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Headache Medicine Fellowship

Academic Curriculum

Headaches account for more disability than any other neurological condition yet there are relatively few UCNS board certified headache medicine specialists across the country. Fellows will be educated in how to build and lead a multi-disciplinary headache program that delivers the much needed care to high volumes of patients while maintaining personal job satisfaction. Ideal pediatric migraine management requires training in not just medications and procedures but also a robust integration with psychology, school/work functioning and non-pharmaceutical pain management including self-regulation skills, nutraceuticals, physical and vestibular therapy, non-invasive neuromodulation, acupuncture and more.

Clinical Experience
 

The 12 month fellowship program will be a longitudinal learning experience with regular and repeated exposure to acute and chronic headache patients in a diversity of patient care settings and headache management complexity. Strong emphasis will be put on learning from other specialties including amplified pain management, physical therapy, psychology and others. Fellows will have bimonthly adult headache clinics at University of Kansas Medical Center.

The Headache Section at the Children's Mercy is a multi-disciplinary team that is capable of providing quick access to first line headache management and the comprehensive treatment needed by the most refractory and disabled patients. Our training program is led by experienced headache clinicians, educators and researchers who are passionate about meeting the needs of this underserved population. All of the faculty members have backgrounds in post-graduate training and understand the needs of the learner. Our ACGME programs are strongly supported by the institution and similar support has been contributed to our UCNS headache medicine fellowship. Our GME program has a core curriculum for fellows so that the fellows' various educational needs are met such as in safety training, quality improvement, and, importantly, physician wellness.   

Dr. Jennifer Bickel is the Chief of the Headache Section within neurology and serves as the headache fellowship program director. Dr. Bickel believes in leading with a vision and passion for improving the lives of our patients. The headache section is comprised of 2 neurologists, 1 pediatrician, 2 pain psychologists, 5 headache trained APRN's, 1 dedicated headache social worker, 1 headache dedicated research assistant and nursing support.  

The headache section serves over seven thousand patients a year and provides a wide range of treatments including in-clinic headache infusions, pericranial injections, botox, medication management, acupuncture, lifestyle management, school re-entry planning, biofeedback, relaxation training, non-invasive neuromodulation etc. The headache section is active in research with a history of publications and grant funding.  

Headache advocacy is also a key component of the headache section including but not limited to school nurse educational programs, community educational outreach, development of the website www.headachereliefguide.com, a site organizer for Runnin' 4 Research 5K which raises money for headache research and political advocacy for headache funding. 

The headache section members also work closely with other specialties such as physical therapy, pain management, developmental and behavioral medicine, pain rehabilitation, ER providers and others to provide our patients comprehensive treatment and our trainees a 360 degree learning experience. In 2018, the headache section will open a direct access urgent care for headache patients providing the much needed “right time, right place” approach to severe headaches.

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