The Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (FCMSC) is launching a new mentorship program dedicated to medical residents pursuing a neurology fellowship to accelerate and support their work in treating multiple sclerosis (MS). The initiative was launched at the beginning of the year and seeks to provide information on career opportunities within the specialty, as well as encourage a new generation of physicians to help a growing population of chronic patients.
The new MS Mentorship Program organized its first forum between January 23 and 24 in Newark, NJ, gathering renowned specialists in the field of MS healthcare from all over the country, as well as investigators who are responsible for conducting promising research projects and MS “rising stars,” including researchers who have worked in the field for five to seven years. During the forum, an exclusive group of resident scholars gave presentations to attendees and led “peer” mentor teams.
“This is such an important initiative that I fully expect will lead to meaningful change,” said Irene Cortese, MD, of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, MD who participated in the forum, during which specialists, peer mentors and resident attendees also discussed drafts for MS professional training programs.
Some of the themes at the forums included the latest data on both MS immunology and pathology, as well as novel monitoring techniques and its outcomes, long-term prognosis and care. In addition, specialists also emphasized new trends in the field and neurological healthcare, obstacles, resources, new diagnostic technologies and career opportunities associated with MS.
“The MS Mentorship Forum was an eye opening experience for me,” stated Veronica Penyak, MD, the resident scholar from the Northwestern McGraw Medical Center in Chicago, IL in a press release. “The program gave me an opportunity to get away from my busy third year resident schedule, and focus specifically on neuroimmunology. I was able to network with junior and senior faculty to see how these accomplished physicians built their careers. Not only did we learn from didactic lectures, we were able to get junior faculty one-on-one to sit down and help us work through a case, which brought up many interesting conversation points. I am now so enthusiastic to apply for my neuroimmunology fellowship.”
The main purpose of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and its foundation is to offer current and future MS healthcare professionals access to comprehensive data, continued formation, as well as support skill development. The interactive MS Mentorship Program lasts a year and is being financed with a medical education grant from Biogen.