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.