Letter from the Chair

June 7, 2011


Dear Section Members:

I am honored to be the new Chair of the Behavioral Neurology Section and hope to continue the excellent work carried out by my predecessors, Mark D'Esposito and Dan Kaufer. Among their many efforts, Mark dedicated himself to ensuring that high quality cognitive neuroscience remains an integral part of Academy meetings, and Dan spearheaded the process of developing a strategic plan for our section.

In many ways, our subspecialty is doing extremely well. For example, behavioral neurology was the first discipline to develop programs accredited by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties. Currently, there are 18 fellowship programs and over 200 Diplomates.

As a section, we have an opportunity to help shape the future of our discipline, which is in the process of determining its relationship to other pertinent fields, including cognitive neuroscience, geriatric neurology, neuropsychiatry, and neuroimaging.

I continue to view the following as among the most challenging opportunities for our section:

  • Recognizing that despite being a diverse group, we are bound together by a shared set of interests and goals that allows us to speak with a common voice;
  • Fighting for appropriate reimbursement for the value that we add to patient care. (Currently, there seems to be considerable interest in having the Section establish clear guidelines for the Neurobehavioral Status Examination and find ways to increase the likelihood of reimbursement);
  • Encouraging leaders in basic and translational cognitive neuroscience to include the annual meeting of the AAN as a forum for showcasing their work;
  • Ensuring the visibility of behavioral and cognitive neurology at the AAN to help inspire residents and others early in their training to enter our field.

Success in these areas is essential to the viability of our discipline and to our capacity to attract the next generation of behavioral neurologists.

I look forward to the opportunity to help lead these efforts and would greatly appreciate your involvement.


Kirk R. Daffner, MD
Chair, Behavioral Neurology Section of the AAN