Jorge Vidaurre MD is the recipient of the 2022 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award. Jorge is the Director of the Pediatric Clinical Neurophysiology program and EEG Laboratory at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University. He was born in El Salvador, where he received his Medical Doctorate degree at the Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador. He completed his Pediatric Neurology residency at The State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center in Brooklyn and his Clinical Neurophysiology fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During his training and early career, Jorge was influenced by wonderful advisors and mentors such as Nico Moshé, Shlomo Shinnar, E. Steve Roach, Joseph Marcus and many others.
After finishing his fellowship, Jorge returned to El Salvador and practiced medicine there for three years before accepting his current position at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Those early years shaped what would become a career of advocacy for medically underserved children and child neurologists working in low resource regions.
Tirelessly striving to improve access to care for underserved children, Jorge has spearheaded multiple infrastructure and educational endeavors. He has worked to improve access to EEG by helping to create EEG laboratories and coordinate the training of EEG technicians in Latin America and Africa. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized multiple international educational programs to support training in low-medium income countries, using virtual technology to overcome travel restrictions.
As Chair of the Child Neurology Society (CNS) International Affairs Committee since 2015, Jorge has planned, developed, and organized numerous educational and training programs directed to improve neurological care in low resource regions around the world, including Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. These programs have included regional symposia and training workshops for pediatric neurologists, EEG technicians, and primary care clinicians. With support from the CNS and members of the international community, he has worked to build infrastructure in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. He has also fostered partnerships between a growing list of professional associations, including the CNS, International Child Neurology Association (ICNA), and International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), developing multiple short and long-term outreach projects focused on improving pediatric epilepsy training in low-middle income countries. In recognition of his work on international educational programs, he was elected chair of the Education Task Force (2022-2026) of the ILAE, with the goal of creating a standard, sustainable, and multilingual EEG curriculum to be used by clinicians all over the world. In his role as the ICNA Educational Advisor, he has worked closely with the president and executive board on issues related to global educational projects.
Jorge has passionately worked to raise national and international awareness about the challenges faced by child neurologists practicing in low-middle income countries and has organized multiple global health symposia at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) and CNS annual meetings. He is the current chair of the Global Health and International Special Interest Group of AES, promoting involvement of neurologists practicing in low resource settings to discuss important topics in child neurology and foster future collaborations. He has also given more than 100 international lectures (as invited speaker in different regions, including Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean), often with a focus on the care of children in low-middle income countries.
In 2017, Jorge became part of the Ibero-American Child Neurology Society Executive Board and Education Committee. He serves as an editor for the organization’s practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric neurological disorders. These guidelines are published in Spanish with the goal of establishing more standardized practice in these regions. Recently, he was appointed ILAE’s Regional Coordinator for Latin America. Within this latter role, Jorge is tasked with fostering collaborations between the ILAE and leaders in Latin America to develop projects leading to improved epilepsy care for children.
Jorge has positively influenced numerous national and international medical students, residents, fellows and younger colleagues, often serving as a mentor. He is a fellow of both the AES and the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS), actively participating in the Professional Development Mentorship Program of the ACNS and the Mentor-Fellows Program of the AES.
From personal experience, I know Jorge to be a joyful, spiritual, and humble friend who shies away from awards or other forms of personal recognition. Yet, it remains important to recognize a career spent caring for the most vulnerable of populations. It is likewise important to recognize that Jorge’s success was only achieved with the support from his wife Patricia and sons Danny (16) and Diego (18).