Training Programme Director - Ming Lai
Specialty Programme Coordinator - Joanne O'Brien
Clinical Neurophysiology offers an exciting and varied career within the neurosciences for those interested in combining considerable patient contact with technical skills. It is primarily a diagnostic specialty concerned with recording electrical activity from the nervous system to aid the diagnosis, classification and management of neurological disease. Increasingly neurophysiological techniques are used to identify surgically remediable conditions such as nerve entrapments and aid safer surgical interventions. Electroencephalography is used to classify seizure disorders and select patients for surgical amelioration of epilepsy.
The work involves interaction with a wide range of specialties, including neurology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, rheumatology, oaediatrics, ophthalmology and psychiatry, and environments that include theatre and intensive care
Why choose clinical neurophysiology?
Clinical neurophysiology is a diagnostic specialty, using a variety of physiological tools to investigate neuromuscular disease from muscle fibre to cortical neurones – electromyography [EMG], nerve conduction studies, evoked potentials [EP], magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography [EEG].
The skills of the physician remain at its core. It is primarily clinical; with knowledge of neurology and neuroanatomy overlying an understanding of physiology. But, clinical neurophysiology takes you a step beyond the history and examination and a step toward an understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms.
There may be less caring for patients; but a great need to care about patients.
Clinical neurophysiology is a small specialty, but also a shortage one: The prospects for unhindered career progression are good.
As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?
Training is based at Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle, where clinical neurophysiology forms part of the neurosciences division, offering comprehensive and integrated neurological, neurosurgical, and neuroradiological expertise.
A year of training is spent in the neurology department where you will work with leaders in such fields as epilepsy, muscle and motor neurone disease.
The three years of clinical neurophysiology training will take you from the core areas of EMG, EP and EEG to selected specialist areas of training that could include quantitative EMG, magnetic stimulation, long term epilepsy monitoring and intraoperative EEG recording.
There are strong links with the renowned Institute of Neuroscience at Newcaslte University: Links between basic scientists and physicians investigating mechanisms underlying conditions of high clinical relevance; from fast cortical oscillations to seizure generation and from synchronous oscillations in the motor system to the early diagnosis of motor neurone disease. It is hoped that you will help strengthen these links further.
What our trainees say:
My job involves reporting on EEGs and Video-EEG telemetry, performing EMG and nerve conduction studies, evoked potential studies and intra-operative monitoring. I particularly enjoy the interaction with patients during investigational procedures and the challenge of making the diagnosis.
Training here has enabled me to be appointed to a Clinical Lectureship, allowing me to split my job between training and research. This is a great place to train as it ensures close links between University and Hospital.
Current vacancy information (links to HEE website recruitment page)
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