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GME > Fellowship Programs > Movement Disorders > About The Program
About Rush University

The movement disorders fellowship at Rush University Medical Center is a two-year program, with one fellow at each training level. The fellowship follows the successful completion of a neurology residency.

The goal of the fellowship is to provide a complete training experience in the diagnosis, evaluation and management of the neurological disorders associated with basal ganglia dysfunction that are characterized clinically by disruption of normal movement or the production of involuntary movements. These conditions include:


  • Parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease
  • Huntington's disease and other choreic disorders
  • Dystonia
  • Tremor
  • Myoclonus
  • Tics
  • Gait disorders
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Fragile X


The first year of the fellowship focuses on clinical experiences, including managing inpatient and consultation services, seeing outpatients in the clinic, including the resident's own continuity clinic and learning to evaluate and monitor surgically-treated patients. A clinical research project is conducted during the first year with the goal of presenting at an international or national meeting. During the year, most of the time is spent in the clinic with smaller segments dedicated to neuropsychiactric manifestations of movement disorders and surgical interventions.

During the second year, the outpatient experience continues in the house officer's own continuity clinic and there is more in-depth focus on clinical or basic science research.

Rationale for Establishment of Fellowship Programs

The field of movement disorders encompasses many diseases that are believed to have in common abnormalities of function in the basal ganglia. These conditions are uncommon, and it is unlikely that outside a specialized center, a resident will complete his training with sufficient breadth of exposure to develop expertise in the clinical evaluation and treatment of these disorders.

History of the Fellowship

In 1977, two senior neurologists with special expertise in movement disorders [Harold L. Klawans, MD (1937-1998), and Stanley Fahn, MD] decided to develop an American model of training in movement disorders which paralleled the British system of fellowship training as practiced at The Institute for Neurological Diseases at Queen Square. Klawans, (1937-1998) here at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center (now Rush University Center) and Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University in New York had the first two fellowship programs in this country. These programs were successful, well subscribed and produced graduates who became successful in clinical Medical and basic research in movement disorders. Currently, there are twenty-three fellowship programs which have been modeled after these two programs. The fellowship is a two-year program, and there is one fellow at the first-year (PGY-5) and one at the second-year (PGY-6) level.

Master of Science in Clinical Research

The Master of Science in clinical research is a State of Illinois-certified program leading to the MS degree. This two-year program is designed to provide the candidate with all of the formal training needed to apply for, design, carry-out, interpret and submit final reports on clinical research studies. Enrollment in this program is strongly encouraged. It involves, however, a separate application and admission to movement disorder fellowship training does not ensure automatic acceptance to this Master's program. For a more detailed course description, visit The Graduate College's page about the program.

The deadline for applications for admission to the Master of Science in clinical research program is April 1st.

The deadline for applications for admission to the Movement Disorder Fellowship is May 15th.


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