May 2021 Society Spotlight

Meet Morris Levin, MD, FAHS, AHS Board Member-at-Large

Hello AHS members,

I am Dr. Morris Levin–though everyone calls me Mo, including lots of my patients. I am the director of the Headache Center at UCSF and a member of your AHS Board of Directors. My career has focused on two major areas: the first is headache medicine and general pain, where most of my scholarly activity has been done, as well as a large part of my clinical activities. The second area is medical education–I’ve been a neurology residency director, neurology clerkship director, and a headache fellowship director. I consider myself essentially self-trained there, although I’ve been lucky enough to have had several important mentors.

My specific interests in headache medicine have varied over the years, but a couple have really captured my attention and imagination. First, I became fascinated by the diagnostic process in headache medicine and as a kind of spin off from there–the process of classifying headaches. So much so that I led a little group at AHS that provided input to the ICHD-2, and I later joined the IHS Classification Committee as a contributor and co-author of the ICHD-3. A second and more recent fascination has been in practical medical ethics, particularly as pertains to headache medicine research and clinical work, which prompted a lot of reading and then some speaking and writing in the field. I mention all this because these interests led me to become involved in a number of AHS projects that happened to coincide. These included AHS committee work, participation in several special interest groups, and speaking in a number of AHS meetings and outreach programs.

Every one of my AHS-related projects has been rewarding, and I would encourage you all to get involved in one. Two excellent places to start, for those of you who are new to the organization or you have been attending meetings and continue to think about becoming more involved are: 1) Joining a special interest section. I guarantee that you will kindle new ideas and help to develop projects that you will be proud of; and 2) creating research projects that yield results that can turn into abstracts to present at AHS meetings, and hopefully articles that can be published in Headache.

I’ve never been prouder to be a member of the AHS than at present because of the significant accomplishments it has made in a number of areas that I care about. Among them are greater inclusiveness of different types of members, aiming for high ethical organizational standards (including anti-discrimination and freedom from bias), and its deep commitment to education in our field. Let me suggest that you log in to our website and see results of the amazing contributions to education and research that the AHS has made over the last several years. I want to encourage you all to attend the 2021 Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting on June 3-6–it looks really good, and I’m particularly interested to see how the debate sessions turn out. I’ll be doing one with my co-speaker Dr Deb Friedman looking at the validity of the tension type headache classification criteria. I think you might want to have a listen, and I hope to see you all virtually there. Finally, I want to thank all of you for the hard work you have done for your patients and for your communities during the pandemic. I think it’s probably worth taking a little time to reflect on that.




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