Chapter

Headache education for the medical student

William B Young, Noah L Rosen and Fred Sheftell

in Headache care, research and education worldwide

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584680
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191753435 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199584680.003.022

Series: Frontiers in Headache Research Series

Headache education for the medical student

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Despite a new pathophysiological understanding of many headache disorders and the emergence of significant new treatments for headache over the last few years, physicians remain undereducated about and uncomfortable with diagnosing and treating primary and secondary headaches. Because primary headache disorders represent such a large part of the primary care physician’s practice, and secondary headaches are both commonly seen and commonly over-diagnosed, the average physician needs better education. Only 50 of 95 responding medical schools say they have a headache clinic. Even academic neurologists who have an interest in headache medicine spend most of their time in clinic and less than 25% of their time teaching or doing research. Medical schools averaged only one hour of preclinical and two hours of clinical headache teaching. Although 97% of neurology residency training directors or chairs believe that migraine is a valid neurological disorder, only 80% of neurology residencies have a lecture devoted to headache. In a survey of academic members of the American Headache Society, 20% of respondents reported that no headache lecture was offered to medical students in their institutions. To address this lack, the American Headache Society deemed it necessary to create a core curriculum for medical student education in headache.

Chapter.  1674 words. 

Subjects: Neurology ; Public Health and Epidemiology

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