Research is an important component of the vascular neurology fellowship program. The fellowship incorporates numerous opportunities for research to supplement the clinical training received throughout the year. Fellows will be trained to think critically about research design and to develop a sophisticated thought process about important stroke topics. Exposure to research during fellowship also allows the fellow to better appraise stroke literature as it applies to clinical practice. This type of critical thinking creates a solid foundation for our fellows to practice confidently in both academic and community settings, depending on the fellow's career goals.
Additionally, UCSD's involvement within StrokeNet as a major Regional Coordinating Center (RCC) gives fellows the opportunity to participate in numerous cutting-edge stroke research trials. Being a StrokeNet RCC gives our fellows the opportunity to network and learn from major stroke researchers around the country.
Fellows are required to attend UCSD stroke center research meetings designed to encourage fellows to develop and conduct their own research projects, learn effective ways to present research data, and learn the nuances of clinical trial enrollment. Built-in to the fellowship curriculum are two important research-oriented didactics: the "Weekly Research Team Meeting" and the "Monthly Research/Lab Meeting".
The "Weekly Research Team Meeting" aims to discuss ongoing national and local stroke clinical trials conducted within the UCSD Stroke Center. Updates to StrokeNet clinical trials and the research logistics of the UCSD stroke center will be reviewed. Fellows will specifically learn about regulations of ongoing clinical trials and will be critiqued on their approach to clinical trial enrollments as they learn about good clinical practice relating to stroke research.
The "Monthly Research/Lab Meeting" provides each fellow the opportunity to present and develop their ongoing research that relates to vascular neurology. This meeting is designed to provide constructive feedback on fellow research projects, ensure that appropriate milestones are met to complete their projects, develop new ideas for research, and prepare for the annual International Stroke Conference as well as other relevant neurological conferences.
Clinical Trial Enrollment
One of the purposes of clinical trial enrollment is for our fellows to gain a comprehensive understanding about the conduct of local and nationally led research. Upon completion of fellowship training, fellows will have obtained knowledge in good clinical practice guidelines to carry out clinical research, expertise in efficient and ethical data collection, an understanding of the limitations of clinical trial design, and will appreciate the nuances of trying to apply clinical research protocols to future clinical practice.