If you're living with Parkinson's, a message you may often hear is to make sure you're seeing the right doctor. For most, that's a movement disorder specialist, a neurologist with extra training in treating Parkinson's and other movement disorders. But in general there aren't enough of these doctors and they're especially lacking in certain areas. (There's only one fellowship-trained movement disorder specialist in the entire state of Oklahoma, for example.) This shortage will only worsen as our population ages, since getting older is a risk for Parkinson's and other movement disorders.
To address this problem, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), in partnership with the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, brings together doctors in training (neurology residents) to learn about Parkinson's and other movement disorders, and consider a career in the field. Last month, the 3rd annual MDS-PAS Movement Disorders School for Neurology Residents gathered 90 neurology residents from across the United States and Canada in Dallas, Texas for two days of lectures about movement disorders, patient interactions and examinations, and discussions on career paths. Following this experience, one participant reported, "I have decided to pursue a career in movement disorders, and I am hopeful that I will be able to improve my patients' clinical outcomes because of this course."
As a complement to this program, MJFF, also in partnership with the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, supports the training of movement disorder specialists through The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders. Each year, this program awards funding to five academic centers to teach a new movement disorder clinician-researcher over a two-year period. By the year 2021, this fellowship program will graduate 20 new movement disorder specialists around the world to care for people with Parkinson's and lead research into better understandings of disease and new therapies.
Find a movement disorder specialist in your area.
The third annual MDS-PAS Movement Disorders School for Neurology Residents was made possible with support from the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Additional support was provided by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., Lundbeck and Sanofi. While these generous sponsors made the educational offerings possible, their support did not influence content, perspective or panelist selection.