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Clinical Rotations

Inpatient Clinical Rotations

UAB neurology residents work in collaboration with various services in a team based approach. UAB neurology patient and family-centered care is centered on close collaboration with neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, physical medicine & rehabilitation, psychiatry, and other consulting services that offer highly specialized expertise in the care of complex critically ill patients. In addition, we work within a multidisciplinary team of nurses, case managers, nutritionists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, social workers and speech-language pathologists. Residents working in multidisciplinary teams provide high quality care to patients at UAB.

  • General Neurology
    The general neurology inpatient service, commonly referred to as the Red team, is the heart of the inpatient experience during your residency training. Comprised of an attending, one senior neurology resident, 2 junior neurology residents, and several UAB medical students, the Red team takes care of all neurology inpatient needs except stroke and seizure monitoring unit patients. There is a different attending every 2 weeks, all of whom are eager and willing to teach.

    Patients admitted to this service have complicated seizures, neurological diseases requiring procedures/infusions (such as IVIg or Plasma Exchange), tertiary referral diagnostic conundrums, and a host of other neurologic complaints. As with all inpatient services at UAB, there is exceptional support from ancillary medical professionals (nurses, pharmacy, PT/OT, speech, dietary, social workers) so that residents have ample time for patient care and reading time. Junior neurology residents have the autonomy to diagnose and treat their patients with guidance and close back up from the senior neurology resident and an always-available attending.
  • Vascular and Critical Care
    The Stroke team takes care of all patients with a suspected diagnosis of stroke, vasculitis, dissection, or other vascular problems involving the CNS. The team is comprised of an attending, senior resident, 1-2 junior residents, rotator (usually neurosurgery), APPs, and medical students. We have a dedicated stroke unit and a dedicated Neuro-ICU where we have ample support from critical care teams to help assist with ventilator management and severe medical complications. Our APPs on the service help us arrange disposition and cover stable patients who are awaiting placement or rehabilitation.

    Our inpatient stroke service specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke and stroke-related disorders through the Comprehensive Stroke Research Center, with a 24-7-365 stroke team and Neuro-Endovascular Interventional Service, pre-hospital notification from Birmingham Regional EMS paramedics (BREMSS), and Level I UAB Emergency Department.

    The hospital-wide “Code Stroke” system that is activated in the event of acute neurologic deficits that are suspicious for stroke. This ensures that radiology is ready and waiting for the patient’s STAT critical vascular imaging. The CODE Stroke activation alerts the stroke attending, vascular neurology fellow, residents, pharmacists, stroke advanced practice providers and neurovascular ultrasonographer simultaneously. We have a very active Code Stroke program that treats more than 200 patients treated with advanced acute stroke therapies including thrombolysis and thrombectomy. Our residents are very comfortable and confident in making acute interventional decisions for stroke patients.
  • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) and Long-Term EEG
    All our residents complete 1-2 months of EMU coverage. Much of the resident’s time during this rotation is spent on the inpatient epilepsy service, which includes a 10-bed video EEG monitoring unit. State-of-the-art facilities and equipment are available for diagnostic studies and treatment. Intracranial electrode implantation, cortical stimulation studies, specialized EEG procedures, and a full range of conventional and special tests are available.

    Common reasons for admission to the EMU include the following:
    • Classification of seizure type such as epileptic vs nonepileptic or partial vs generalized
    • Significant medication changes
    • Pre-surgical evaluation that includes any combination of MRI with 3.0T scanner, MEG scanning, PET or SPECT scanning, epidural/subdural electrode recording, neuropsychological evaluation and WADA testing. This patient cohort is seen in collaboration with neurosurgeons specializing in epilepsy surgery.
    Each morning residents will review routine and 24-hour EEG/video recordings with the fellow and attending. There is an additional month rotation during the PGY2 year dedicated to reviewing long-term EEGs to help further refine our residents’ skills.
  • Birmingham VA Medical Center Neurology Service
    The VA Neurology service covers both neurology inpatients and consults at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. The inpatient service includes a devoted 24-hour EEG monitoring bed for epilepsy patients. The service is staffed by a VA neurology attending, a senior neurology resident, a PGY2 neurology resident, possibly one or two rotating residents (often psychiatry), and medical students.

