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Fourth-year neurosurgery elective provides students with opportunity to learn about integrative medicine in neurosciences

Fourth-year neurosurgery elective provides students with opportunity to learn about integrative medicine in neurosciences

A new neurosurgery elective offered at West Virginia University’s Eastern School of Medicine Campus provides students with the opportunity to learn about integrative medicine and how it can work effectively in managing patients with neurologic diseases.

This on-site clinical rotation, titled Neuroscience Care Delivery, is open for fourth-year medical students enrolled at West Virginia University, as well as students who are currently enrolled in other accredited institutions. Visiting students can sign up for the elective through the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS), while WVU students would just need to contact their M4 Campus Coordinator. Held at Berkeley Medical Center and the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute in Martinsburg, the rotation lasts between two and four weeks and a maximum of three students can sign up for a single rotation.

Through this elective, students work directly with WVU attending physicians in the neurosciences field, including Neurosurgeon Jonathan Sherman, M.D., who described the rotation as a unique clinical experience in understanding integrative medicine in the neurosciences, including neurosurgery, neurology and pain management.

In addition to Dr. Sherman, students are paired with neurosurgeons John Caruso, M.D., and Mark Lyerly, M.D., pain management doctors Shoji Ishigami, M.D., and Les Foster, D.O., as well as a group of physician’s assistants.

The Eastern campus doesn’t have a neurosurgery residency program, so the medical students enrolled in the elective gain more one-on-one interactions with the attendings and hands-on experience with patients, according to Sherman.

What makes this rotation unique is its integrative medicine approach where students are exposed to multiple fields of medicine.

“Students leave the rotation with a new perspective on how different subspecialties within neurosciences work together, meaning even if they don’t decide to pursue neurosurgery, they still develop a better idea of what neurosurgeons do and why they might refer a patient to one later on in their medical career,” he said.

The clinicians encourage any student who is interested in learning more about integrative medicine’s role in the neurosciences to sign up for the elective.

“We truly believe that learning about integrative medicine is vital to a student’s education. That understanding helps better prepare our students for residencies and their medical careers as a whole,” Sherman said.

To learn more about the Neuroscience Care Delivery elective, students can view the course information in the MS4 Course Catalog.