What is the Right Brain?

There are over a dozen unique submission categories for the Neurology® Resident and Fellow Section (RFS), and most of these strive to enrich the clinical reasoning skills of neurology trainees. Not surprisingly, the majority of all submissions received by the RFS target this publication style. In fact, over 80% of all submissions in the preceding 10 months targeted the Teaching NeuroImages, Clinical Reasoning, or Teaching Video NeuroImages categories (figure). And this is intentional, as the RFS is a section of the Green Journal whose primary aim is to arm its trainees with educational tools and resources in order to transform readers into expert clinicians.

The Right Brain, in contrast, provides an outlet for the artist in us all. It is a division for the divergent. This category encourages reflection over recollection, stimulating readers to consider the broader scope of their clinical practice. The Right Brain seeks to cultivate the intellect in ways not traditionally developed in the classroom or on the wards. And without stimulation, like any other muscle in the human body, this type of intellect may atrophy with disuse. Might I also mention that unlike many other sections within the RFS, the Right Brain boasts a manuscript acceptance rate twice that of the other sections?

The earliest publication in the Right Brain by Alcauskas and Charon (http://www.neurology.org/content/70/11/891.full) illuminates the purpose and benefits of reflection: to maintain our modus operandi. It is obvious with the rate of physician burnout how and why we may forget our passion for medicine. While providers may become so quickly and easily desensitized to medical illness, and so buried in paperwork (http://www.jgme.org/doi/pdf/10.4300/JGME-D-14-00494.1), it is imperative that educators and mentors remind trainees of their calling to our humbling profession. And such is the mission of the publications in Right Brain. Celebrating our place in the history of modern medicine, debating the ethical dilemmas of an evolving medical practice, critiquing the portrayal of medicine in the media, or daring to canonize a clinical encounter into verse—these are the aims of the Right Brain. Publications in the Right Brain have ranged from personal anecdotes (http://www.neurology.org/content/73/2/e9.full) to global challenges posed by the electronic medical record (http://www.neurology.org/content/83/13/e125.full). In addition to essays, this section also accepts original poetry and any other piece that artfully weaves together the social sciences with the natural sciences. The possibilities are nearly infinite.

The editors are calling on all authors interested in leveraging this channel to voice their opinion and raise awareness on issues important to neurology trainees. The more creative and insightful, the better! Don’t let your left brain keep your right brain from taking advantage of this opportunity!

James E. Siegler

James E. Siegler

Resident & Fellow Editorial Team Member

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