Education Research: Challenges Faced by Neurology Trainees in a Neuro-Intervention Career Track


The widespread adoption of endovascular therapy (EVT) for emergent large vessel occlusion has led to increased nationwide demand for neurointerventionalists, heightened interest among neurology residents to pursue neurointervention as a career, and increased importance of neurointervention exposure for all neurologists who care for patients with acute ischemic stroke. Exposure to neurointervention and its career path are not well-defined for neurology trainees.


The Society for Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN) Education Committee conducted a multicenter electronic survey directed towards neurology residents and vascular neurology (VN), neurocritical care (NCC), and neurointervention fellows in June 2018. A total of 250 programs were invited to participate; 76 trainees completed the survey.


Respondents self-identified as 22% postgraduate year (PGY)2, 40% PGY3/4, 30% VN fellows, and 8% neurointervention or NCC fellows. Eighty-seven percent of trainees had more than 2 months exposure to VN during residency, 41% to NCC, and only 3% to neurointervention. Sixty-eight percent of respondents had no exposure to neurointervention during residency. Whereas 72% believed that a background in neurology was good preparation for neurointervention, only 41% agreed that fellowship training pathway in neurointervention is well-structured for neurology residents when compared to other subspecialties.


In this survey, respondents identified lack of exposure to neurointervention and a well-defined training pathway as obstacles towards pursuing neurointervention as a career. These obstacles must be addressed for the continued development of neurointervention as a subspecialty of neurology.

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