    Residents will also assist with VA subspecialty clinics throughout their week on VA service. This exposes residents to management of acute and chronic neurological problems and procedures including EMG/NCS, Botox, and nerve blocks in the outpatient setting.
  • Neurology Consult Service
    There are two Neurology consult services, referred to as the Green and Gold teams, which alternate call days and see all inpatient neurological consults at UAB. The Gold team consists of an attending, a senior neurology resident, a junior neurology resident, one to three rotating residents, and medical students. The Gold team is highly focused on education of both residents and medical students. The Green team consists of an attending, a PGY-3 neurology resident, and several APPs. This team allows the PGY-3 residents graduated responsibility of managing a neurology inpatient team.

    On consults, residents see a wide spectrum of neurological complications of medical and surgical diseases. Given that UAB is one of the largest hospitals in the nation with a complete range of primary and specialty care specialties, residents’ experience on the consult services is extensive. Residents become very comfortable with neurological consults of any kind due to the volume and diversity of the patient population at UAB.
  • Night Float
    In house call is limited to the PGY-2 year and primarily consists of one month of night float. During this month, residents take in house call at UAB University Hospital Monday through Friday for 4 weeks; however, backup from the senior resident and attending is always available. Prior to night float rotation, all residents complete emergency department and EEG rotations that prepare them well for independent calls as well as interpreting EEGs for overnight emergencies. All didactics are recorded and available to allow for continued education during this month.
  • University Emergency Department Neurology Consult Service
    The UAB Hospital Emergency Department is Alabama’s busiest and only Level-I trauma ED. The ED has over 60 treatment rooms and 2 high-speed, multi-detector CT scanners. During PGY-2 through PGY-4 years, residents spend two months triaging patients directly from the ED. Residents respond to Code Strokes and neurology consults for patients presenting to the ED. This affords residents the opportunity to be the first neurologist to evaluate patients who present with a wide range of neurological symptoms.
Outpatient Clinical Rotations

Continuity Clinics, The Kirklin Clinic, Subspecialty Clinics, Neuromuscular Clinics and EMG Laboratory, Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinic

  • Continuity Clinics
    UAB Neurology residents participate in two continuity clinics during their training.

    Birmingham VA Hospital Neurology Clinic

    Currently, PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents have a half day of clinic at the VA on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons. PGY-4 residents have a half day of clinic on Friday morning. Residents on every rotation are excused from their inpatient duties to attend their continuity clinic. The clinic is busy as it is the only general neurology clinic in Alabama offered to Veterans with the VA Health System.

    Cooper Green Neurology Clinic

    PGY-2 residents also participate in a half-day (Friday afternoon) of continuity clinic at Cooper Green Hospital. As with the VA, PGY-2 residents are excused from inpatient duties to attend this clinic. This is a “safety-net clinic” for the indigent, underserved or uninsured patients. Because of limited resources, patients present to clinic at advanced stages of both common and uncommon neurological disorders.
  • The Kirklin Clinic
    Aside from the continuity clinics at the VA and Cooper Green, most of residents’ outpatient time is spent in the Kirklin Clinic. During the PGY-1 and PGY-2 year, residents will have one month per year dedicated to outpatient rotation at the Kirklin Clinic. In addition to general neurology clinic, there will be opportunities to participate in subspecialty clinics that include stroke, epilepsy, movement disorders, cognitive disorders and behavioral neurology, neuromuscular medicine, neuroimmunology, headache and pain medicine. Throughout the month, residents are free to create a personalized schedule to match their specific interests in neurology.
  • Subspecialty Clinics
    During the PGY-4 year of training, residents spend one month each in neuroimmunology, movement disorders and cognitive/behavioral neurology clinics. These rotations allow the residents to hone their skills in these specialties that are primarily outpatient. The residents see the complete range of patients in these specialties while working with multiple subspecialists in each clinic.

