Promoting Growth in Behavioral Neurology: A Path Forward

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Jaffee on the publication of his commentary “Promoting Growth in Behavioral Neurology: A Path Forward,” which appears in the current issue of Cognitive and Behavorial Neurology.


Behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry (BNNP) is a field that seeks to understand brain–behavior relationships, including fundamental brain organization principles and the many ways that brain structures and connectivity can be disrupted, leading to abnormalities of behavior, cognition, emotion, perception, and social cognition. In North America, BNNP has existed as an integrated subspecialty through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties since 2006. Nonetheless, the number of behavioral neurologists across academic medical centers and community settings is not keeping pace with increasing clinical and research demand. In this commentary, we provide a brief history of BNNP followed by an outline of the current challenges and opportunities for BNNP from the behavioral neurologist’s perspective across clinical, research, and educational spheres. We provide a practical guide for promoting BNNP and addressing the shortage of behavioral neurologists to facilitate the continued growth and development of the subspecialty. We also urge a greater commitment to recruit trainees from diverse backgrounds so as to dismantle persistent obstacles that hinder inclusivity in BNNP—efforts that will further enhance the growth and impact of the subspecialty. With rapidly expanding diagnostic and therapeutic approaches across a range of conditions at the intersection of neurology and psychiatry, BNNP is well positioned to attract new trainees and expand its reach across clinical, research, and educational activities.