Learning from the masters to help more vestibular patients

As the incidence of dizziness and vertigo increases, the need for information, training, and education to help dizzy patients increases too . Master classes with hands-on clinical practice can help clinicians hone their skills in diagnosing and treating patients with dizzy symptoms.

Approximately 140 ENTs, audiologists, neurologists and physical therapists from 45 countries gathered in Amsterdam in September 2016 to attend the Vestibular Testing Master Class – Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Vestibular Assessment. Otometrics and Professor Herman Kingma from the Department of Otolaryngology at the Maastricht UMC+ hosted the event. This was the second International Vestibular Master Class organized by Otometrics in collaboration with partner universities for clincians looking to increase their knowledge and understanding of the vestibular system.

“There have been so many new developments within the area of vestibular assessment and diagnosis in the last six years,” says Prof. Dr. Herman Kingma. “New technologies and techniques now make it possible to evaluate and treat patients in a more objective way. Events like these are important in helping clinicians understand this paradigm shift and learn how to apply these new techniques and technologies effectively in their daily practice.”

Designed to give participants the opportunity to learn from the experts, the Vestibular Testing Master Class included leaders within the field of vestibular assessment and video head impulse testing. Participants could participate in hands-on workshops led by Prof. Dr. Michael Halmagyi, Prof. Dr. Michael Strupp, Dr. Ricardo Ceballos Chairman of The Vestibular Project Clínica de Vértigo, in Mexico and others. Watch the recorded lectures from the Amsterdam Master Class


Hands-on experience and practice in video head impulse testing at Otometrics Vestibular Master Classes

Participants learn by doing…

Professionals face an increasing number of dizzy patients every day. The Vestibular Disorders Association cites a large epidemiological study estimates that as many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States alone that have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction and that 4% report a chronic problem with balance. 

Despite the high frequency of patients with dizzy symptoms, it can be difficult for clinicians to provide a proper diagnosis. Master classes such as this one take a practical approach. Instead of only lectures, hands-on master classes such as this one give clinicians the opportunity to learn the basics:  how to manage patients and how to interpret their complaints and symptoms.

“When I first saw the title – Master Class in Vestibular Testing – I thought, oh no, this is really just for experts!” says participant Anja Meulenbroeks, DR (PhD) at the Hospital Rijnstate Arnhem, in the Netherlands. “But now that I have been here, I can say that is not only for experts in vestibulogy, it’s for the “normal” ENT surgeon and clinician – the basics are very nicely covered and everybody can learn a lot here.”
For many participants like Dr. Meulenbroeks, the workshops and small groups with lots of interaction between teachers and participants is an excellent way to learn how to work with patients with vertigo and symptoms of dizziness.

…while learning from others

Networking is also an important part of the master class. Participants are given the opportunity to meet other clinicians and discuss ways of working with vestibular assessment.

“The best part of the master class I think probably was just the general talking to people around the table in the bar – learning what everybody else is doing and getting information from the speakers,” says Sharon Brown, Chief Audiologist, Royal Victoria Hospital, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. “It’s been great that the experts are approachabale and can help me learn how I can improve my service.” 


Master class participants have the opportunity to learn from leading experts in vestibular testing


A combination of hands-on workshops and lectures with experts makes stimulating learning

More master classes on the way

According to Dr. Kingma, continuing education can help to ensure faster diagnoses of vestibular disorders and helping more patients.
“I believe very strongly that teaching is crucial,” says Dr. Prof. Kingma. “I think for vestibular problems you need to have a much more intense training. And maybe the most important reason is in the disiplines like ENT and neurology, the vestibular system and everything related to that is considered difficult and strange and we prefer as ENTs to do something different, more practical. Master classes such as this one can help.”

The next Otometrics Vestibular Master Class will organized in collaboration with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Professor David Newman-Toker will be the chairperson. This Master Class will have parallel sessions on emergency neuro-otology and specialty clinic neuro-otology.

To learn more about and register for upcoming Otometrics Vestibular Master Classes visit www.vestibularmasterclass.com

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