    Behavioral Neurology Clinic

    UAB Memory Disorders Clinic provides state-of-the-art care for patients with a variety of neurological disorders affecting cognition and behavior, including age-related memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s-related cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and other related conditions.

    Movement Disorders Clinic

    Movement Disorders Clinic specializes in neurological disorders that affect movement, such as Parkinson's disease and other Parkinsonian disorders, essential tremor and other tremor disorders, dystonia, tics and Tourette syndrome, myoclonus, ataxias, and other movement disorders. The clinic offer comprehensive diagnostic services and utilize a full range of treatment approaches including medications, physical, occupational and speech therapy, deep brain stimulation surgery, neuropsychological evaluations and treatment, botulinum toxin injection therapy for dystonia, spasticity and other movement disorders and clinical trials testing new medical and surgical therapies, including "neuroprotective therapies" for Parkinson’s Disease.

    Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis Clinic

    Patient care services provided in the Adult MS Clinic include evaluation, diagnosis, and comprehensive management of MS and other immune-based disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), such as neuromyelitis optica, optic neuritis, transverse myelitis, CNS vasculitis and neurological complications of systemic immune-mediated disorders. The Division of Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis also provides specialized services through Transverse Myelitis Clinic, Neuro-Rheumatology Clinic, Neuro-Infectious Disease and Neuro-HIV Clinics, Transplant Neurology Clinic and Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic.
  • Neuromuscular Clinics and EMG Laboratory
    The neuromuscular rotation is a 3-month rotation during the PGY-3 year. Throughout the rotation, residents perform and interpret between 150 and 200 EMGs/NCSs under the supervision of board-certified electrophysiologists. Additionally, residents also interpret repetitive nerve stimulation studies (Jolly tests), single-fiber EMGs, blink reflex exams, and evoked potential studies. Our residents confidently perform these tests to assess patients with peripheral nerve and muscle problems. Residents perform enough studies that they feel comfortable starting out in private practice without need for an additional year of fellowship training, if they choose to do so.
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinic
    The Department of Ophthalmology is located at the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital, which is part of the UAB Health System. During the PGY-4 year, residents spend one month in neuro-ophthalmology. In addition to participating in clinic, residents also have the opportunity to see various ophthalmologic surgical procedures. The Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital is the only specialized ophthalmology hospital in the state of Alabama providing residents many opportunities to see rare neuro-ophthalmologic pathology.
Other Rotations

Neuropathology, Psychiatry, Pediatric Neurology, Electives, Additional Rotations Planned for Academic Year 2021-2022 and 2022-23.

Benefits

  • Salary

    PGY 1

    PGY 2

    PGY 3

    PGY 4

    $54,214

    $55,992

    $57,506

    $59,941

  • Stipend
    This money may be used for books, tools, educational material, travel to meetings, and licensing fees.

    PGY 1

    PGY 2

    PGY 3

    PGY 4

    $500

    $1,000

    $1,000

    $1,000

  • Residents' Library

    Used almost exclusively by the residents, this formal library with journals, books and computers is a great place to read or work on research projects or chat with a fellow resident about a project.  Residents use the library frequently to do some extra reading or as a quiet place to relax during the day.  You will find this space to be very quiet, relaxing and useful throughout your years at UAB.

