I am a pediatric neurologist and sleep medicine physician specializing in narcolepsy and sleep problems of children with neurological disorders. Over the last several years of working at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), I have developed expertise in pediatric sleep neurology, and I am often invited to speak at national and regional meetings. I have received foundation grants to define the cognitive effects of disturbed sleep in children, and I am the site PI for a clinical trial of sodium oxybate in pediatric narcolepsy. My research on improving the diagnosis of narcolepsy has been published in SLEEP, and I recently received a foundation grant to develop a clinical screening tool for pediatric hypersomnias. I devote approximately 50% of my time to clinical care, 25% to clinical research, 15% on medical education, and 10% in administrative roles.
My Area of Excellence is Clinical Expertise and Innovation. In 2013, I began a Hypersomnia Clinic for pediatric patients with narcolepsy and related disorders, and this has become quite popular with patients and our trainees in sleep medicine. To educate and provide support for these patients, I have hosted an annual regional narcolepsy education meeting since 2013 for children with narcolepsy and their families. I also see patients with a variety of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep disordered breathing as well as patients with various neurological disorders with associated sleep problems. Additionally, I read approximately 300 polysomnograms per year.
Much of my teaching takes place in clinic where I precept sleep fellows as well as rotating residents from psychiatry, general pediatrics and neurology. I teach sleep fellows and epilepsy fellows how to read polysomnograms 1-2 hours/week. I give approximately 5 lectures per year to medical students, neurology residents, and epilepsy fellows on sleep physiology and sleep disorders. Within the Neurology Department, I have developed a quality improvement (QI) curriculum for child neurology residents, and I mentor 15 residents/year in the development, execution, and presentation of their QI projects. I have received grants from BCH to develop this QI curriculum and reported our QI curriculum in Pediatric Neurology.
Administratively, I serve as the Associate Program Director for the Child Neurology Training Program at BCH and work on duty hour compliance, program development, and integration of QI education into the resident core curriculum. As Director of the sleep clerkship, I organize rotations in sleep medicine for students and residents. I also organize the teaching conferences, polysomnogram reading sessions, and continuity clinics at BCH for pediatric and adult sleep fellows in our clinical sleep fellowship. As the Director of sleep neurology clinics at BCH, I work closely with Administration, Finance, and Marketing to ensure we run efficient clinical services and continue to grow our patient base.
In the coming years, I will continue to develop my expertise in sleep medicine with a focus on improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with narcolepsy. My clinical acumen and research should enable me to develop better therapies and improve our understanding of narcolepsy and other neurologic sleep disorders.