Functional Neurosurgery Fellowship
Apply & Program Information
Thomas Jefferson University is proud to offer a one-year SNS/CAST accredited fellowship in functional neurosurgery to one candidate per year. This fellowship will provide training in a comprehensive approach to the treatment of patients with a variety of diseases, including chronic pain, epilepsy, movement disorders, spasticity and spinal cord injury.
To apply to the Functional Neurosurgery Fellowship Program, please send CV to Michelle Hoffman.
The Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is an extremely busy center offering medical and surgical epilepsy treatment options. The Center is led by Michael Sperling, MD, who is currently the editor of Epilepsia. Jefferson offers all available surgical epilepsy treatments, including resections, corpus callosotomy, thermal ablation (using both Visualase® and Neuroblate®), vagal nerve stimulation and responsive neurostimulation. We were also the first hospital in the United States to have a clinical Neuromate® sEEG robot installed.
The fellow will attend the weekly epilepsy conference, which is a discussion between our epileptologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists. Each surgical candidate is discussed at this conference, allowing the fellow to gain experience in surgical planning. They will also serve as either the primary surgeon or the assistant surgeon on epilepsy cases.
Spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal pumps are the largest component of the functional practice. Patients seeking SCS therapy can either be trialed outside of the department or by a neurosurgeon, giving the fellow unique experience in conducting his or her own trials. The department also performs ablative procedures including DREZ lesioning and cordotomy.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Jefferson Neurology has a very large panel of movement disorder patients, affording the fellow ample opportunity to gain experience placing DBS. The department has IRB and HDE approval to offer DBS to patients with dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Patients also have the option of undergoing traditional DBS or asleep DBS, which allows the fellow to gain experience in this emerging trend.
- Opportunity for research: Both Drs. Sharan and Wu are active researchers, routinely performing research on epilepsy, chronic pain and functional neurosurgery procedures. Dr. Wu, who has a secondary appointment in radiology, takes a particular interest in neuro-imaging and has recently started an advanced image processing lab. Dr. Sharan takes interest in research regarding outcomes and the economics surrounding spine surgery and functional neurosurgery.
- Call responsibilities: The functional fellow does not take call.
- In-patient duties: Both of our NICUs (totaling 40 beds) are staffed by neuro- intensivists and nurse practitioners. Patients on a neuroscience floor are followed by neurosurgical residents, specialized neuro-hospitalists and nurse practitioners, allowing the fellows to focus primarily on operative responsibilities and perioperative management.
- Clinic duties: Fellows will be in clinic twice per week, giving them additional experience in the evaluation of these disorders and formulating effective treatment plans. The fellow also has the option to follow the epilepsy neurologists and movement disorder neurologists in their clinic, giving them more experience in the medical management of epilepsy and Parkinson's patients.