What is a Certified Headache Specialist?

Living with migraine or any other type of headache disorder can feel overwhelming, challenging and isolating. Many people are either undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or undertreated. That’s why one of the most important things you can add to your migraine treatment toolbox is a doctor educated in headache medicine and who has ongoing medical education in the field – someone who can help you navigate treatment options and develop a personalized treatment plan. Unfortunately, a certified headache specialist is not necessarily the same as a doctor who just calls themself a “headache specialist” and for the 40 million people in the US with migraine, there are currently fewer than 1,000 doctors who have completed the necessary education to receive a UCNS and/or AQH certification in headache medicine.*

A certified headache specialist can help you understand your specific type of migraine and work with you to improve your overall quality of life. They can also work with you to create a treatment plan that may help reduce the chance of your migraine attacks becoming more frequent or severe.

Use this Headache Doctor Search to find certified headache specialists in your state as well as patient-recommended doctors.

* We have created three categories of doctors and this list will be updated at least annually:


      1. UCNS Certified: includes doctors who are neurologists and who are additionally board certified in headache medicine. Doctors who are UCNS Headache Medicine Certified have passed a high-stakes examination and they are also required to meet learning and knowledge assessment activities on an annual basis.

      1. AQH Certified: includes doctors who have received headache medicine certification from the National Headache Foundation. Doctors who are AQH certified must complete 60 hours of headache-related education units and pass an examination every five years.

      1. Patient Recommended: includes doctors who are recommended BY patients FOR patients, some of whom are headache medicine certified and some not. We included this third category because of the awareness that most people with migraine do not have access to a Certified Headache Specialist. Note: If someone is not certified in headache medicine then we have not described them as a “headache specialist” but rather neurologist or other relevant title.

    DISCLAIMER: Please note these names are for informational purposes and do not imply an endorsement of any kind. Please let us know if you find any of the links are broken or information incorrect and we will do our best to fix it in a timley manner. As this list is meant to be a living document, please email us any additional doctors you can personally recommend to other patients and we will add them in.


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