Teresa Spiegelberg, CNCT, R.NCS.T., R.EEG.T, BS, Receives Inaugural Outstanding Service Award

Published August 02, 2023

The AANEM Outstanding Service Award recognizes non physicians for their contributions to the fields of NM and EDX medicine. Teresa Spiegelberg, CNCT, R.NCS.T., R.EEG.T, BS, has been awarded the inaugural Outstanding Service Award for her dedicated service to patients, medical education, and AANEM.

Ms. Spiegelberg has been a technologist at the University of Michigan EMG lab for decades, though her entry into this field was entirely serendipitous. Equipped with a BS degree in biology, she initially found herself working at the hospital but wanting a more hands-on role. She stumbled upon a job posting for an EMG technician, despite having no prior knowledge of what an EMG entailed. Fortunately, Ms. Spiegelberg managed to secure an interview, was offered the position, and began a career of outstanding service in NM and EDX medicine.

Known as the unofficial “lead technologist” in her lab, Ms. Spiegelberg directs testing of residents and fellows and manages the educational weekly NM lecture series at the University of Michigan. She is also a critical part of the neurosurgical evaluation of infants with neonatal brachial plexus palsy and adults with various peripheral nerve lesions.

In addition to her teaching and clinical work, Ms. Spiegelberg has participated in national and international research studies on diabetes and carpal tunnel with Drs. James Albers, Mark Bromberg, James Leonard, and Robert Werner. “For one international study that I was fortunate enough to be involved in, I had the opportunity to make a short video showing the proper procedure for the nerves that needed to be done, and then speak over it like a documentary,” she recalled. “This was a unique experience and one I remember well.”

Ms. Spiegelberg also credits Dr. James Leonard Jr. as a mentor who introduced her to the world of operating rooms. She recalled observing Dr. Leonard conducting direct nerve stimulation alongside a neurosurgeon, granting her the opportunity to witness intraoperative procedures even before an official IOM program was in place.

Ms. Spiegelberg has been an AANEM member since 2010 and has obtained the ABEM’s Certified Nerve Conduction Technologist credential. She has co-chaired the ABEM Technologist Committee and served on the Technologist Education Committee and as a CNCT Examiner. Ms. Spiegelberg regularly participates at the AANEM Annual Meetings as faculty, leading workshops, sessions, and discussions. “I think AANEM offers a wonderful place for technologists at all levels to converse and learn from one another,” she said. “Participating in hands-on workshops allows people to not only learn from the instructor, but also to share their approaches with the instructor. I think we should all be open to having different techniques shared with us. I recall a smart person once saying to me, ‘no one of us is smarter than all of us together.’”

Ms. Spiegelberg’s proudest accomplishment was having the honor and challenge of helping to create the first CNCT Examination for the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM). “Our committee began the end of December and had one ready for a spring test date. The collaboration between the technologist and physicians on the committee was a wonderful experience of teamwork.”

AANEM Executive Director Shirlyn Adkins, JD, said, “Teresa was instrumental in creating the CNCT written and oral examinations. She served as the CoChair of the Technologist Examination Committee for 7 years. We appreciate all that she did for the ABEM. She also has served on the AANEM Technologist Education Committee, helping us develop education at our annual meeting that was relevant to technologist. She is very deserving of this award.”

Ms. Spiegelberg feels honored to be awarded the inaugural Outstanding Service Award from AANEM. “I am extremely honored to be the first recipient of this award, especially considering the fact that I know so many wonderful technologists involved in the AANEM, like Candy Dolan, Peggy Neal, and Jerry Morris to name just a few among the many who have provided great service not just to the AANEM, but in their local area as well,” she said. “To me, getting this award shows that when you love and care about doing the best you can at your profession, others appreciate you as well.”