Stanford Headache and Facial Pain Fellowship
The Stanford Headache Center is the largest headache program on the west coast. Since its founding in 2011, it has enjoyed steady growth and is now home to six board-certified headache specialists (three of whom are also certified in Pain Medicine). All faculty take an active role in clinical care, research, and teaching. The Stanford Headache Fellowship Program received UCNS accreditation in 2012. Two clinical fellowship positions are offered each year. The clinical fellowship is 1 year in length, with the option of an additional research year which we encourage our fellows to consider.
Our program focuses on outpatient management of headache and facial pain disorders, exposure to a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, and involvement in clinical and/or translational research.
We strive to provide as much autonomy to our fellows as possible within the general guidelines of the UCNS educational requirements. Fellows have considerable latitude in how and where they choose to focus their energy. Headache medicine, like most aspects of medicine, cannot be formulaic at its highest levels. More than understanding classification, medication options, and comorbidity, the subspecialist must see diseases as a process, in the context of a patient’s life.
As a fellow, you will see headache patients at the Stanford Headache Clinic in Palo Alto. Each day, you will work with one or more of six faculty to care for a diverse patient population referred from a regional, national, and international base. You will have ample opportunity to work with all faculty and experience different styles of practice and to develop proficiency in performing a variety of outpatient procedures including Onabotulinum A Toxin injections, Occipital Nerve Block, Supraorbital Nerve block, Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block, and Trigger Point Injections. You will become skilled in management of headache patients who receive infusion therapies, such as DHE, by coordinating patient care at the Outpatient Infusion Center. For management of complex or comorbid headache disorders in the inpatient setting, you will provide inpatient consultation and work with the Stanford Neurohospitalist team.
Fellows have a total of 8 weeks of elective rotations. This is an opportunity for you to learn about the multidisciplinary programs at Stanford that are essential to the management of complex headache disorders. These rotations include:
- Pain Management (includes Pain Psychology and Pain Physical Therapy)*
- Sleep Medicine*
- Autonomic Disorders
- Addiction Medicine
*Core elective rotations that all fellows must complete.
Formal didactics take place every Wednesday morning. These include a set of core lectures that are presented by headache faculty, important topics related to headache presented by guest speakers, and journal club presented by fellows and rotating residents. In addition, there is a weekly, multi-disciplinary case conference and bi-monthly combined headache neuroradiology conference. Fellows are also expected to be actively involved in departmental educational forums, such as attending weekly Neurology Morning Report, as well as, Neurology Grand Rounds.
Whether you intend to remain in academic medicine, enter private practice, or work in industry, we feel that it is imperative to be comfortable with critical evaluation of the literature, to have a sense of what is involved in clinical trials, and to learn how to construct, execute, and write up a research project. You will have the opportunity to work with our faculty in our clinical trials. We invite our fellows to co-author one or more review articles, book chapters or scientific papers during fellowship. You are encouraged to explore research projects from bench to translational, to clinical by working with a faculty member of your choosing. This must be done at your initiative, but faculty support is readily available. Additionally, there is ample opportunity to participate in ongoing research directed by faculty.
Regional, national, and international conferences are excellent opportunities to broaden connections and forge collaborations. We strongly encourage our fellows to attend these conferences to engage with the larger Headache community. Financial support is available through Stanford’s annual educational allowance, department funding, and scholarships provided by conference sponsors.
Applicants must be enrolled in, or have completed, a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). For the application, we typically request a cover letter outlining your career goals and interest in pursuing a fellowship with us, a minimum of three letters of recommendation (one of these letters should be from residency program director), a copy of your CV, and a completed application form. If you are interested in applying for a fellowship position in the 2024-2025 academic year, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our webpage, on the National Headache Fellowship Opportunities website, to fill out an inquiry form.