UW Health launches fellowship program to offer increased treatment to patients with chronic headaches

February 23, 2023

Millions of people in the nation suffer from migraines and headaches, and about 9 percent of them are chronic, with many cases going undiagnosed. UW Health is launching a program to help confront the need to get more specialty-trained physicians into the workforce to diagnose and treat these people, so fewer people have to suffer if they can be treated.

UW Health has partnered with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford to help patients suffering from headaches and migraines by launching a fellowship program that trains doctors specifically in dealing with headache disorders.

According to a press release issued by UW Health on Wednesday, February. 22, 2023 the one-year Headache Medicine Fellowship Program accepts one applicant for “comprehensive training” in the clinical, research, and social aspects of treating people with headache disorders.

The program aims to teach physicians to apply the latest techniques such as nerve blocks and Botox treatments, in addition to the use of medication regimens and complementary therapies such as exercise, physical therapy, and biofeedback among other therapies.

The Headache Medicine Fellowship Program is open to physicians in any specialty that intersects with headache treatment. In addition, fellows will learn from other specialists who treat and diagnose those with head pain disorders, like allergists, physical therapists, ophthalmologists and more.

A primary care physician from UW Health is the first physician to join the fellowship. Dr. Sarah Robertson noted that she appreciates the variety of specialties that are involved in the program, saying in the press release, “I could just see the pain and suffering this person was going through, but even as a medical student I felt like I couldn’t help my family member; I just didn’t know enough about headaches.”

She added, “Once I got into residency, I met with so many patients with migraines or headaches and saw just how much it impacted them, and it really motivated me to learn more about how to help them.”