  • Perks
    • Parking
    • Pagers,  lab coats, and scrubs
    • ACLS/BCLS Certification and Re-Certification
    • Access to UpToDate and most medical journals from off campus through Lister Hill library login
    • 60% discount in UAB hospital cafeteria
    • Lunch at daily noon conferences
    • American Academy of Neurology membership (begins PGY2 year)
    • Subscription to AAN journals including Green Journal, Continuum and also to Archives of Neurology and Annals of Neurology
    • Counseling Services through the UAB Faculty and Staff Assistance Program
    • Remote access to the UAB Electronic Medical Record
    • Professional Liability Insurance
    • Group Term Life Insurance
    • Long-Term Disability Insurance
    • Accidental Death and dismemberment Insurance
    • 403(b) and 457(b) Retirement Plans (optional)
    • Flexible Spending Account
    • Travel to a national/international meeting is reimbursed if the resident is presenting as first author on a paper or poster
  • Other Benefits
    • Low cost health, dental and vision insurance
    • Sick leave
    • Family leave
    • 3 weeks of paid vacation annually
    • Low cost recreational facility membership


    For more details about UAB employee benefits, please see the UAB Human Resources Benefits website.

    Also visit the Graduate Medical Education website for details about benefits the hospital provide to residents.

  • Moonlighting

    The neurology house staff has a policy outlining moonlighting regulations. Moonlighting is allowed because of the tremendous financial burden facing today's resident but we emphasize our residents need to have ample time for reading and other neurology activities.


Mentoring

Each resident is paired with a faculty member to establish a resident-mentor relationship. Residents meet with their mentor quarterly for advice regarding career development and any other interests or concerns.


Residents Library and Learning Resource Center

LibPic2Neurology residents enjoy the newly built neurology library and learning resource center. Residents may study, read, relax, surf the Internet, and conduct a journal search in the library. There is a separate office inside the library where the chief residents may work.

The spacious room features plush furniture, mahogany bookshelves, and five state-of-the-art computers. One of the computers is a complete media center, equipped with CD/DVD burners, printer, scanner, copier, etc., for building high-tech presentations.

The library has many neurology reference books and journals, in addition to the on-line research tools available. The glass showcase displays important historical neurology examination tools, texts, photographs, documents, and faculty publications such as research papers and books. This wonderful facility is a prime example of the department's commitment to the residents and their learning.


Lectures, Presentations, & Rounds

  • Weekly Conference Schedule
    The following is a schedule of the conferences attended by the residents throughout residency. Click here to view the pdf of the schedule.
    uab neurology conference schedule

    We have many, varied conferences available to residents throughout the year including:

    • Professor Rounds (monthly)
    • Neurovascular Conference (weekly)
    • Neurophysiology Conference (weekly)
    • Morbidity and Mortality Conference (every other month)
    • Brain Tumor Board (weekly)
    • Brain Cutting (weekly)
    • Epilepsy Surgery Conference (as needed, often weekly)
    • Neurobiology Lectures (varies widely)
    • Pediatric Neurology Conference (bimonthly)

  • Neuroradiology
  • Morning Reports
    Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings we hold 30 minute morning reports with an established faculty member. During these morning reports, residents present patients to an attending who then guides residents through the history, physical exam, imaging findings, differential diagnosis and appropriate workup and treatment.

    These are instrumental in residents’ development of methodical approaches to patient care and evaluation. We present both typical general neurology patients and challenging diagnostic dilemmas in a very candid environment with residents, rotators, and students with input from everyone involved. This allows everyone to learn from each others’ patients and to extend the number of cases to which residents are exposed while in training.
  • Noon Conference Lecture Series
    noon conference chief residents ensure that a lecture is given each day at noon with lunch provided. The topics early in the academic year focus on emergent neurological problems, anatomy, and frequently encountered diagnoses in the clinic. In January and February the topics focus on topics that are heavy on the Residency In-Training Exam and on Neurology Board Exams. In March through June, lectures will cover extensive topics throughout neurology including a few talks focusing on financial planning, setting up a clinical practice, how to decide what to do after residency, and various topics that are of interest to the residents. Each year, virtually all clinically relevant topics are covered at least once for the residents.
  • Professor Rounds
    Neurology Residents see a large variety of patients each week, which provides an opportunity to present a number of interesting cases. Professor Rounds are held Wednesday afternoons from 1:00-2:00 unless otherwise specified, in the Department of Neurology Conference Room (Sparks Center Room 330). A selected resident will present an interesting case to be determined by the ward chiefs. Cases should be presented thoroughly yet concisely with the results of all studies available. Particular attention should be made to the neurological examination and formulating a differential diagnosis. Video taping of interesting cases can be arranged. The faculty may choose to do a topic review on occasion. One week will be devoted to presentation of a behavioral neurology case or a behavioral neurology topic.
  • Neurology Grand Rounds
    Grand Rounds is scheduled each Tuesday morning from 8:00-9:00am. This serves as a format from which neurologists at UAB and from the surrounding community can learn about developing research, novel treatment approaches, and other topics relating to neurology. From our senior residents to internationally acclaimed neurologists, the topics covered in our Grand Rounds are applicable to neurology and often represent future directions within our specialty.
  • Journal Club
    Under the supervision and direction of a chosen attending, each resident directs at least one journal club during training at UAB. Typically, a recent article in a reputable journal is presented by the resident, followed by a lengthy discussion on critiques of the study design, applicability of the findings, and future study to strengthen or weaken the data presented. This lively discussion helps the residents to learn how to incorporate new information into their clinical practice.
  • Other Conferences
    Several other conferences are optional including (but not limited to) the following:

