Program Leadership and Committee Structure

The following provides our program leadership descriptions and responsibilities:

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Program Director

The Fellowship Program Director is appointed by the department chair. He is responsible for the supervision of the fellows’ education and training. He chairs the Recruitment and Clinical Competency committees and functions as a liaison between the faculty and the fellows. The program director serves as a readily available resource for any fellow encountering a professional or personal problem.

Smitha Holla, MD is the program director of the fellowship. She has an active Wisconsin medical license, active medical staff appointments at the UWHC and VAH, formal training and active certifications in neurology, clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy by the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

She administers and maintains an educational environment conducive to educating the fellows in each of the ACGME competency areas, including his responsibilities to:

  • Prepare and submit all information required and requested by the ACGME
  • Ensure compliance with ACGME and Review Committee policies and procedures as outlined in the ACGME Manual of Policies and Procedures
  • Obtain review and approval of the sponsoring institution’s GMEC/DIO before submitting to the ACGME information or requests for the following:
    • all applications for ACGME accreditation of new programs
    • changes in fellow complement
    • major changes in program structure or length of training
    • progress reports requested by the Review Committee
    • responses to all proposed adverse actions
    • requests for increases or any change to fellow duty hours
    • voluntary withdrawals of ACGME-accredited programs
    • requests for appeal of an adverse action
    • appeal presentations to a Board of Appeal or the ACGME
  • Obtain DIO review and co-signature on all program information forms, as well as any correspondence or document submitted to the ACGME that addresses:
    • program citations
    • request for changes in the program that would have significant impact, including financial, on the program or institution

Associate Program Director

The associate program director works closely with the PD to develop and assess the fellows’ clinical skills and assist in developing remediation plans when necessary. The APD also focuses on the overall structure of our didactics, including case conferences, clinical lectures, book clubs, and a variety of other topics pertinent to the education of our neurologists. Faculty with interest and expertise in particular subject areas are responsible for actually developing and delivering the content.

Program Faculty

All of the clinical neurophysiology faculty members are at both sites (UW and VA), except for the peds faculty, are full time members of the UW Department of Neurology, and have documented qualifications to instruct and supervise all fellows. The faculty members devote sufficient time to the educational program to fulfill their supervisory and teaching responsibilities and demonstrate a strong interest in the education of fellows. The physician faculty members all have current certifications in neurology, clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The faculty members have diverse interests and skills in an appropriate range of teaching and research, ensure adequate clinical opportunities for fellows, provide continued instruction through seminars, conferences, and teaching rounds, and have demonstrated competence in both clinical care and teaching abilities.

The physician faculty possess current medical licensure and appropriate medical staff appointment. The faculty members establish and maintain an environment of inquiry and scholarship with an active research component. The faculty members regularly participate in organized clinical discussions, rounds, journal clubs, and conferences. Some members of the faculty also demonstrate scholarship by peer-reviewed funding, publication of original research or review articles in peer-reviewed journals, or chapters in textbooks, publication or presentation of case reports or clinical series at local, regional, or national professional and scientific society meetings, or participation in national committees or educational organizations. The faculty members encourage and support residents and fellows in scholarly activities.

Program Coordinator

The Fellowship Program Coordinator is a staff administrator who assists the Program Director in the day-to-day and long-range operations of the program. A small sample of the specific duties include: communicating with residents, fellows and faculty (by phone, e-mail or memo) regarding clinical assignments, organizing educational conferences, proctoring in-service examinations, managing fellow orientation, and assisting with fellow recruitment.

Recruitment Committee

This committee is responsible for reviewing applications to the program, interviewing candidates, and offering fellowship positions. See Fellow Eligibility and Selection Process. The committee is chaired by the program director and other members include the program coordinator, the neurology department chair, and various faculty representing different divisions of the department.

Clinical Competency Committee (CCC)

The main purpose of the CCC is to review fellow performance and ensure that each fellow is progressing in the program and on track to sit for the clinical neurophysiology boards. See the section Evaluation and Promotion below. The CCC members are appointed by the program director. Several other members of the core faculty also serve on this committee. The charge of the CCC includes review of the following, which is done on at least a semi-annual basis:

  • Evaluations provided by faculty, staff, and patients (360 evaluations)
  • Conference attendance
  • RITE scores
  • Work hour reports and fellow well-being
  • Progress with respect to the neurology milestones

After considering all of the above, the CCC will advise the program director whether the fellow should be promoted to next level or graduate, or whether he/she requires remediation, non-promotion, or dismissal. Adverse actions taken by the CCC will comply with both departmental and UW Health policies regarding such. See the Grievance Policy and UW Health policies Evaluation, Discipline, Promotion, Non-Renewal or Dismissal of Residents and Appeals of Resident Evaluation, Discipline, Non-Renewal or Dismissal Decisions.

The CCC is chaired by the program director; the other members are key faculty who are involved in fellow education.

Program Evaluation Committee (PEC)

The PEC oversees a variety of matters related to overall quality of the fellowship program and advises the program director accordingly. The PEC is chaired by the program director, who appoints additional faculty. Most of our core faculty, including the department chair and vice chairs and the associate program directors, serve on the PEC. The program coordinator and assistant coordinators are also a part of the PEC meetings. The committee’s charge includes:

  • Reviewing the program’s overall mission and aims
  • Identifying program strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Developing specific goals and objectives
  • Guiding quality improvement efforts

The PEC conducts an annual program evaluation that includes assessment of the following:

  • The clinical and didactic curricula
  • Outcomes from prior years’ program evaluations and the resulting plans
  • ACGME correspondence (citations, areas for improvement, and comments)
  • Quality and safety of patient care
  • Aggregate fellow and faculty
    • Well-being
    • Recruitment and retention
    • Workforce diversity
    • Engagement in QI and patient safety
    • Scholarly activity
    • ACGME-deployed resident and faculty surveys
    • Anonymous, confidential, written evaluations of the program by the residents and faculty
  • Aggregate fellow
    • Achievement of the milestones
    • RITE scores
    • Board pass rates
    • Graduate performance
  • Aggregate faculty
    • Evaluations (as teachers)
    • Professional development

Each year, the PEC develops an action plan based on the annual program evaluation and distributes such to the faculty and fellows. Every ten years, the PEC conducts a comprehensive self-study, reviewing long-term trends in the annual program evaluations, the current and future environmental contexts, etc. in order to maintain continuous improvement in the fellowship program.


The institution and the program jointly ensure the availability of adequate resources for fellow education, including a patient population that reflects the full spectrum of neurological disorders across the lifespan, including patients seen in multiple settings including outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and intensive care. There are a sufficient number and variety of patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings to expose fellows to the broad spectrum of neurological diseases. The inpatient experience includes evaluation of a substantial number of neuromuscular and epilepsy ranging from routine to complex requiring tertiary care management. The outpatient experience includes management of at least 50 patients for whom the fellow is under supervision of a faculty member. In the program, there are adequate inpatient and outpatient facilities, examining areas, conference rooms, research laboratories, and office space for faculty and fellows, as well as adequate diagnostic and therapeutic services.

Latest revision: 06/27/2023, Smitha Holla, MD