Headache Medicine Fellowship

Fellowship for Headache Medicine

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Paul Rizzoli
Program Director:
Dr. Rebecca Burch

The BWH/MGH/Harvard Headache fellowship, founded by Dr. Paul Rizzoli and UCNS accredited in 2008, is centered out of the John R. Graham Headache Center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in Boston, MA. This one year fellowship is focused on excellence in clinical care with integration of research activities, formal and informal didactics, and fellows as teachers. Fellows care for patients with migraine, other headache disorders, and facial pain. Our fellowship is distinguished by the number of faculty, variety of clinical experiences, and the focus on a humanistic care of patients as individuals.

In addition to the Graham Headache Center at Faulkner Hospital, fellows rotate to clinical locations at the John R Graham Headache Center at 850 Boylston St, which includes the BWH Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Fish Center for Women’s Health;, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. We currently have over 15 faculty preceptors certified in Headache Medicine and also draw on a depth of expertise from specialists in headache-adjacent specialties.


A majority of the fellowship is focused on clinical care. The fellowship follows a graduated independence model: at the beginning of the fellowship every visit is discussed and staffed, while by the end of the year fellows largely manage patients independently and discuss cases with preceptors as needed. In addition to training in acute and preventive pharmacologic management, fellows integrate nonpharmacologic treatments, a psychosocial approach, and procedures including onobotulinum toxin administration and nerve blocks.

Fellows are expected to complete a scholarly project during the course of the year. Extensive mentorship in research design, conduct, and writing is provided. Many opportunities for formal and information teaching are provided throughout the year, ranging from formal presentations at conferences to having residents and other rotators shadow in clinic.

Didactics are woven throughout the fellowship and include thrice monthly formal teaching conferences, monthly case conference, and weekly headache division meeting. Fellows are also strongly encouraged to attend local and national headache medicine educational conferences.

Our fellowship adheres to Partners Healthcare GME policies.

Fellowship requirements

Per the UCNS, our accrediting body, applicants must be a graduate of a residency program in neurology or other specialties accredited by the ACGME or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). The fellow must be board certified or eligible for certification in a primary ABMS or RCPSC specialty. Fellows must be eligible to obtain a full MA state license. We are unable to sponsor visas that do not allow the fellow to obtain a full MA license.

More information about the UCNS program requirements can be found here.

Applications and Timeline

We can accept up to 3 fellows per year. We follow the timeline agreed upon by the AAN and AHS. We start interviews in March prior to the year of fellowship start and offer positions beginning in August of the year prior to start of fellowship. (ie for a July 2022 start, we will offer interviews in March 2021 and offer positions in August 2021.)

We use the ERAS form but do not participate in ERAS directly. To apply, please send a completed ERAS form, CV, personal statement or letter of intent, and 3 letters of recommendation to Melissa Kimble (mkimble@bwh.harvard.edu) or to the Program Director, Rebecca Burch (rburch@bwh.harvard.edu). You can also apply via the American Headache Society website.


View more details about our staff here.

Rebecca Burch, MD, FAHS
Program Director

Elizabeth Loder, MD, MPH
Chief, Division of Headache and Pain at Brigham and Women’s Department of Neurology

Paul Rizzoli, MD, FAAN, FAHS
Headache Center Clinical Director and Past Program Director

Melissa Kimble, MSW
Practice manager and fellowship coordinator

Other BWH faculty

Carolyn Bernstein, MD, FAHS
Brian McGeeney, MD, MBA
William Mullally, MD
William Renthal, MD
Angeliki Vgontzas, MD

MGH Faculty

Hsinlin (Thomas) Cheng, MD, Site director
David Chen, MD
Andrea Harriott, MD

BCH faculty

Anna Minster, MD, Site director

Past fellows

We are incredibly proud of our many former fellows! See the list of past fellows and what they’re up to on our website.

Visit the Headache Medicine Fellowship website for further information.