Curriculum for Vestibular Medicine (VestMed) proposed by the Bárány Society: The concept of Vestibular Medicine and the framework defining the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for proficiency in Vestibular Medicine

R van de Berg*, L Murdin, S L Whitney, J Holmberg, A Bisdorff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


This document presents the initiative of the Bárány Society to improve diagnosis and care of patients presenting with vestibular symptoms worldwide.The Vestibular Medicine (VestMed) concept embraces a wide approach to the potential causes of vestibular symptoms, acknowledging that vertigo, dizziness, and unsteadiness are non-specific symptoms that may arise from a broad spectrum of disorders, spanning from the inner ear to the brainstem, cerebellum and supratentorial cerebral networks, to many disorders beyond these structures.The Bárány Society Vestibular Medicine Curriculum (BS-VestMed-Cur) is based on the concept that VestMed is practiced by different physician specialties and non-physician allied health professionals. Each profession has its characteristic disciplinary role and profile, but all work in overlapping areas. Each discipline requires good awareness of the variety of disorders that can present with vestibular symptoms, their underlying mechanisms and etiologies, diagnostic criteria and treatment options. Similarly, all disciplines require an understanding of their own limitations, the contribution to patient care from other professionals and when to involve other members of the VestMed community. Therefore, the BS-VestMed-Cur is the same for all health professionals involved, the overlaps and differences of the various relevant professions being defined by different levels of detail and depth of knowledge and skills.The BS-VestMed-Cur defines a Basic and an Expert Level Curriculum. The Basic Level Curriculum covers the VestMed topics in less detail and depth, yet still conveys the concept of the wide net approach. It is designed for health professionals as an introduction to, and first step toward, VestMed expertise. The Expert Level Curriculum defines a Focused and Broad Expert. It covers the VestMed spectrum in high detail and requires a high level of understanding. In the Basic and Expert Level Curricula, the range of topics is the same and runs from anatomy, physiology and physics of the vestibular system, to vestibular symptoms, history taking, bedside examination, ancillary testing, the various vestibular disorders, their treatment and professional attitudes. Additionally, research topics relevant to clinical practice are included in the Expert Level Curriculum. For Focused Expert proficiency, the Basic Level Curriculum is required to ensure a broad overview and additionally requires an expansion of knowledge and skills in one or a few specific topics related to the focused expertise, e.g. inner ear surgery. Broad Expert proficiency targets professionals who deal with all sorts of patients presenting with vestibular symptoms (e.g. otorhinolaryngologists, neurologists, audiovestibular physicians, physical therapists), requiring a high level of VestMed expertise across the whole spectrum. For the Broad Expert, the Expert Level Curriculum is required in which the minimum attainment targets for all the topics go beyond the Basic Level Curriculum. The minimum requirements regarding knowledge and skills vary between Broad Experts, since they are tuned to the activity profile and underlying specialty of the expert.  The BS-VestMed-Cur aims to provide a basis for current and future teaching and training programs for physicians and non-physicians. The Basic Level Curriculum could also serve as a resource for inspiration for teaching VestMed to students, postgraduate generalists such as primary care physicians and undergraduate health professionals, or anybody wishing to enter VestMed.  VestMed is considered a set of competences related to an area of practice of established physician specialties and non-physician health professions rather than a separate clinical specialty. This curriculum does not aim to define a new single clinical specialty.  The BS-VestMed-Cur should also integrate with, facilitate and encourage translational research in the vestibular field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research-Equilibrium & Orientation
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022



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