The two half-day resident continuity clinics prepare residents for the predominantly outpatient experience that private and academic clinical neurologists face. Guiding residents is at least one neurology attending during all resident clinics. Residents, though, have the autonomy to diagnose and treat the patients they see during these clinics. The goal is that residents will feel very comfortable treating patients in an outpatient setting by the end of their residency. The two resident continuity clinics are located in the Birmingham VA Hospital and Cooper Green Hospital.
Birmingham VA Hospital Neurology Clinic
The VA neurology service covers both neurology inpatients and neurology consults at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. The inpatient service includes a bed devoted to 24-hour EEG monitoring for epilepsy patients. The service is staffed by a VA neurology attending, a senior neurology resident, a PGY-2 neurology resident, possibly one or two rotating residents (often psychiatry residents), and a few medical students.
The upper level neurology resident performs EMGs two half-days per week. Besides attending a continuity clinic at the VA, residents also attend a VA staff attending subspecialty clinic five half-days per week. Because of this extra clinic, you will not have your Cooper Green continuity clinic during the VA rotation.
Because the VA Hospital is located just across the street from University Hospital, residents can easily and quickly walk across the street to attend the lectures and conferences. The VA service is a very realistic neurology experience because you will take care of inpatients, perform consults, read EEGs, perform EMGs, and go to clinics all in the same rotation!
Cooper Green Neurology Clinic
Cooper Green Hospital is located two blocks from University Hospital. It is the county hospital, primarily serving the indigent population of Birmingham. The Cooper Green Neurology clinic is held on Friday afternoons. This clinic is for PGY2 and PGY3 residents only. Residents on the pediatric neurology, stroke, consults, or VA rotations do not have a rotation at Cooper Green neurology clinic. Like the VA clinic, medical students are often present to assist and learn.
This clinic is a wonderful learning experience since it is a county hospital serving an underserved community. Patients present in early, middle, and even latter stages of common and uncommon neurological disorders. Because resources are limited, clinical diagnostic skills become sharpened quickly.