Epilepsy Clinical Fellowship

UCSF Adult and Pediatric Epilepsy Clinical Fellowship  

The UCSF Epilepsy fellowship program was established in 1976 and was part of the Clinical Neurophysiology program until 2015, when it became a stand-alone Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited program. The program has trained over 60 adult and pediatric epileptologists. 

  • This is a one-year program with an optional (and encouraged) second year of training. 
  • Prerequisite training: Fellows are required to have completed an ACGME-accredited Neurology or Child Neurology residency program and must have an active California Medical License by the start of their fellowship. This fellowship aims to train individuals in the evaluation and management of people living with epilepsy, to be skilled in the interpretation of electroencephalography (EEG), and to be comfortable caring for the most complex epilepsy cases. 
  • Program certifications: This program is accredited by the ACGME. The UCSF Epilepsy Center is accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a level 4 epilepsy center. The Neurodiagnostic Lab is accredited in EEG and long-term monitoring (LTM) by the American Board of Registration of EEG/Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). 
  • Facilities/Training sites: University of California, San Francisco, Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay campuses, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center 


The overarching goal of our fellowship program is to develop world-class epileptologists who become leaders in the field. Our training program aims to ensure that graduates demonstrate excellence in the six core areas designated by the ACGME: Patient Care and Procedural Skills; Medical Knowledge; Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Professionalism; Practice-based Learning and Improvement; and Systems-based Practice. Progress toward these goals will be evaluated by the program director, epilepsy faculty members, and the fellow at regular intervals throughout the training program. 

Clinical Training Objectives 

  • Comfort and skill in the comprehensive diagnosis and management of all forms of epilepsy (Patient Care). 
  • Acumen in the interpretation of electroencephalography, including intracranial recordings, and using that knowledge to inform diagnostic and treatment decisions (Medical Knowledge, Patient Care). 
  • A rich knowledge base in both clinical and basic neuroscience, as well as the fundamentals of epilepsy (Medical Knowledge). 
  • Obtain an appropriate medical history in a professional and compassionate manner (Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism). 
  • Communicate diagnosis and treatment plans, including potentially sensitive information (Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism). 
  • Communicate succinctly and clearly with other healthcare professionals, with a respect for the principles of HIPAA regulations (Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism). 
  • Skill in self-assessment and self-improvement (Practice-Based Learning and Improvement). 
  • Skill in practice assessment, including both practice- and systems improvement, to enhance quality of care and improve patient safety (Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Systems-Based Practice). 

Academic Objectives 

  • Develop a scholarly approach to epilepsy clinical practice, including the incorporation of evidence-based medicine into clinical decision-making. 
  • Distilling and synthesizing diverse forms of clinical data, understanding the strengths and limitations of different diagnostic modalities, and formulating clear diagnostic and therapeutic management plans.  
  • First-hand experience at the process of research, ideally via participation in a basic / translational / clinical research project or quality improvement initiative. 
  • First-hand experience with the process of data collection, presentation, and peer-review. 

The fellowship provides multiple avenues for education and training, allowing fellows to achieve these academic and clinical objectives. Clinical rotations include inpatient care on the epilepsy monitoring unit, outpatient epilepsy clinic, interpretation of both scalp and intracranial EEGs. Fellows also participate and present in our multidisciplinary epilepsy surgery, neuropathology, and morbidity and mortality conferences, as well as journal clubs. Formal didactics are scheduled weekly. 

The second year of the training program has two main tracks, chosen by fellows with guidance from the program director and other supervising faculty:  

Clinical track: this program is based on the clinical interests of the fellow and subscribes to the ACGME tenet of progressive responsibility. The second-year fellow assumes a junior attending role with greater independence in patient management in both outpatient and inpatient settings. The second-year fellow will focus on the planning and management of phase 2 (intracranial) epilepsy surgery cases, the collaboration with the epilepsy surgeon during intraoperative electrocorticography, and leading epilepsy surgery case conference for the most complicated cases. 

Research track: Under the supervision of the program director and with guidance from the Epilepsy director and research mentors, fellows identify appropriate translational, bench or clinical research projects and funding mechanisms during the first year of their epilepsy fellowship. Fellows who select this track must have successfully applied for intramural or extramural funding support, developed a project with clearly delineated specific aims, hypotheses and study design, and identified appropriate mentors by the end of their first year. 

How to Apply 

This program is participating in the epilepsy fellowship match. In November, applicants may begin submitting applications through Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®). In December, the program director will supervise the review of applications and invite applicants for virtual interviews which are scheduled from December through March. The Match is then conducted through the National Residency Matching Program® (NRMP®) in May.  

Fellowship Program Director: Tina Shih, MD ([email protected])
Associate Program Director: Manu Hegde, MD PhD ([email protected]
Fellowship coordinator: Helena Khim ([email protected]

415-476-9202; Fax: 415-476-3428