Adult Neurology

The UCSF Neurology Residency Program is widely considered among the top neurology training programs in the country. The program vies with other top ranked programs to attract the brightest and most talented future academic neurologists who will become clinical or laboratory investigators, academic clinical subspecialty experts, master clinicians, clinician-educators, or public health leaders.

Upon completion of residency, trainees become eligible for certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Based upon data provided by the American Boards of Psychiatry and Neurology, almost 100% of our graduating residents have taken the neurology board examinations and passed over the past decade. Residents often choose to pursue further clinical fellowship training in a neurologic subspecialty (such as stroke/critical care, behavioral neurology, neurohospitalist neurology, epilepsy, neuromuscular, sleep, headache, MS or movement disorders), or enter clinical or laboratory research fellowships that last 1-2 years.

The UCSF Neurology Residency Program is primarily motivated in training future academic neurology physicians. A study of program alumni conducted by Dr. Engstrom found that greater than 75% of UCSF-trained neurologists remained in full-time academic positions (as investigators, clinical neurology subspecialists, or clinician-educators) 20 years after the completion of their residency training.

Organization of the Adult Neurology Residency Program:

Neurology residents at UCSF will rotate through four very different hospitals. Moffitt-Long Hospital is a tertiary care facility that draws patients from the San Francisco Bay area, Northern California, and across the nation. Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) serves uninsured and underinsured patients in San Francisco and is the city's only Level I trauma center. The Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) serves predominantly war veterans including a growing number of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, and is a national referral center for movement disorders and an Epilepsy Center of Excellence site. The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital serves both women and children, and is the flagship hospital for our child neurology residency program. Residents also rotate through outpatient clinics at UCSF's Weill Institute for Neurosciences at Mission Bay, which houses the Multiple Sclerosis, Memory and Aging, Movement Disoders, Neurorecovery, and Complex Diagnosis Clinics.

While rotating at each site, there is a weekly or bi-monthly neuroradiology conference and weekly Professor's Rounds. All residents attend weekly conferences which include adult and child neurology outpatient conferences, outpatient clinic block didactics (3 presentations/week), and housestaff conference.

Every resident has a dedicated clinic week block every 6 weeks during which continuity clinics, outpatient block didactics, selective clinics, and subspecialty clinics occur. Selective and subspecialty clinics include spine, neuromuscular, neurovascular, movement disorders, headache, dementia, pain, rehab, sleep, MS, epilepsy, neuro-ophthalmology and neuro-oncology.

Residents also rotate for three months on the Child Neurology service in the R2, R3, and R4 years. Child Neurology is a combination of outpatient clinics and inpatient consults. Residents work with the child neurology fellows and attendings. There are opportunities to go to subspecialty clinics including genetics, metabolic, and muscular dystrophy. Patients are admitted to the pediatric ward and, although primarily cared for by the pediatric inpatient service, remain under the direct supervision of Child Neurology. Teaching conferences including Journal Club, Pediatric Neuroradiology, and Pediatric Neurology Clinic Conference, are held weekly.

Other adult neurology experiences include neuropathology and clinical neurophysiology (EEG/EMG). Neuropathology includes brain cutting, slide review, and didactic teaching. There are opportunities to perform EMGs and see outpatients in the neuromuscular clinics. Residents also attend muscle biopsy conferences, and learn to present research papers at journal clubs, present at morbidity and mortality conference, and present at clinical-pathologic correlation conference.

Many residents choose to enter our flexible residency program in which they spend 6 months in the R4 year learning to perform clinical or laboratory research, or develop skills with a focus on public health, global health, or becoming a mater clinician or clinician-educator.  Residents also have the option of up to 6 additional elective months in lieu of flexible residency.

Call, night float, and separation of inpatient and outpatient responsibilities: To enhance trainee well-being and improve patient care, our program designs resident schedules to separate inpatient and outpatient responsibilities. Because of our clinic week block structure, residents on inpatient rotations do not have any outpatient responsibilities (including inbasket management), with rare exceptionsResidents on clinic week blocks are equally able to fully focus on outpatient clinics and inbasket management. In addition our program has fully eliminated in-house, 24-hour call. Nights are covered 365 days a year by a night float system at Zuckerberg San Francisco General and UCSF Medical Center. Resident night float blocks are 4-5 days in length and are spread evenly through the second half of the R2 year, the R3 year, and R4 year.

An example of the typical distribution of rotations is provided below: