The philosophical background behind our desire to develop this Fellowship in the Vestibular Sciences was presented in a recent editorial by Jacobson and Kileny (“In Support of a Post-Au.D. Fellowship” JAAA 26: pages 530-531, 2015)
This is a highly competitive and compensated Fellowship that has been in existence since 2015. We expect the successful applicant to commit to 1 calendar year (e.g. September 1 – August 31) of training. The program incorporates both didactic and practical training. The Fellow is invited to attend (i.e. audit) any of the 3 course sequence that are completed by our Au.D. Vestibular Science “Specialty Track” students (i.e. referred to as Vestibular Sciences 1, 2 and 3). The third course in that sequence is taught by a Ph.D.-level physical therapist.
The Fellow will work with the clinical supervisors in the Balance Disorders Laboratory (BDL) until it has been agreed upon by the supervisors that the Fellow can work independently. At that point, and only at that point, will the Fellow be assigned a clinical schedule (referred to as “templates”) in the BDL. Even at that point, the Fellow will be expected to conference over the results of testing and their proposed impressions and recommendations.
The successful applicant also will be expected to participate in the clinical research program in the Division of Vestibular Sciences. These, in most cases will represent participation in existing protocols but may also include projects initiated by the fellow. It is our intention for the exiting Fellow to have achieved co-authorship on at least one paper that is published in a peer-reviewed journal by the time they leave Vanderbilt. Lastly, we may invite the Fellow to teach in our academic program.
The Fellow will be expected to possess the following competencies in the area of Vestibular Sciences at the conclusion of the fellowship.
Upon completion of the Fellowship, the trainee is expected to have the following knowledge and skills:
Understand the normal neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the peripheral and central vestibular system
Understand how pathology affects the normal function of this system and how the system adapts to accommodate the unilateral or bilateral loss of function
Understand the normal function of the ocular motor system
Understand how pathology changes the normal function of the ocular motor system
Conduct a dizziness case history
Conduct, interpret and understand the meaning of/pertinence of self-report measures
Conduct and interpret tympanic electrocochleography (ECochG)
Conduct and interpret informal “bedside tests” of the vestibular system
Conduct and interpret horizontal, anterior and posterior canal vHIT tests
Conduct and interpret tests of ocular motor system
Conduct and interpret both static and dynamic tests of positional vertigo and manage all types of BPPV
Conduct and interpret the various caloric tests
Conduct and interpret rotary chair tests
Conduct and interpret the cVEMP test
Conduct and interpret the oVEMP test
Conduct and interpret computerized dynamic posturography
Demonstrate the capability to adapt instruction sets to accommodate patients who have differing educational levels
Demonstrate the capability to adapt counseling to accommodate patient who have differing educational levels
Demonstrate the capability to adapt testing methods to accommodate patients who have differing educational levels
Demonstrate the ability to construct a diagnostic report that summarizes test results and provides the referring source with information that can be used to develop a plan of treatment for the patient
Demonstrate the ability to develop a research idea
Demonstrate the ability to synthesize published research to develop the introduction and methods of a research proposal
Demonstrate the ability to work semi-independently in the data collection/organization for a research project
Demonstrate the ability to work with a team to analyze data collected from the research project
Doctorate in audiology is required for this Fellowship, along with eligibility to be licensed to practice audiology in the state of Tennessee.
a letter of interest detailing your previous clinical and research experiences in the area of vestibular and balance function (dysfunction)
an updated (current) curriculum vitae
copies of any publications and/or samples of your scientific writing
It is our objective to fill this one year, non-recurring Fellowship by mid-Spring.
About Vanderbilt University Medical Center
The Vanderbilt Balance Disorders Laboratory is a diagnostic clinic where specially-trained audiologists conduct tests, the results of which help physicians determine the cause of dizziness, disequilibrium and vertigo. Together with physical therapists at the Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute, the Balance Disorders Lab also conducts assessments of patients who may be at risk for falling. Through this assessment, these specialists can determine what factors place a patient most at risk for falls and make recommendations to the referring physician for reducing that risk. Our goal is to help keep independent seniors independent.
Additionally, our Lab conducts research to improve assessment and management of inner ear related balance disorders. We work to determine the specificity and accuracy of current tests that are widely available, as well as collect data to support the use of newer vestibular test techniques and equipment.