Providing Answers to Common Questions

Participants can rely on this program for answers to frequently asked questions. Below is a small sampling.


  • How do I do a “full neurologic exam” on a patient when I have 7 other patients waiting to be seen? How do I know what to prioritize?
  • What is the current best workup for subarachnoid hemorrhage? Do we really need to LP everyone?
  • What is the current best inpatient workup for stroke? How do we treat them and what testing needs to be done urgently?
  • What is the current workup for coma? How would I know if the patient is not recoverable, or brain dead?
  • What workup do I really need to do for patients with syncope? Do they all need admission? Do any?
  • What is reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) and should I be looking for this?


  • I’m not a radiologist – what I am looking for on a head CT or MRI?
  • When do I really need to order imaging for someone with back pain?
  • What kind of back imaging do I need to order, and what am I looking for on it?
  • How can I use point-of-care ultrasound to diagnose or treat neurologic complaints?
  • How do I know which headache patients need neuroimaging, and which test should I order?
  • What are the right tests to order for potential stroke? When do I order CTA, CTP, MRI, MRA, and what is the difference between them?
  • How can I tell if it is a stroke mimic?


  • Which patients are candidates for endovascular stroke treatment? When do I call the interventionalist?
  • What do I do with patients who might have had a TIA? Do we admit them all? Send them all home?
  • What is the current status of thrombolytics in stroke? Whom should we treat (and whom should we NOT treat)?
  • What do I do when I find a cerebral aneurysm? Which patients get surgery, who needs follow-up, and what do neurosurgeons do with these patients?
  • What do I need to do if I find evidence of cauda equina or spinal cord injury? What information do spine surgeons need when I call them, and what determines who needs surgery?
  • What should I do with my intracerebral hemorrhage patients? Do they all need blood pressure treatment, anticoagulation reversal? Which patients (if any) need neurosurgery?
  • How do I treat acute seizures? How can I tell if they are nonepileptic seizures? How do I manage them in the inpatient (and outpatient) setting? How can I choose among all these antiepileptic drugs?
  • How do I treat my patient with a carotid or vertebral artery dissection?
  • I see a lot of patients with minor head injury and concussion – what do they need acutely, and what do they need in follow-up?
  • Are we still doing cooling after cardiac arrest? What should we be doing after we achieve ROSC for these patients?
  • What do I do with my patient who has dizziness?
  • What do I do with my patient who I think has a functional neurologic disorder?
  • What do I do with pediatric patients with seizures or head injury?
  • What do I do with this patient whose underlying neurologic disorder seems to be getting acutely worse?
  • What should I be doing early on for my patients with severe TBI?
  • Which patients with subdural hematoma need surgery? What needs to happen for these patients?


  • I see a lot of elderly patients who have fallen – how can I make sure we are taking the best care of them?
  • I see a lot of elderly patients with delirium and altered mental status – what should I be doing with them?
  • How do I know which patients need further workup for a cause of their fall, rather than just testing for acute injuries?


  • What if something goes wrong, and I think we made a mistake? Should I apologize?