The Sleep Medicine training program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has been a fully accredited program since 2013. Since the inception of the program we have matched two fellows per year and have graduated all of these fellows. Our program is a one-year program which prepares the trainee for certification in Sleep Medicine. The goal is to prepare highly-qualified physicians for academic careers and clinical practice. To this end, we have multidisciplinary subspecialty support including ear, nose & throat (ENT), neurology, psychiatry, primary care, as well as dentistry and oral maxillofacial surgery involved in the education of the sleep fellows. The training sites are the OU Medical Center and the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center.
We can accept residents with previous training in: Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Otorhinolaryngology, Pediatrics, or Psychiatry; making them eligible for board certification in that specialty. Upon completion of our program, these physicians are qualified for board certification in the subspecialty of Sleep Medicine.
Using a predominantly outpatient approach, our sleep fellows are exposed to a variety of sleep disorders including insomnia, restless leg disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. The sleep fellow is educated about all therapies for treatment of sleep disorders including cognitive behavioral therapy, CPAP, oral appliances and surgical options. Experiences include outpatient clinic work as well as scoring and interpretation of sleep studies at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center Sleep Center.
The goal of the fellowship program in Sleep Medicine is to provide training and supervised experience to allow the fellows to acquire the competency of a specialist in this discipline. The clinical experience in sleep medicine includes management of both in-patients and outpatients, although predominately outpatient, with a variety of sleep disorders. The research experience in sleep medicine includes potential for participation in randomized controlled trials as well as completion of case reports. The Pulmonary/ Critical Care/ Sleep Section does have dedicated personnel to assist with IRB application as well as patient enrollment.
The program meets all the requirements for fellowship education in the subspecialties of sleep medicine as outlined in the graduate medical education directory. Faculty closely supervises trainees and their performance is rated on a regular basis and reviewed by all faculty at quarterly meetings. If it should become necessary, special assistance will be provided to individuals who lag in their professional development.
The educational policies and objectives including the curriculum are reviewed annually at the orientation meeting of the new fellows. Both faculty and fellows participate in this discussion and modifications are made to meet new needs and incorporate recent advances. The curriculum also is revised to delete topics made irrelevant by new technologies. The newest developments are reviewed as they appear in publication during journal club and subsequently incorporated in the curriculum during its annual review.
The attending physician evaluates fellows after each rotation in regard to their fund of knowledge, clinical skills, professional attitude, and overall competence. The faculty meets to review all the fellows’ evaluations and input is obtained from the physicians who supervised the trainees in the clinics and in other settings. Subsequently the results of this evaluation are summarized and then discussed with each fellow. Fellows are counseled by the Program Director.
During periodic “fellows meetings” there is the opportunity to discuss issues that may be on the fellow’s mind. In addition they are questioned about the adequacy of their training and about potential additions and deletions in the program. At the conclusion of the year, each trainee fills out an evaluation of various facets of the program.