Welcome from the Chairman
Dear Prospective Resident:
Thank you for your interest in the UAB Neurology Residency Program. There has never been a more exciting time to enter the field of Neurology. New technology and discoveries are providing us with the opportunity to unravel the mysteries of the brain and nervous system and treat patients with neurological disorders more effectively than ever before. You have a lifelong learning opportunity ahead, and we are pleased that you are considering beginning the next step in this journey at UAB.
I believe strongly that the residency program is at the heart of any great department, and we take the responsibility of training the next generation of neurologists very seriously. The Neurology faculty has grown substantially in recent years, and now numbers more 60. We have strong programs in all of the major subspecialties, including epilepsy, stroke, movement disorders, neuromuscular disease, MS and neuro-immunology, neuro-oncology, neuro-critical care and cognitive disorders. We have recently developed a program in general neurology which is also expanding rapidly. Our faculty truly enjoy teaching our residents, postdoctoral fellows, and house staff, and their enthusiasm and love of learning are contagious.
UAB is a large, dynamic and rapidly expanding academic medical center. Our 1,152 bed UAB Hospital is among the largest in the United States and offers clinical care, research, and teaching opportunities which are unsurpassed. The UAB Hospital North Pavilion provides a high-tech facility with state-of-the-art operating rooms, ICU’s, catheterization, imaging, and interventional suites. The Emergency Department alone covers almost a full square city block. We have a newly expanded and updated 34-bed Neurosciences ICU, a separate 20 bed dedicated Stroke Unit, a 10 bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and additional step down and hospital floor beds all located on the 8th floors of the North and West Pavilions, interconnected via a sky bridge. We have more than 2,400 Neurology inpatient admissions per year representing the full spectrum of acute and tertiary referral neurological disorders, and we have a very close working relationship with our outstanding Department of Neurosurgery and the Divisions of Neuroradiology and Neuropathology, as well as other closely allied departments such as Medicine, Psychiatry, and Rehabilitation Medicine, to name a few.
Our faculty outpatient practices are contained in The Kirklin Clinic where we encounter over 34,000 neurological outpatient visits annually. These represent the full range of neurological disorders, from general neurology to highly specialized sub-specialty practice. Residents have the opportunity to work side by side with faculty and learn about modern diagnosis and treatment of both common and rare problems. Residents also have the opportunity to train with our faculty at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, a regional referral center for neurological disorders.
We have a number of programs that provide essential resources to the state of Alabama and the surrounding region. We were recently designated by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the only one in the state. We also maintain a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, the highest designation awarded by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. We are recognized as a “Best Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery” by US News and World Report, a designation awarded to only 50 of more than 1,300 programs in the nation.
UAB ranks among the top institutions nationally in research funding from the NIH, and research is an important part of the Department of Neurology. Nearly every one of the faculty have a role in research, ranging from full-time laboratory investigation to participation in clinical studies. All of our residents are encouraged to learn about the role of research in advancing neurological science, and to get involved in research projects. For those with a strong dedication to research, we offer an NIH-funded R25 research track within the residency.
Our program incorporates a strong didactic component which produces impressive results. In the last several years, the residents as a group have achieved a median score on the Neurology RITE in-service exams in excess of the 95th percentile, and several have obtained 100th percentile scores. We are proud of the 98% first-attempt pass rate on the Neurology Board exams that they have achieved for more than 7 years.
The graduates of our residency program go on to outstanding careers in neuroscience. While we do have trainees with a primarily clinical focus, in recent years we have seen a strong trend towards academic fellowships. Both of these trajectories are important to the future of care in Neurology, and our program has the breadth and scope to support each of them well. We offer accredited postgraduate fellowships in nearly every major subspecialty of Neurology, and many of our graduates take advantage of these. Others have accepted positions at outstanding academic institutions around the country.
Perhaps as important as all of the above are the outstanding camaraderie and cooperative spirit that exist throughout the department. Each day we are truly excited about and look forward to coming to work. Furthermore, we all take pride in our department and institution. Excellence and mutual respect for one another are our standards.
Birmingham is a beautiful city that offers an excellent quality of life and living environment. It is truly an exciting place to work and learn, and I hope that you will visit us if UAB sounds like a place that might be a good fit for you.
Best wishes in your search and career,
David G. Standaert, MD, PhD
John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair
UAB Department of Neurology