Course Overview



This course will be held again on
November 11 - 13, 2021.

Information contained in this site is for the 2020 program.
Information for the 2021 program not yet available.

Education to Improve Diagnosis of Neurological Symptoms, Rapidly Identify Emergencies, and Optimize Outcomes

Neurological Emergencies will be held online this year, using live streaming, electronic Q&A, and other remote learning technologies.


This special program is uniquely designed to provide updates, best practices, and ready-to-use algorithms to diagnose neurological symptoms, quickly identify a neurological emergency, and take appropriate measures to optimize patient outcomes.


Led by top clinical faculty at Harvard Medical School, this program provides state-of-the-art approaches for diagnosis and management of:

  • HIGH-FREQUENCY NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS, including Headache, Back Pain, Dizziness, Altered Mental Status, Weakness, Visual Changes
  • HIGH-RISK NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, including Stroke, SDH, TIA, TBI, SAH, Cerebral Aneurysm, Spinal Cord Compression, Cauda Equina Syndrome, ICH, Meningitis, Seizures, and Coma
  • NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS IN SPECIAL POPULATIONS, including pregnant and postpartum women


Every year there is a vast amount of practice-changing literature relating to making the diagnosis and taking the first steps in treatment for patients with neurological emergencies. These important updates include current approaches to the history, the physical, and early management. 

This program ensures participants are current with these updates and prepared to:

  • Better evaluate high-frequency neurological symptoms and high-risk neurological conditions
  • Avoid misdiagnosis in neurological emergencies
  • Quickly identify a neurological emergency and act in the first hours to optimize patient outcomes in the emergency, inpatient, and outpatient settings
  • Optimize your use of CT/CTA (including what to order and how to interpret results)
  • Optimize your use of MRI (including what to order, when to order, and when NOT to order)
  • Optimize patient safety
  • Better understand and mitigate liability

This program is unique in that it:

  • Consolidates best practices in the workup of common neurological complaints
  • Provides practical tips that you can immediately use, no matter what your practice setting is
  • Lays out algorithms for common complaints such as headache, dizziness, back pain, and visual problems
  • Delivers guidance for stroke and other cerebrovascular events, including first hours after arrival, the focused neurological exam, tips for rapid neuroimaging and treatment (including new data on when to consider endovascular therapy), and best practices in risk management
  • Includes dedicated case-based discussion sessions with audience participation, group discussion, and opportunities to learn from both your peers and the experts
  • Is attended by a cross-specialty and international audience, leading to valuable opportunities for discussion—you can hear the perspectives of those in other specialties and other practice environments


You can tailor your learning experience to your specific interests, choosing from sessions designed for practitioners of:

  • Emergency Medicine      
  • Neurology (Outpatient and Inpatient)     
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Critical Care
  • Intensive Care
  • Internal Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Urgent Care


  • The optimized neurologic exam
  • What neuroimaging to order and how to interpret the results
  • A practical algorithmic approach to back pain; how to spot the history and examination “red flags,” when to image, and what to look for
  • Updates for acute management of spinal cord and cauda equina compression
  • An algorithmic approach to headache and when to image
  • Advances in subdural hematoma management
  • Current workup and treatment of meningitis and encephalitis
  • Advances in the management of seizures
  • State-of-the-art management of cerebral aneurysms and SAH
  • The newest approaches to treat TIA and ICH
  • Modern stroke management—optimizing IV thrombolytics and endovascular therapy using advanced imaging rather than just the clock
  • Updates in ED and ICU management of TBI
  • Bringing them back: brain resuscitation after cardiac arrest
  • Updates in ischemic stroke and arterial dissections
  • Best current evaluation of altered mental status, coma, and diagnosing brain death
  • The modern evidence-based evaluation of dizziness: spoiler alert—physical exam beats imaging!
  • Functional neurologic disorders—how to distinguish and how to manage
  • Acute weakness—the evidence-based initial evaluation
  • Practical approaches to bedside neuro-ophthalmology
  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelets: what to choose and when
  • Medical errors: how to avoid them and what to do when they happen

The faculty is assembled from the best clinician-educators at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The program is designed to deliver the highest quality educational experience:

  • Teaching practical, effective clinical reasoning and approaches that enable you to deliver state-of-the-art care
  • Allowing ample time for participants to interact with faculty and to pose and get answers to your specific questions
  • Providing the latest information in an engaging manner and clinically usable context so that you have knowledge that you can “take home” and immediately apply to patient care
  • Case-based discussion with master clinicians walking the audience through the case, including group questions and answers
  • Video-clip presentations to maximize learning from real patients


The 2020 program has been enhanced for distance learning. In addition to being live streamed, all sessions will be recorded and made available to participants for online viewing for 10 days after the end of the course.