2019 International Headache Academy Recap

An overview of the sixth annual IHA meeting, co-sponsored by the American Headache Society

Recently, 49 delegates from Latin America, Canada and the United States gathered to participate in the sixth International Headache Academy (IHA), an annual event that aims to inspire greater interest in headache medicine within trainees and early career faculty members. The IHA is hosted by the American Headache Society, in collaboration with the American Migraine Foundation, Canadian Headache Society and International Headache Society.

The delegation’s diversity allows attendees to learn about how people approach headache disorders in different ways across the world. “It’s always good to hear different perspectives about headache medicine, to prevent becoming myopic about any one topic,” says Juliana VanderPluym, MD, a return delegate. By partnering with numerous headache societies to bring expertise from all over the world, the AHS hopes to cultivate a maximally informed academic environment that welcomes multiple approaches to problem-solving and evidence-based research.

Additionally, IHA offers delegates a unique opportunity to present and play an active role in the event. This model means that delegates are able to learn from their colleagues, as well as from experts in the field. The program’s debates also help generate conversation about provocative topics with opposing views. This year’s delegates debated whether migraine triggers are real, or if signs of migraine onset are being misattributed to various prior exposures.

In addition to the more formal conference portions of the event, IHA delegates also have the opportunity to network with colleagues at social events such as the Faculty and Delegate Reception. Faculty members also attend, offering our future leaders an opportunity to mingle and speak with the current experts in headache medicine.

Dr. VanderPluym noted that she left the event feeling rejuvenated after meeting so many other healthcare professionals who were equally passionate about the field. She encourages clinicians and researchers to apply to attend, adding “The entire atmosphere is exciting because you have many like-minded people in the same environment that are all really invested in headache medicine and share your enthusiasm about the topic.”

IHA was founded with the goal of helping future researchers and neurologists learn more about the field of headache medicine, hopefully inspiring a long-term commitment. The American Headache Society is dedicated to mentoring the future leaders in headache medicine through both outreach and continued education. We would like to thank the faculty and the delegates for supporting our mission and helping advance the field. We look forward to next year’s event.

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