Child Neurology Society

Article excerpt

A resource for professionals and parents faces a crisis in the field

What is a child neurologist? A child neurologist is expert in the diagnosis and treatment of children with disorders of the central nervous system, which include the brain and spinal cord, as well as the peripheral nervous system, including peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junctions, and muscle. Some problems a child neurologist evaluates and treats are epilepsy, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, tics, Tourette syndrome, brain tumors, autism, learning problems, and attention deficit disorders. A child neurologist is a medical school graduate with further training in both pediatrics and neurology.

Three years is the usual length of specialty training, followed by a three-year program in neurology, the first year of which is spent in adult neurology and the second two in child neurology. In order to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Pediatrics, the child neurologist can train for two years in pediatrics and then three years in neurology (one year of adult, two years of child). An alternative pathway to become eligible for certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology involves one year of pediatrics and a year of basic neuroscience research, preceding the three-year training program in neurology.

The Child Neurology Society is a member organization of 1,300 child neurologists in the United States and across the globe. The Society promotes research and education for professionals dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of childhood neurological disorders. The Society provides for its members the primary source for scientific and clinical education regarding childhood neurological disorders. The Society is the authority on the standards of care for children with neurological disorders and, through scientific and clinical information, provides the framework for developing public and healthcare policies regarding children with neurological disorders. The Society is a strong advocate for child neurology-related research. A major goal of the Child Neurology Society is to develop collaborative relationships that enhance the quality of care for these children.

The specific goals of the Society surround four main areas: patient care; research; education and training; and advocacy.

In the area of patient care, the Child Neurology Society establishes and promotes standards for Pediatric Neurology and develops practice parameters for childhood neurological disorders. The Society advocates the use of evidence-based practice strategies and promotes strategies to prevent neurological disorders in childhood.

Within the realm of research, the Child Neurology Society attracts investigators to do clinical and basic research concerning disorders of the developing nervous system. The Society also promotes close interactions between the basic and clinical sciences.

The Child Neurology Society is also involved in establishing curricula and standards of quality for training programs in child neurology and attracts trainees to the discipline. The Society promotes pediatric neuroscience education and the curricula of medical school and training programs in Pediatrics and Neurology. It promotes post-doctoral training programs in the pediatric neurosciences and hopes to establish requirements and influence public policy regarding the pediatric workforce. Through the annual meeting, the Society maintains the competency of pediatric neurologists by providing high-quality continuing medical education as well as educating others who care for children with neurological disorders. …

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