The following information can be found in complete detail in the remainder of the website. This is the condensed version.

Following is a bird’s eye view of the UAB Neurology residency Program:

Faculty

Undoubtedly, the greatest strength of the program. Residents have the opportunity of working with every attending, many of whom are nationally recognized researchers and experts, extensively throughout residency. Every faculty member is a pleasure to work with and approachable. In addition to inpatient experiences, residents are able to work with most faculty one-on-one in their outpatient specialty clinics. Our faculty enjoy resident teaching - every attending gives several lectures to the residents throughout year. The extensive faculty involvement in teaching, along with the support and approachability of our Chairman, Dr. David G. Standaert, and Residency Director, Dr. Khurram Bashir, make UAB a rewarding place to learn.

 Clinical Experience

UAB’s reputation draws patients from around the world. The inpatient services, outpatient clinics and call experiences provide exposure to a high volume and an impressive variety of neurological diseases, which support exceptional resident education and training. The Vascular Neurology service allows exposure to a significant number of stroke patients, including patients treated with neuro-interventional techniques. General Neurology and Neurocritical Care ICU expose the residents to a breadth of patients that is difficult to surpass anywhere else. The Epilepsy and Movement Disorders Centers offer experience in surgical evaluation and treatment of these disorders. Each division has multiple faculty who provide clinical care, conduct innovative research and are enthusiastic about teaching.

Residents

UAB Neurology residents are at the center of everything we do in the hospital or in the outpatient clinics. They enjoy working and socializing together. Recent resident classes have been particularly strong and the continued strength of the program has resulted in the expansion of adult residents accepted per year to increase to eight (plus two pediatric neurology resident/year). In addition to annual department parties/picnics, social gatherings at attendings homes and local restaurants occur often and play a large part in making the UAB educational experience an enjoyable one. With a population of over one million in the metropolitan area, Birmingham offers affordable living (most residents own homes very close to UAB) with plenty to do (nationally recognized restaurants, diverse music, arts, parks, college/semi-professional sports). Larger cities as well as beaches/mountains are a short drive away. The international airport allows for flights everywhere.

Educational Program and Conferences

The resident lecture series is likely one of the most comprehensive lecture series you will find at any program in the country. Lectures are scheduled every day of the week throughout the entire year except holidays. Lectures are given by faculty both within and outside the department as well as nationally known visiting speakers. Important areas covered in didactics include basic neuroscience topics such as anatomy, neurophysiology, neurobiology and pharmacology. In addition, we cover all subspecialty topics, review of clinical trials in all subspecialties, psychiatry, biostatistics, and a business series designed to prepare for life after residency. Educational funding has offered our program the unique opportunity of providing lunch for the residents throughout the year. Morning reports focus on clinical cases including a weekly neuroradiology conference. Neurology Grand Rounds - every Tuesday from 8-9:00 am - involve presentations on clinical and research topics from UAB faculty as well as nationally known speakers from outside institutions. Many other optional conferences are available, such as brain cutting, tumor board, epilepsy conference, neuromuscular conference, Movement Disorders case conference, MS case conference, and several pediatric neurology conferences, just to name a few.

Call Schedule

Every 6-7 for PGY2s (in-house call) and every 10-11 for PGY3s and PGY4s (home call). We have recently instituted a night float system for the PGY2 calls and this has been welcomed by the residents. PGY2s have a great deal of in-house support during their in-house call nights. There is an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) for the vascular neurology service in house every weeknight and a general neurology APP in house until 11PM every weeknight to assist with cross-cover and consults. In addition, we have an upper level neurology resident and attending as back-up 24-7. The new ACGME requirements are enforced, allowing post-call residents to go home at 11AM. Total work hours per week falls well short of the 80-hour maximum.

 Diagnostic/Procedural Experience

You will likely perform greater than 100 EMG/NCS, 100 LPs, and be involved in assisting in numerous angiographic cases/ICU procedures. You will review hundreds of routine EEGs and video EEGs. Residents also receive training in Botox injections (for headache and movement disorders) and Greater Occipital nerve Blocks. Opportunity for interpretation of PET, SPECT and fMRIis available. Busy stroke, epilepsy, general neurology and consult services allow for achiving a high level of comfort in interpreting MRI/CTs.

Research/Electives

Clinical research is available within every subspecialty, and basic science/diagnostic research is available in most subspecialties. There is ample opportunity for one-on-one experience with virtually any attending. Research preparatory courses are offered through UAB free of charge. Time off from clinical responsibilities is allowed to attend these courses. Attendance/presentation at national meetings is available and encouraged through each resident's educational fund or outside educational grants and has been a recent strength of the program. For the last three years, about 80% of the residents have had abstracts accepted at a national or international meeting as a result of collaborations with attendings. Generous (5 4-week Blocks) elective time allows residents time to pursue individual research projects or to strengthen their clinical skills through additional clinical rotations.

Board preparation

UAB neurology residents have had one of the highest cumulative scores on the RITE (Residency In-service Training Exam) in the past 10 years with multiple residents in 2019 scoring above the 90th percentile. A unique system utilizing a board preparatory text (published by past UAB residents), an organized review of RITE exam test questions from the previous five years, a review of radiographs/pathology slides, and handouts correlating the lecture series with board questions ensures continued excellence on the RITE exam. We have had a 94.9% first attempt board pass rate in the last 10 years and 93.3% first attempt board pass rate in the last 5 years.

UAB Medical Center/Facilities

Already recognized nationally in a number of departments and currently undergoing a tremendous expansion, the strength of the medical center affords a great overall educational experience with exposure to a number of other outstanding departments through the consult service and outside rotators. State of the art facilities, particularly in the areas of neuroimaging and intensive care, allow for the highest quality care. The neurology department also underwent an impressive expansion, which included a new, expansive resident workspace, new library, new research facilities, and new conference rooms and offices.

Expansion

Under the leadership of Dr. Watts, previous chair of Neurology and current UAB president, and Dr. Standaert, current chair of Neurology, the size of the neurology department has grown from around 20 to more than 80 faculty in the last 16 years. Every subspecialty within the department was included in the expansion. Under the leadership of our current chair, Dr. David Standaert the department has added greater than 40 clinical and research faculty since 2011. Neurology is not the only department expanding. UAB opened the North Pavilion of UAB Hospital in November of 2004, which occupies an entire city block and includes a new state-of-the-art emergency department, operating rooms, intensive care units, and much more. A women and children's hospital adjacent to the North Pavilion opened in 2009. An impressive new Campus Recreation Center is now open for UAB employees, students and residents. When you drive around UAB, there seems to be expansion in all directions!

Educational Fund

UAB neurology has a very competitive educational fund (PGY1: $500, PGY2: $1000, PGY3: $1000, PGY4: $1000). Funds can be used for professional fees (licensure, DEA registration fees) and professional conferences. In addition, membership to the American Academy of Neurology is provided to all residents.

Fellowships

Fellowships are offered across almost all subspecialty areas, including Behavioral Neurology, Epilepsy, Movement Disorders, Neurocritical care, Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromuscular Medicine, Neuro-Oncology, Neuropsychology, and Stroke.


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