The Importance of Sleep Medicine Education: Anita Shelgikar, MD, MHPE


The clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan spoke on the importance of sleep medicine education for trainees, as well as areas that could be improved. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“It would be great if we could broaden exposure not only of the neuroanatomy and the underlying physiology that underlies normal, healthy sleep and disordered sleep, but really increase the awareness and understanding of clinical sleep disorders as well. [In doing so], we can, again, better assess and evaluate patients who have sleep related concerns and then initiate treatment when we do diagnose and confirm sleep disorders in our patients of all ages.”

Sleep medicine education was evaluated in a recently published study that enrolled 21 health professions trainees in a 2-day boot camp. The study cohort included 14 sleep medicine fellows who were about to enter their fellowship, with investigators concluding that baseline knowledge of sleep medicine is higher than originally anticipated and the boot camp aided in a statistically significant improvement in both the Assessment of Sleep Knowledge in Medical Education Survey (2.9 points [±2.1]; P = .004) and Dartmouth Sleep Knowledge and Attitude Survey (2.5 points [± 3.0]; P = .001). 

Anita Shelgikar, MD, MHPE, clinical associate professor of neurology; and director, Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program, University of Michigan, spoke with NeurologyLive® on key findings from the study, while also addressing the need to continue sleep medicine education for trainees. According to Shelgikar, sleep medicine is an interdisciplinary field, and the 2-day course assisted in building awareness and understanding. She further noted that other programs could incorporate similar programs, particularly with the advent of virtual learning and telemedicine opening new avenues for resource sharing.

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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