    • Behavioral Neurology/Alzheimers Conference
    • Neuro-oncology Conference
    • Neuropathology Conference
    • Neurobiology Lecture Series
    • Epilepsy Conference
    • Epilepsy Surgery Conference
    • Brain Cutting
    • Neurophysiology Conference
    • Pediatric Neurology Conference
    • Stroke Lecture Series


Continuity Clinics

UAB Neurology Residents participate in two continuity clinics during their training. Both clinics follow the same framework in that residents take a history, examine the patient, develop an assessment and plan, and then report to an attending. This framework allows for a great deal of autonomy and helps sharpen residents’ clinical skills.

  • Birmingham VA Hospital Neurology Clinic
    Birmingham VA Medical Center, PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents have a half day of general neurology clinic at the VA on Thursday afternoons. PGY-4 residents have a half day of general neurology clinic on Friday morning. Residents on inpatient services are excused from their inpatient duties (except when on the Stroke team or night float) to attend their VA continuity clinic. On a typical day, neurology residents will see one to two new patients and then follow-ups from prior visits. The clinic is fairly busy as it is the only general neurology clinic in Alabama offered to Veterans with the VA Health System.

    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 a PGY-2, residents also participate in a half-day (Friday afternoon) of continuity clinic at Cooper Green Hospital. As with the VA, residents on inpatient services (except stroke and night float) are excused from inpatient duties to attend this continuity clinic. The patients cared for at Cooper green are usually underserved/uninsured. Because of this, patients present to clinic at different stages of common and uncommon neurological disorders.

    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.


Research

The secret that UAB is a great place to train in neuroscience research is getting out. The Department of Neurology has active research across each of its divisions that span the bench-to-bedside spectrum. There are many more opportunities for scholarly investigation than there are residents to take them, and residents are encouraged to engage in their curiosities and scholarly pursuits in ways that are meaningful for them.

Research efforts in the Department of Neurology are supported in the context of multiple, collaborations on campus, including the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, the McKnight Brain Institute, the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center, the Civitan International Research Center, the UAB Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, the Department of Neurosurgery, the Department of Neurobiology, and the NIH-funded CTSA in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Also, nearly all laboratories are connected by bridges or are located across the street from the hospital complex.

Residents are encouraged to participate in research activities as early as PGY-2. Most PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents present abstracts at the AAN annual meeting or other subspecialty meetings. The Department is committed to support residents’ research efforts, and any resident who presents an abstract at a major neurology meeting will be reimbursed for travel, registration, and other expenses. For residents who commit to a physician-scientist training path, our NINDS R25 award supports development of a long-term project and affords an opportunity for six months protected time during residency and two years of research fellowship training after graduation.

We endeavor to support all of our residents’ endeavors, and the Department takes great pride in their research accomplishments, as we push the field of neurology forward, expand our understanding and improve patient care.


Additional Resources

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GME Training at UAB

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