Educating and Diversifying Clinicians to Help Overcome Gaps in Parkinson Disease Management: Eli Pollard


The chief training and education officer at the Parkinson’s Foundation discussed the importance of educating healthcare professionals on different specialists that play a role in Parkinson disease management. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

"It’s a couple of things. One, you understand what they [social worker] do, and you could the perhaps try to fill in some of those gaps that you don’t have. You also might realize and understand the value of having a social worker at your team, and then might say, OK this is worth it. I’m going to bring them in. It’s a constant conversation."

A trend that’s been seen across movement disorders and all walks of neurology has been a shortage of neurologists and specialists to handle the growing number of patients with neurological conditions. For context, as more than 90,000 patients become diagnosed with Parkinson disease (PD) each year, there are roughly 600 movement disorder specialists who have that additional training. Treating these patients comes with an interdisciplinary approach, with the combined experience of various specialists.

Launched in November 2022, the Parkinson’s Foundation’s new educational series includes a list of curated courses that meet the needs of a range of professional to maintain optimal PD care. This 6-part series includes neurologists, primary care physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, dentists, community health workers, and more. For Eli Pollard, she believes this program allows medical professionals to understand more about what other specialists do, and what they offer for patients with PD.

Pollard, the chief training and education officer at the Parkinson’s Foundation, sat down to discuss the importance of learning other roles and diversifying your skillset as a clinician. She spoke about the need to fill in gaps in care efficiently, without causing clinicians to burnout.

For more information on the educational series, head to:

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