The AANEM is excited to announce that Sandra Hearn, MD, is the 2021 winner of the Surinderjit Singh Young Lectureship Award. Dr. Hearn was chosen by AANEM President Bonnie Weigert, MD.
“I was intrigued to read Dr. Hearn’s proposal for the Singh Young Lectureship,” said Dr. Weigert. “I am always looking for new, creative ways to teach EMG to our residents and to bring them beyond ‘protocol thinking’.”
As part of the award, Dr. Hearn will be a plenary speaker at the 2021 AANEM Annual Meeting in Aurora, Colorado, which will take place October 13-16. Her plenary is called, “Pushing the Boundary of Normal in Electrodiagnostic Interpretation.”
“I look forward to addressing how our emerging disease-specific knowledge shapes how we interpret electrophysiology at the borders of normal and abnormal,” said Dr. Hearn. “I will recognize and speak to the tension between adhering to rigorous standards and veering too far into biased subjectivity when interpreting these values. How do we interpret data carefully within our expanding knowledge, looking for patterns and tailoring to the patient and situation at hand? What do normative data tell us, and what can they not tell, especially in disease processes present along a spectrum? We’ll explore how our refined understanding can impact patient care and counseling.”
“I think everyone will appreciate hearing her ideas, and they truly will fit the plenary theme of ‘New Worlds, New Ways,” said Dr. Weigert.
Dr. Hearn says this topic is important for several reasons.
“Firstly, the topic holds relevance for all: from neurologists to physiatrists, from niche clinical experts to residents-in-training. Secondly, I believe the topic inspires and elevates us as critical thinkers and consultants, returning us to the fundamental concept that our own clinical expertise and applied intelligence (rather than a machine, technology or standard) empower us to be outstanding diagnosticians and physicians. Finally, the last third of my session will call us to action, exploring how to inspire our trainees to lean into this critical, tailored thinking and build an electrodiagnostic mindset and skill set that will be timeless and adaptable to New Worlds. I hope this last part will offer new ideas even for expert electrodiagnosticians who are most focused in their careers on developing others,” she said.
She considers it a tremendous privilege to be chosen for this lectureship.
“I am both honored and a little terrified at this opportunity to address the community at large! Like Dr. Singh whom this lectureship award honors, I have highly valued the AANEM community that has created an intellectual home across my first 7 years as a junior faculty member. Through AANEM annual assemblies and through committee service, I have built meaningful connections and educational collaborations with colleagues, advanced my knowledge of electrodiagnostic and neuromuscular medicine, and been inspired by the achievements and contributions of so many others who share my interests,” she said.
Dr. Hearn is excited to reconnect with the AANEM community at the 2021 Annual Meeting.
“I am looking forward to the chance to engage and react together to live updates, and to catch up on common interests. Plus, if you like board games, come find me, and I’ll aim to give you a personally tailored recommendation (in keeping with my plenary theme!),” she said.
Dr. Hearn is an assistant professor in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Michigan Medicine. She is the residency program director and the educational faculty lead in electrodiagnostic medicine. She graduated from medical school at Harvard University and completed residency in PM&R at Case Western Reserve University at the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Surinderjit Singh Young Lectureship Award honors the late, long-time AANEM member Surinderjit Singh, MD, MS. He was a member of AANEM from 1976 until the time of his death in 2018. Most of his activity with the association was in the 1980s and 1990s. He served as an ABEM oral examiner and on several committees, including the Relative Value Scale Committee, Professional Standards (later Professional Practice), the Quality Assurance Committee, and the Education Committee.
This award was created after Dr. Singh’s wife, Jeena, chose to donate $50,000 to the American Neuromuscular Foundation in her husband’s honor, thus leaving a legacy of giving young physicians in his field an opportunity to shine.
Registration for the 2021 AANEM Annual Meeting opens on June 25. The current plan is to hold the meeting in person, but the AANEM continues to monitor the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic and will adjust the meeting plans accordingly. For the very latest information, visit www.aanem.org/Meetings/Annual-Meeting