The Virtual EEG
Fellowship course by Dr. Juan Ochoa is one of the first web-based
tutorial programs designed to provide the didactic material found in
EEG or Clinical Neurophysiology fellowships. This course starts with
a home landing page with intuitive instructions available both
pictorially and in text.
In the first half
of the course, didactic material is organized in chapters which
consist of reading materials, a didactic lecture by Dr. Ochoa, and a
post-test. Chapter content is organized along traditional broad
topics such as basic concepts of EEG recording, normal EEG patterns,
and abnormal EEG patterns. The lectures are detailed, with very
clear explanations of terms and concepts. Each chapter begins with
an outline of the specific topics and a list of learning objectives.
Throughout the lecture, Dr. Ochoa uses a “magic marker” to highlight
the topic or the waveforms in discussion, which makes it extremely
easy to follow along. Quizzes are interspersed throughout a chapter,
and allow students to obtain some quick feedback of their
understanding of the important concepts. The post-test gives
students the ability to assess their progress, and its satisfactory
completion is highly recommended before advancing to the next
The second half of
the course consists of Dr. Ochoa interpreting actual EEG tracings
much like what an attending physician would do with residents and
fellows. While the first half of the course is well done and an
excellent learning tool, the second half is what makes this
web-based program stand out as outstanding. Each tracing is
discussed with clear attention to detail about technical aspects
(sensitivity, time base), artifacts, background, and abnormal
patterns (if any). Waveforms of interest are highlighted and
discussed in terms of how their morphology and context in the
recording leads to a certain interpretation. The student is taught
how to utilize the information learned in the first half of the
course to read and interpret actual tracings. Exercises include how
to draft and correct EEG reports.
There are some
improvements which a future version of this course should
incorporate. The glossary should be populated by more terms. The
ability to increase the size or resolution of the screen will
improve our ability to see small details or waveforms better. For
some of the quizzes, the montage used should be clarified.
this Virtual EEG Fellowship course is an impressive initial offering
of what may very likely be a primary learning tool in the future.
This course will be helpful for Neurology residents interested in
EEG, Fellows in subspecialties other than CNP/EEG who wish
additional EEG training, and clinicians who desire to brush up on
their EEG skills at their own pace.
Jerry Shih, MD