Behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry is a medical subspecialty committed to better understanding links between neuroscience and behavior, and to the care of individuals with neurologically based behavioral disturbances. This subspecialty’s unique concern is preserving and enhancing everything that makes us human – memories, reason, intellect. In addition, it’s a subspecialty that will only increase in demand as the U.S. population ages, growing the number of patients facing dementias and other problems associated with an aging brain.
Training in behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry means acquiring knowledge regarding the clinical and pathological aspects of neural processes associated with cognition, emotion, behavior and elementary neurological functioning. Fellows also master the clinical skills required to evaluate and treat patients with such problems. Our program is also devoted to continued development of professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, and practice- and systems-based competencies required for the practice of this medical subspecialty.
The Geisinger Memory and Cognition Program Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry will offer two tracks:
One-year clinical track
The one-year clinical track is for the fellow who wishes to become competent in the independent, unsupervised practice of behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry and either enter practice within a year of completing residency or to have time to take another year of fellowship in a different subspecialty either before or after the one year of behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry fellowship.
The serial fellowship model makes use of the strength of behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry ability to enhance skills for diagnosis and management for virtually all brain-based disorders. While this serial approach can be arranged independently by the fellow, it is envisioned that a strong option would be to do two fellowships at Geisinger with recruitment coordinated between programs. The first dual fellowship serial programs will be vascular neurology/behavioral neurology followed by epilepsy/behavioral neurology and as more neurology and psychiatry fellowships are implemented this coordinated approach will be offered as well.
Two-year clinical & research track
The two-year track accomplishes the goal of preparing the fellow for the independent unsupervised practice of behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry as well in the first year but expands upon this with a second year focused on clinical research and scholarly works in the field of behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry in preparation for a career in behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry with added expertise in research.
What makes our program different
The Geisinger Memory and Cognition Program has grown rapidly. It was founded by Glen R. Finney, MD, FAAN, in July 2015. Today, in addition to Dr. Finney, the program boasts two behavioral neurologists, three neuropsychologists, one psychometrician, one speech language pathologist and one nurse coordinator, with collaborations with three pharmacists, one occupational therapist and one physical therapist in the multidisciplinary services offered through the Memory and Cognition Program.
The Memory and Cognition Program opened a dedicated clinic in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 2018. Its space is designed to be mission specific. The center includes ample examination rooms, offices and conference/teleconferencing facilities. Behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry fellows will have access to state-of-the-art equipment including a driving simulator, gait analyzer and transcranial magnetic stimulator. The Geisinger Memory and Cognition Program also offers outreach of some services to Bloomsburg, State College and Scranton.
Dr. Finney’s strong background in issues of neurology practice and neurology advocacy is another feature that makes the fellowship distinct from others. In addition, the program’s multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and management of behavioral neurology disorders is a cutting-edge care model found in few advanced academic programs nationwide.
The development of a coordinated dual fellowship serial track with other subspecialties of neurology is also a point of distinction. Fellows will also be trained in the Memory and Cognition Program’s initiative for de-escalation from brain-impairing medications to brain-sparing therapies, which is a particularly timely distinction given the opioid epidemic and the high rate of morbidity and mortality from narcotics among elders. The integration of a driver’s safety evaluation program with a dedicated driving simulator is also a distinction for the program that is rare in other programs of this type.