Tuesday, June 6th, 12-1 PM


Bridget M Whelan, MPH

Director, Pac-12 Concussion Coordinating Unit

Research Scientist, Department of Family Medicine, Sports Medicine Section


The diagnosis of concussion on the sideline or shortly thereafter is challenging and relies heavily on subjective reporting of symptoms as well as assessments of cognition and balance whose diagnostic accuracy has been shown to be poor. Problems with the use of symptoms in the diagnosis of concussion include a reluctance of athletes to report symptoms due to internal or external pressure, an inability to recognize symptoms, or a delay in the development of symptoms after concussion. Because of the problems associated with subjective reporting of symptoms, an accurate objective test for concussion is desirable. The purpose of our work has been to determine the diagnostic accuracy of components of the SCAT 5 (Symptom Score (SS), Symptom Severity Score (SEV), the 10-word Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), and the modified-Balance Error Scoring System (m-BESS)) and of the King-Devick Test (KD). I will be sharing what we have learned about these tests and discussing future ideas for evaluation of diagnostic tools.


1. To understand why concussion diagnosis can be difficult.

2. To understand the limitations of tools widely used in concussion diagnosis.

3. To share our next steps in determining better ways to help with diagnosis and evaluating tools not widely used for concussion diagnosis.

2023 research seminars

January 3

Ian Bennett, MD, PHD

Nelson Chiu, MD

Nikki Gentile, MD, PhD

Emily Godfrey, MD, MPH

William R. Phillips, MD, MPH

Sebastian Tong, MD, MPH

Topic: NAPCRG Roundup
February 7

Maggie Ramirez, PhD, MS, MS

Topic: Virtual Training for Managing Symptoms of Dementia: A Cultural Adaptation for Latino Caregivers
March 7

Grace Shih, MD, MAS

Christie Miles, MD

Claire Thomson, MD

Topic: Patient Opinions on Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Primary Care in Rural and Urban Clinics
April 4

Dan Cherkin, PhD

Topic: Contextual Effects of Treatment for Patients with Low Back Pain: Real and Important or “Just Placebo Effects”?
May 2

Kushang Patel, PhD, MPH

June 6

Bridget Whelan, MPH

Topic: How accurate are the assessments we use when diagnosing concussions?
September 5

AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting Attendees

Topic: AcademyHealth Roundup
October 3

Amber Sabbatini, MD, MPH, FACEP

Topic: TBD
November 7

Ashley Johnson, MPH

Topic: TBD
December 5

Emily Godfrey, MD, MPH

Topic: TBD

To join a seminar or to be added to the Research Seminar mailing list, please e-mail Azelea Sayavong: