In training, it’s not an uncommon occurrence for an attending or senior resident to point out a physical exam sign or unusual presentation of a common disease. E-pearls is the subsection of the Residents and Fellows Section (RFS) dedicated to these kinds of shorter, easily digested bits of knowledge or “pearls.” The goal of the e-pearls section is to provide one or more clinically relevant facts—generally about less common disease entities or clinical signs—that trainees will be able to recall six months later. E-pearls are posted on the RFS website and Facebook, and are also featured on the Neurology podcast.
The e-pearls archive reaches back to 2013 and past topics have included subjects as diverse as the Cotard Delusion (https://www.aan.com/trainees/e-pearl-of-the-week/october-26-2015), Milkmaid Grip in Huntington’s Disease (https://www.aan.com/residents-and-fellows/e-pearl-of-the-week/july-01-2013/) and treatment of pediatric neuromyelitis optica (https://www.aan.com/trainees/e-pearl-of-the-week/december-21-2015).
E-pearls are a great way to submit content to the RFS even if you don’t have an unusual case or image to write up. While the posted guidelines suggest using one source, most e-pearls have at least 1-2 references. We suggest trying to use recent references and avoiding direct quotes of the cited sources. Although e-pearls are brief, sometimes that can be just as challenging (or even more challenging!) as having no word limit. Some writers find it helpful to write everything out and then edit later, while others edit as they go. Keep in mind you will need to prioritize what facts and details to include.
For more examples of e-pearls, please follow the links below: