Jump to content

Autonomic training for residents offered by the American Autonomic Society and the Dysautonomia Project

Recommended Posts


Thirty six residents from various disciplines and from across the US attended a four-day training course in January 2023. The residents learned about diagnosing and treating autonomic disorders and undertook to share their new knowledge by conducting training at their home institutions and schools.

The course director is Dr Glen Cook. This was the first time this “mini-fellowhip” course was held.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like there are about 140,000 medical residents in the US.


36 in 140,000 …

But they will make a big difference to the people they treat if they can spot autonomic problems and make the right referrals. And one day they will be teaching and mentoring residents themselves.

Fingers crossed that they are already spotting us 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My neurologist is actually a neurology resident. I was referred to her by cardiology after I had a mild stroke as a complication of a cardiovascular procedure (that was done to try to correct what are most likely autonomic symptoms)

 She was the first doctor who listened carefully enough to me that she put it together and suspected a dysautonomia. Just by coincidence, her senior attending is a dysautonomia specialist! So it's all good if that's what it takes to get a diagnosis...

Some doctors are purely clinicians; others are scientists. The scientists have more curiosity and will try harder to figure you out.

 The clinicians take more of a standard mechanistic approach that can be frustrating if you have something that doesn't fit the typical presentation. They are afraid of getting sucked into a complex case they can't handle or that will take too much time.

I see that in a lot of the posts here. 

It helps if your doc is willing to be a scientist! The time they spend learning will help you and their other patients as well. And I think that the residents who signed up for this course might be of the scientist persuasion.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

@rondo, I’m glad to hear that you encountered someone who was a good listener and also had knowledge of autonomic problems.

I have read articles and heard in lectures from multiple doctors that dysautonomia is not really covered in general medical training. The autonomic nervous system doesn’t really fit anywhere in the curriculum – bowels, nerves, eyesight, veins, brain, heart, skin? – so it isn’t covered anywhere. And, in the US, I was told it is only covered in an obscure elective unit in neurology training.

The doctors who know about it seem to gain their knowledge through contact with a mentor, often by chance rather than them seeking this out as a career path. A small number are inspired to educate themselves after encountering a patient with dysautonomia, or even having a family member diagnosed. It sounds bizarre, but it’s basically word of mouth!

Anyway, better get off my soapbox 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Sarah Tee to jump on your soap box - ten years ago I took my then eight year old daughter to a cardiologist after she fainted and complained of heart racing. She saw an older pediatric cardiologist that had 2 young residents with him. When I mentioned to him that POTS runs in our family he just looked at me ( you know that blank stare ) and made some dismissive comment about it, saying it was a "Fashion diagnosis" . I told him that in my case it had to do with elevated norepinephrine levels possibly caused by NET deficiency. He quickly changed the subject but I saw the two residents nodding their head in agreement with ME! That gave me a boost because obviously their generation of doctors had at least some basic knowledge of it. Hope is on the horizon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...