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  • Traumatic Brain Injury and Sports Neurology Fellowship

    Consistent with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) strategic plan for sports neurology, the Barrow Traumatic Brain Injury and Sports Neurology Fellowship is a 1-year training program designed to:

    • Treat and manage neurological injuries in sport and non-sport related activity
    • Critically address the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and management of the consequences of traumatic brain injury


    The clinical training program includes participation in a interdisciplinary, subspecialty outpatient clinic that includes neurology, neuro-rehabilitation, neuropsychology, and neuropsychiatry. Additionally, sideline neurological assessment training is provided at collegiate and professional athletic events. Rotations in the core disciplines of neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, sports medicine, athletic training, and neuro-rehabilitation are required.  Supplementary components of the program include headache medicine, neurosurgery, trauma, headache, neuromuscular, neuro-otology, and vocational rehabilitation (Center for Translational Neurorehabilitation).

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and sports neurology fellows are expected to participate in clinical and/or basic science research and have protected time to do so. Access to various research opportunities are provided throughout training. Fellows are expected to submit research findings for publication.

    Goals and Objectives

    The Traumatic Brain Injury and Sports Neurology Fellowship at Barrow Neurological Institute is a one-year subspecialty training program with a focus in treatment of traumatic brain injury and other sports-related neurological injuries. The program involves clinical and research training with a focus on sports-related concussion, but includes extensive training in the diagnosis and management of traumatic brain injury of all severities and causes. Fellows will participate weekly in traumatic brain injury outpatient clinic, as well as rotations in neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, sports medicine, athletic training, inpatient neuro-rehabilitation, neurotrauma, vocational rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, neuro-otology, and headache medicine. Eligible applicants must have completed a neurology residency program and be eligible for a license to practice medicine in the state of Arizona.


    Dr_Javier_Cardenas_sidelinesPatient Care

    1. Demonstrate ability to appropriately diagnose concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
    2. Perform an emergency action plan (EAP) drill to assess an on-field neurological emergency
    3. Accurately assess patients’ needs for other services and refer patients to other subspecialists as appropriate
    4. Demonstrate understanding of return to school, return to play, and return to work protocols and guide patients in these transitions
    5. Display competence in counseling patients regarding their injuries and treatment options
    6. Demonstrate knowledge and competency in standard concussion assessment tools, including ImPACT testing, VSR Sport, Dix-Hallpike maneuver, Epley maneuver, and SCAT-3 (sport concussion assessment tool)

    Medical Knowledge

    1. Demonstrate understanding of the pathophysiology, symptoms, prognosis, and proper management of traumatic brain injury
    2. Determine the appropriate course of action in a sport-related catastrophic neurological emergency
    3. Demonstrate competence in performing an appropriate sideline neurological examination, including understanding of circumstances requiring withholding of an athlete from play
    4. Demonstrate understanding of appropriate medical care for common concussion and traumatic brain injury symptoms; physical, behavioral, and cognitive
    5. Participate in a research project related to traumatic brain injury or sports neurology and submit completed findings in  manuscript form to a medical journal

    Practice-Based Learning And Improvement

    1. Demonstrate motivation for improvement of medical knowledge and patient care skills through consistent involvement in educational opportunities including journal clubs, conferences, and group discussions
    2. Display effort to learn best practices and incorporate recent studies by consistently reading medical literature
    3. Consistently work to incorporate evidence-based practice into patient care, and identify barriers to this
    4. Demonstrate self-evaluation abilities and accept suggestions for improvement

    Interpersonal and Communication Skills

    1. Demonstrate ability to effectively, efficiently, and appropriately communicate with other members of the medical staff involved in patient care including, but not limited to, other medical specialists, therapists, and office staff
    2. Display ability to effectively communicate education and treatment plans to patients and their families
    3. Establish rapport with other programs partnered with Barrow to ensure proper communication of patient care recommendations


    1. Attend required fellowship activities, such as clinic, rotations, and sideline duties, promptly and with willingness to learn and engage
    2. Complete appropriate patient notes in a timely manner
    3. Dress in a professional manner at all activities
    4. Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural, economic, age, gender, disability, and legal issues
    5. Strictly adhere to patient privacy in all clinical and research activities

    Systems-Based Practice

    1. Demonstrate understanding and importance of the interdisciplinary nature of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center
    2. Display understanding of the roles of other members of the multidisciplinary team and properly refer patients
    3. Identify clinical care pathways in non-sport related traumatic brain injury, including domestic violence and homelessness
    4. Develop proper habits of prompt documentation and accurate billing skills

    Core Elements

    Supplementary Components

    ECFMG certificate (if applicable) – Foreign appli­cants must have ECFMG certification. We only accept J1 Visa; we do not sponsor H1 visa.

    Learn More about the Traumatic Brain Injury and Sports Neurology Fellowship

    Contact Dr. Javier Cárdenas at [email protected].

    Program Coordinator

    Reina Freeman
    [email protected]
    (602) 406-3386

    About Barrow Neurological Institute
    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.