders Drive that serves as a large readily accessible library.

Fellows have ample opportunity to work alongside and provide education to rotating neurology residents and third- and fourth-year medical students. Fellows also lecture third-year medical students about movement disorders fundamentals during their third-year neurology clerkship.

Fellows are encouraged to present at national meetings (American Academy of Neurology, Movement Disorders Society International Meeting) and participate in abstract and manuscript writing.

Fellowship 2nd Year Program (optional)

The second year of training for the Movement Disorders fellow emphasizes the fellow’s ability to care for movement disorders patients with more independence. This involves (1) DBS programming and adjustment of medicines for symptom control, (2) Refilling Intrathecal Baclofen pumps, re-assessing tone and programming the Infusion mode parameters, (3) Follow up care and injections for the repeated botulinum therapy, (4) Comprehensive medical and physical therapy management for the diverse array of patients at various stages of chronic, progressive neurodegenerative diseases.  Additionally, in the second year, fellows are given more opportunity and flexibility to participate in clinical and/or translational research with faculty or collaborators. Similar to the first year of fellowship, fellows in their second year are encouraged to present at national meetings (American Academy of Neurology, Movement Disorders Society International Meeting) and participate in abstract and manuscript writing.

Movement Disorders Fellow Schedule

The fellows participate in an outpatient clinic in both the Harris health system and UTHealth. The schedule includes administrative time to participate in educational opportunities as well as research opportunities. All weekends and holidays are off, and there is no night call.

Application Procedure

UTMOVE is part of the movement disorder match facilitated through the San Francisco matching program: SFMatch. To apply, send your CV and 3 letters of recommendation to Mya.C.Schiess@uth.tmc.edu (Program Director) and Gloria.Galvan@uth.tmc.edu  (Fellowship Program Coordinator) or call 713-500-7051.