Skip to main content

About the Program

The Duke Movement Disorders Fellowship is a comprehensive clinical program that emphasizes the description, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of various disorders of motor control. Each fellow will work closely with faculty from our division of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders as well as the Duke Department of Neurosurgery.

Fellows are exposed to a large volume of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), dystonia, tremor, Huntington's disease (HD), and other movement disorders as well as training in botulinum toxin therapy and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Training consists of one to two years of post-residency clinical education and research opportunities. Our physicians conduct clinical trials in PD, dystonia, HD, and tremor disorders. 

Duke University is an international destination for the implantation and management of DBS for various movement disorders. The intraoperative monitoring of DBS patients and the effects of DBS on basal ganglia function offer collaborative work and an opportunity for fellowship focus.  Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in patient testing during DBS surgery and will become familiar with programming DBS pulse generators to optimize clinical benefit. Fellows will participate in a monthly DBS conference to discuss candidate patients and avenues to managing patient expectations as well as review prior surgical patients' results. 

Other collaborative and research efforts involve Duke researchers in the Center for Translational Neuroscience, Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Biomedical Engineering, Neurobiology, Institute for Brain Science and other institutions.

Duration: Each training program will run 12 months consecutively from July 1 to June 30. Applicants may renew for an additional 12 months.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of an approved neurology residency.

Salary level: PGY-5

Program Goals

During the course of their fellowship, our fellows will:

  • Receive training that emphasizes the description, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of  movement disorders including Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, tremor disorders, focal and generalized dystonia, Huntington's disease and other choreiform disorders, Tourette syndrome, restless leg syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, myoclonus, hemiballismus, and other rare disorders associated with abnormal movements.
  • Evaluate new patients and provide ongoing care to established patients and discuss therapeutic recommendations and outcomes.
  • Work with our neurosurgery group in the evaluation and treatment of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS), including patients with Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. Fellows will participate in patient testing during DBS surgery and will become familiar with programming DBS pulse generators to optimize clinical benefit. Fellows will participate in a monthly DBS conference to discuss candidate patients and avenues to managing patient expectations as well as review prior surgical patients' results.
  • Learn about therapeutic approaches used to alleviate movement disorders, including skills in botulinum toxin injections.
  • Participate in ongoing clinical research studies; to gain experience in IRB/regulatory issues related to clinical trials; to assist in protocol review, investigator meetings, contract/budget negotiations, patient enrollment, data collection, monitoring visits, and statistical evaluation.
  • Gain experience with standardized rating scales used in evaluating movement disorders.
  • Evaluate patients on the consultation service.
  • Learn about the benefits of ancillary programs, i.e., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social worker referrals.
  • Develop and complete at least one original clinical research project and to publish these results in abstract form.
  • Investigate the etiology of Parkinson’s, particularly through studies of gene environment interactions.

Evaluation Process/Feedback

Fellows work directly with faculty from the division of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders--Patrick Hickey, DO, Mark Stacy, MD, Burton Scott, MD, PhD Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD, Jeffrey Cooney, MD, and as well as the Duke Department of Neurosurgery. These faculty members are movement disorders specialists with extensive clinical trials experience or laboratory research expertise.

In addition to the direct goals and objectives of this program, the program training director emphasizes the necessity of maintaining the highest ethical standards while interacting with patients, physicians, and other health care workers.

Fellows will be encouraged to give back to the community and provide ongoing education to patients and their families as well as health care providers.

Daily communication will occur between these faculty members and the fellow. Formal evaluation will occur every six months during the academic year and will be discussed between the trainee and the program training director.

For more information, contact Program Director Patrick Hickey, DO, at Patrick.Hickey@duke.edu.