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 chapter.
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.
However, overall, 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