Govindarajan Helps Transform Neurology Clerkship Curriculum


A University of Missouri School of Medicine neurology professor was among five experts who set new national core curriculum guidelines for medical school neurology clerkships.

Raghav Govindarajan, MD, assistant professor of neurology, served on the team that revised the American Academy of Neurology’s 20-year-old guidelines for neurology clerkships. The goal is to adapt the new recommendations to better fit with an evolved medical school curriculum that includes a focus on more self-directed learning, shortened foundational coursework and earlier clinical experiences.

Govindarajan says the curriculum update is important because many non-neurologists or general practitioners see patients with neurologic conditions, and it’s important to educate them during the clinical phase of medical school.

“Neurologic disorders are the leading cause of years lost to disability and it’s critical that medical school students are well versed with basics of neurological exams, common neurological conditions and neurological emergencies,” he said.

The new guidelines include teaching and reinforcing proficiency in interviewing patients, performing a neurological exam, clear presentation skills and documentation, and communicating empathetically. Govindarajan also wants to make sure all doctors are proficient in recognizing the symptoms of neurological diseases.

“This curriculum is a small effort toward reaching out to teach students from across the country. The University of Missouri has been a leader in medical student education, and I am glad to carry this tradition forward,” he said.

The newly created guidelines were published earlier this year in the journal Neurology.