As I begin my term as the Chair of the Clinical Neurophysiology section, I'd like to thank Dr. Gloria Galloway, past Chair, for all of her efforts to advance the section and to address the needs of our members. One of her accomplishments that I'd like to highlight is the formation of the clinical neurophysiology practice trends workgroup. The purpose of the workgroup is to identify issues that are of particular interest to members in practice, and to look for ways that the section can help address emerging needs. Dr. Jau–Shin Lou volunteered to lead this workgroup. The first issue identified is the shortage of qualified technologists. Through discussions and a meeting with the executive director of ABRET (the credentialing board for technologists), one of the root causes identified is the lack of schools to train neurodiagnostic technologists. Although over the past several years there has been a promising increase in the number of distance learning programs, where students can learn the fundamentals of neurophysiological techniques, these programs need more sites where students can do hands–on clinical rotations. This is an area where members of the CNP section who are interested in developing partnerships with distance learning programs can help to reduce the bottleneck. Please contact Dr. Lou if you are interested in joining this workgroup.
Another activity begun under Dr. Galloway's watch is the initiative of the AAN to forge partnerships between AAN subspecialty sections and other professional organizations with shared subspecialty interests. Because clinical neurophysiology is a discipline that crosses the spectrum of neurological disorders, our membership has diverse interests. Many members belong to other sections and to subspecialty professional organizations that promote clinical neurophysiology, such as the AANEM and the ACNS. By working collaboratively with other organizations, we hope to make more efficient progress toward common goals, such as educational initiatives, developing practice guidelines, and promoting research training.
The CNP section was well–represented in the educational and scientific offerings at the recent Annual Meeting of the AAN in New Orleans in April. At the Clinical Neurophysiology highlights session, Dr. Atif Husain presented the recent AAN guidelines on intraoperative monitoring (see the website article) and meeting abstracts on central neurophysiology. Dr. Anup Patel presented abstracts on evoked potentials and peripheral neurophysiology. There were also 13 program offerings in Epilepsy/EEG and 16 in Neuromuscular/EMG. Our section has representatives in two topic working groups that plan the annual meeting program: Epilepsy/Clinical Neurophysiology (EEG) and Neuromuscular Disease/Clinical Neurophysiology (EMG). The topic working groups review the attendance and evaluations of programs offered in previous years to see if they are worth repeating as well as reviewing the proposals for new proposals – courses, workshops, seminars and kick–off programs. Any members who are interested in submitting proposals for new courses at future annual meetings
should note that the deadline for submission typically falls a few weeks after the annual meeting. This year the deadline was May 11, 2012.
A final piece of news from the meeting: the membership of the CNP section has grown to 934 members! Although this increase is likely to reflect the ease of designating section membership when paying dues on–line, the large number is a testament to the importance of clinical neurophysiology to a broad segment of the AAN membership. With 40 junior fellow members and 32 junior resident members, clinical neurophysiology continues to be a popular discipline for specialization.
I look forward to the coming two years as Chair, and hope to continue the good work of my predecessors.