Discussing Sleep Medicine Education for Health Professional Trainees: Anita Shelgikar, MD, MHPE


The clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan outlined a recent study that assessed the effectiveness of an educational sleep medicine “boot camp.” [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

“Sleep medicine education is important for anyone in any health profession because our patients with sleep disorders see our colleagues throughout their journey in health care. It’s really important that people at different points in our health care system—our colleagues, dentistry, nursing, medicine—that everyone has a recognition and awareness of sleep disorders so that we can best help our mutual patients when they present with sleep related concerns.”

A recent study enrolled 21 health professions trainees, 14 of whom were sleep medicine fellows, in a 2-day introduction course to sleep medicine, asking participants to complete 2 validated sleep knowledge questionnaires—The Assessment of Sleep Knowledge in Medical Education and The Dartmouth Sleep Knowledge and Attitude Survey—at the conclusion of the course. Investigators found that, contrary to previously reported data, baseline sleep medicine knowledge is higher amongst this population, and the boot camp helped to improve knowledge and interest in sleep medicine in this specific group of trainees. 

To better understand study findings and motivations, as well as the importance of sleep medicine education, we sat down with Anita Shelgikar, MD, MHPE, clinical associate professor of neurology; and director, Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program, University of Michigan. In conversation with NeurologyLive®, Shelgikar noted that, at the conclusion of the study, investigators identified a statistically significant difference in the assessments of sleep knowledge in the medical education survey when compared with baseline. She further commented on the importance of sleep medicine education for all trainees to best assist patients with sleep-related concerns. 

Wappel SR, Scharf SM, Cohen L, et al. Improving sleep medicine education among health professions trainees. J Clin Sleep Med. 2021;17(12):2461-2466. doi:10.5664/jcsm.9456 
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