AAN.com Speaks to Sung Bae Lee About the Consortium of Neurology Residents and Fellows

April 8, 2009

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Sung Bae Lee, MD, is an Editorial Board Member for Education and a Graduate Education Subcommittee member. He spoke with AAN.com Education Editor Daniel B. Hier, MD, MBA, FAAN.

AAN.com: Dr. Lee, thank you for talking to AAN.com about the Consortium of Neurology Residents and Fellows (CNRF).

Lee: Thank you for inviting me for this discussion.

AAN.com: Can you tell us approximately how many active members you have within the CNRF?

Lee: All junior members within the AAN have the opportunity to partake in the activities of the CNRF, which currently centers on the AAN Annual Meeting. There are approximately 3,800 junior members. However, only a small fraction of this number attend the Annual Meeting each year. That is why we are working to expand activities beyond the Annual Meeting.

AAN.com: What is the mission of the CNRF?

Lee: The mission of the CNRF is to be the unifying voice for the junior members within the AAN. With a common voice, the CNRF can make an impact on education policy, career development, and practice transitions for our junior members.

AAN.com: What vehicles are there to communicate between members of the Consortium of Neurology Residents and Fellows?

Lee: This is an area that the CNRF and the AAN is working very hard to improve. Previously, communication has been predominantly via email. This modality, however, is not conducive to dialogue among thousands. A web-based forum has been implemented that will allow discussion forums according to different topics and personal interests. This alleviates the barrage of email notifications to members while drawing individuals into discussions of greatest interest. Junior members can access the Residents and Fellows Web Forum.

AAN.com: Do you have any thoughts about how the Academy can contribute to the CNRF's success?

Lee: The AAN can strengthen the CNRF by continuing to support and increase funding for the resident travel scholarships. This allows our junior members to partake in specific educational and career development activities created on their behalf at the Annual Meeting. The travel scholarship allows the junior members to have their first true taste of being part of the AAN and cultivating a lifelong relationship with the academy. In addition, the CNRF has a mentorship program. We continue to look for mentors who can guide junior members in their subspecialty areas of interest, which may not be represented in the trainee's particular residency program.

AAN.com: What are some hurdles to getting residents and fellows to the Annual Meeting?

Lee: Unfortunately, there are a few training programs that do not send their residents to the meeting, despite travel funding being allocated for them. I think the AAN needs to encourage our training programs to continue supporting resident educational travel to the AAN meetings.

AAN.com: How can a resident or fellow join the Consortium of Residents and Fellows? Is there any cost to join?

Lee: If one is already a junior member of the AAN, there is no cost to be part of the CNRF. The key is to participate. Whether being involved in a web-forum discussion on education policy or participating in a career reception at the AAN Annual Meeting, we want our junior members to get involved.

AAN.com: Can you tell me about some of the CNRF's initiatives?

Lee: The CNRF hosts career development forums at the Annual Meeting. The career forum focuses on practice development in the areas of academic practice, private practice, and research pathway. However, we want to expand other initiatives beyond the meeting. That is why the web forum is currently a key area of interest for the CNRF. Once real-time discussions can be established, greater participation and more activities will develop out of these conversations.

AAN.com: Are there any plans to use AAN.com to address the needs of the CNRF?

Lee: The Academy's website represents a "neurologic storehouse" of information for our trainees. Once our junior members realize the resources available on AAN.com, this website will be a professional tool not only during training, but also in everyday practice.

AAN.com: What sort of activities with the CNRF will be conducted at the Annual Meeting in Seattle?

Lee: There are several trainee-specific activities at the Annual Meeting. To highlight a few, a Residents and Fellows Luncheon will be held Sunday, April 26. This will be a great chance for trainees to get an understanding of what the CNRF is all about. On Monday, April 27, the Residents and Fellows Career Forum and Reception takes place: this event is an exceptional opportunity for our junior members to learn about ways to advance in their careers.

AAN.com: Is there anything else you'd like residents and fellows to know about the CNRF?

Lee: The CNRF has a wonderful leadership group that is comprised of Benjamin Atkinson, MD (Chair), Christopher M. Nolte, MD (Past-Chair), and Larry Charleston, IV, MD (Chair-Elect). We also have a tremendous liaison, Ms. Cheryl Alementi, who helps implement the vision and goals of the CNRF. The leadership is here to be available to our junior members. We look forward to interacting with our junior members at the upcoming Annual Meeting, as well as having future discussions with them on our web forum.

Author Disclosures

Within the past 24 months, Dr. Hier received personal compensation for medical legal consulting and consulting to legal firms regarding medical malpractice issues. In that period he also served as editor for MDnetguide, and has given expert testimony, prepared a deposition, and/or acted as a witness or consultant in medical malpractice cases. Dr. Hier has received personal compensation in an editorial capacity for AAN.com.

Dr. Lee has nothing to disclose.