Utilizing Objective Measures to Assess EEG Milestones: Fabio Nascimento, MD


The clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital discussed the idea of standardizing the number of EEG reads residents should be required to do before their training is complete.

In an effort to understand more about the teaching strategies for electroencephalogram (EEG) reading during residency, Fabio Nascimento, MD, and Jay Gavvala, PhD, surveyed 47 program directors (PDs) of adult neurology residency programs in the US. The main findings included a lack of consistency in teaching, with the average number of EEG reads varying from more than 40 in about one-third of programs, to 0–10 in about 14% of programs.

The entire dataset identifies inconsistencies across the board in EEG residency programs, but what stuck out to Nascimento was the variation and lack of objective measures to assess EEG milestones. In total, 64% of programs utilized objective measures, and included EEG tests/quizzes, oral examinations, Residency In-service Training Examination (RITE), Self-Assessment Examination (SAE), American Epilepsy Society (AES) examination, direct assessment from faculty, evaluation of EEGs logged by residents, and number of EEGs read during the rotation.

In this interview with NeurologyLive, Nascimento faces the question as to whether there should be more standardized levels of EEG education and whether it should impact graduation status. He also touches on his own personal experience in his residency program and how these inconsistencies were brought to his attention.

Nascimento FA, Gavvala JR. Education research: neurology resident EEG education: a survey of US neurology residency program directors. Neurology. Published online December 11, 2020. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011354.
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