Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Fellowship

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex neuro-immunological disease with a rapidly changing therapeutic profile and advancing research.  Patients afflicted with MS are at times inappropriately managed, and symptomatic treatment can be frustrating for neurologists without additional training specific to the MS field.  Neurologists wishing to treat MS patients must therefore receive extensive and focused training in MS-specific care in order to effectively manage the disease. To this end, the USF MS Center is committed to the early diagnosis and ongoing treatment of MS through leading-edge, multi-disciplinary approaches, including the training of the future MS workforce. Our Center serves a large MS population of approximately 2,500 patients, coming from central Florida and the Greater Tampa Bay area population of more than 5 million. Our National MS Society-accredited Center is well situated to provide MS fellowship training, as it offers comprehensive care for MS patients through on-site neuropsychiatry/neuropsychology services, occupational and physical therapy with additional accreditation in treating MS patients, vestibular rehabilitation, an infusion center, and a state-of-the-art neuroimaging facility. Fellows participating in our program would therefore build a solid foundation for managing a busy, MS-specific clinic under direct supervision. Additionally, we conduct MS clinical research, with multiple active studies ongoing, providing the Fellow with the unique opportunity to learn in-depth about trial design, patient recruitment, and regulatory/compliance requirements of conducting clinical research. 

To meet key objectives and learning outcomes, the fellowship program includes: 

  • Directed clinical care at MS Center
  • Clinical research participation, management, and design
  • Neuroimmunology course involvement at the PhD level
  • The expectation of completing 15 credit hours in the College of Public Health (graduate level courses in biostatistics and epidemiology) necessary to earn a Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics. This can be achieved over the 2 years; however, the fellow also has the option of taking additional course work to obtain a degree in Master of Public Health (totaling 44 credit hours).
  • Neuroradiology lectures biweekly
  • Basic science lab work and study design
  • Minimum of two publications, one of which must be in the fellow's own research, in peer-reviewed journals, with mentor oversight
  • Participation at national/international MS annual meeting
  • Monthly evaluations of MS fellow and review with Fellowship Program Director
  • Weekly rotations through neuro-ophthalmology, urology, spasticity clinic, interventional pain, physical therapy, speech therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, neuropsychology, and other MS-related referral centers
  • Monthly lectures to third-year USF medical students on MS and related topics such as neuroophthalmology, NMOSD, etc.
  • Presentations to residents at Wednesday Morning Report Conferences
  • Attendance at weekly Department of Neurology Residency Grand Rounds
  • Attendance at weekly neurology Chairman’s Rounds, featuring a difficult-to-diagnose live patient case supervised by our department chair

For more information please contact: 

Fellowship Coordinator

Lidia Dordevic
James A. Haley VA Hospital
13000 Bruce B Downs Blvd VA127
Tampa, FL 33612
Office: 813-972-2000 ext. 7085
Fax: 813-978-5995
Email: Lidia.dordevic@va.gov  

Fellowship Director

Derrick Robertson, MD
USF Department of Neurology
12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd MDC55
Tampa, FL 33612
Office: 813-974-3541
Fax: 813-905-9838
Email: droberts@health.usf.edu

Past fellows:  

Crystal Dixon, MD:Currently in private practice in south Florida that is heavily MS-focused seeing among the highest volume of MS patients in the state of Florida. She also conducts MS clinical research.

Demetrios Konstas, MD: Currently in private practice in the Tampa Bay area and has started to grow his practice to see mostly MS patients. 

Natalie Moreo, MD: Currently completing her neurology residency training with us at USF. 

Chetan Gandhy, MD: Joined faculty at USF with a dual appointment at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. JAHVA is one of the busiest VA medical centers in the US, and the MS patient population is one of the largest in the VA as well. Dr. Gandhy serves as the medical director of the VA MS Center of Excellence at the Tampa VA. He also serves as the associate director for the MS fellowship.

Katherine Standley, DO: Currently in private practice in the Tampa Bay area and has grown her practice to see a high volume of MS patients and has started conducting MS clinical research. 

Derrick Robertson, MD: Associate professor of neurology at USF. Director of the USF MS Division.