ADFP Program Overview
The Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center(ADC) was established in 1978 as the first international center for patient care, research, and training with a focus on the autonomic nervous system. The staff of the Autonomic Dysfunction Center continue to research autonomic dysfunction and work to discover best ways to treat those symptoms. Our Clinical Research Infrastructure has an operating budget of 3 million per year and we have continuous NIH funding for the past 30 years. The breakthrough discoveries are listed in Link to (our history)
The clinical fellow will be engaged in education, clinical and laboratory practice as well as research. We have a large, diverse spectrum of patients with autonomic disorders, ranging from the most common and mild to the rarest and most disabling one.
We have a dynamic and multidisciplinary team of faculties from different specialties (neurology, autonomic disorders, cardiology, geriatrics) dedicated to the care of patients with Autonomic Disorders. The fellow will rotate with all the faculty members in clinic as well as in the laboratory, in order to have the broadest exposure. They will have the opportunity to interact with other neurological subspecialties (such as neuromuscular, movement disorders and autoimmune neurology) with whom we often share complex cases. They will also interact with all the other medical specialties (cardiology, geriatrics) that refer patients to us.
Our clinic has the largest volume of patients than any other center, guaranteeing a very extensive experience. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in research projects and they will be encouraged to do so and present their results at national and/or international meetings.
During your fellowship, you:
- Participate in the clinical assessment and management of patients with a wide variety of autonomic disorders
- Participate in the assessment and interpretation of the studies performed in the Autonomic Function Testing Laboratory, Neuro-hormonal assessment.
- Have the opportunity to engage in Clinical Research in Autonomic Disorders under a structured mentorship program.
- Elective rotation in Hypertension, Cardiology, Neurology (Movement Disorder, Neuromuscular Disorder Clinic)
- Attend the weekly departmental conferences and scheduled didactic activities.
What is unique to our fellowship program
- Strong clinical and research mentorship program from leaders in the field of Autonomic Disorders
- Multidisciplinary team of clinical educators and physician-scientists dedicated to the care of patients with autonomic disorder
- Exposure to broad range of pathologies that affect the autonomic nervous system in the outpatient and inpatient setting.
- Support to pursue scholarly activities such as conference and meeting attendance.
- Possible pathway to faculty in one of the top academic medical institutions in the country
Amr Wahba, MD
Autonomic Disorders Fellow, 2020-2021
I worked for a year as a research fellow with the Autonomic Dysfunction group at Vanderbilt before going for a clinical fellowship in autonomic disorders to further my understanding of this scientific field.
I had the opportunity to work closely with several MDs, researchers, coordinators, and nursing staff who were nothing less than exemplary. There is a sense of a family vibe here, with everyone being very approachable. The department's multidisciplinary team of clinical pharmacologists, cardiologists, neurologists, and geriatricians gives me a uniquely different perspective on managing our patient cohort - something that is not present in similar fellowship programs across the country.
Fellows get stellar clinical opportunities with a busy patient-volume load in outpatient and inpatient services.
The chance to be involved in research and academics is also wide open, with several research mentors available to provide feedback. Personally, the most critical strength I value is the continued presence of the support and mentorship needed to advance my career further.
Vanderbilt's Autonomic group is a leader in autonomic care across the US, and to be part of that is a privilege and prepares me well going forward.
The cherry on top of the cake is living in Nashville - a beautiful city with stunning hiking trail scenery and its own taste of music and food - that makes up for a busy week of work.