Student Information

Student Name

Aravind Nagavalli





Internship Information

Company/Organization: Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Columbia University Medical Cente

Mentor(s):Dr. Ron Emerson, MD Dr. Catherine Schevon, MD, PhD Dr. Steve Karceski

Topic of Internship

Neurology - Epilepsy

Background Information

The Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (CCEC) at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, is dedicated to the care of people with epilepsy. The Center offers state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatment for the management of epilepsy in adults, adolescents and teens, and children. The Center's goal is to help patients gain control of seizures and optimize their quality of life. A full complement of advanced diagnostic tests is available for diagnosis, seizure classification and treatment, including evaluation for surgical treatment of epilepsy. Approximately half of patients not controlled by medications are candidates for epilepsy surgery that could cure their seizures. The center's inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) combines video and EEG monitoring of patients to determine epilepsy type, number and location of seizure onset in the brain. Monitoring results are supplemented by other diagnostic procedures, including MRI, SPECT, neuropsychological tests, Wada test, and PET. Surgical treatments included temporal lobe resection, extratemporal cortical resection, and corpus callosum section. Patients benefit from the intervention of an experienced multidisciplinary team that includes epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, EEG technologists, nurse practitioners, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists. Any patient who is not responding to medical therapy is appropriate for referral to the specialty care of the Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.

Summary of Internship

My internship entails various aspects of the medical field. Every other Thrusday, I shadow a neurologist from Columbia at a clinic in Harlem Hospital. At the clinic, he sees general neurology pediatric patients in the morning and he sees general neurology adult patients in the morning. I observe while he conducts the medical interviews and does various neurological tests. This gives me an insight on the clinical side of medicine. While at Columbia, I am more involved on the research side as well as the clinical side. On certain days, I shadow doctors as they do their rounds at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU). Although it is highly specialized, I still learn a lot about basic neurology as well as the anatomy of the brain. Overall, the internship is very educationally benefiting as it provides me with knowledge in the medical field.

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