AHS Launched First Ever Resident Education Program

Headache Specialists Share Education and Inspiration at Inaugural Resident Education Program

Educating physicians, health professionals and the public about headache and related painful disorders has always been paramount to the American Headache Society’s mission, and during the first weekend of October this year we launched a new initiative to further advance that goal. The Society’s first annual Resident Education Program brought around 60 first and second year adult and pediatric neurology residents together at the University of California in Los Angeles for three days of lectures, workshops and information-sharing with experienced faculty in neurologic education and headache medicine.

“This program is uniquely positioned to connect with neurology residents at a time in their careers when they’re especially considering specialization in neurological fields like headache medicine,” says Matthew Robbins, MD, FAHS, AHS Board Member and Chair of the Resident Education Program. “Their interest and enthusiasm for the programming we provided was incredibly encouraging.”

The Headache Specialists of the Future

The goal of the Resident Education Program has first and foremost been to inspire future neurologists to enter the field of headache medicine. Only 11% of all neurology chairs and residency program directors declare a headache interest, even though headache disorders are among the most common and disabling medical conditions in neurology and medicine. Through an interactive format that included large group didactics, small group sessions and informal combined faculty-resident dinners, AHS member faculty offered comprehensive educational content and shared their passion for the field of headache medicine.

“The program and its outcome exceeded my expectations,” said American Headache Society President, Allan Purdy MD, FRCPC, FACP, FAHS. “This was an opportunity for us to transfer knowledge about the headache space to neurology residents. With remarkable sessions and phenomenal outreach, this is a program that will change the field of headache medicine, and needs to be done again and again.”

The symposium began with sessions on the basics of headache pathophysiology and diagnosis, then branched out into specialized areas like treatment in women and the elderly. Sunday wrapped up with lectures on emerging and interventional headache therapies. During her session on migraine treatment, Amaal Starling, MD, FAHS shared these inspiring words, emphasizing the importance of empathy while working with headache patients.

There is still progress to be made in the field of headache medicine, which faces a substantial unmet need for headache specialists. Inadequate medical education has been suggested as one cause of the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of headache, and may contribute it to the lack of patient satisfaction as well.

The efforts of the American Headache Society remain focused on addressing the need for additional headache specialists, and we are proud to have paved a path that may someday guide the best and brightest to assume the mantle for the future of headache neurology.

Click here if you are interested in learning more about future Resident Education Programs. If you are interested in participating or have any additional questions, please email for more information.

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