Child Neurology
Dr. Audrey Foster-Barber
Program Director

The UCSF Child Neurology Residency Program is widely considered among the top child neurology training programs in the country. The program vies with other top ranked programs to attract the brightest and most talented future child neurologists with the goal of training our future colleagues in the field, to become excellent clinicians, researchers and educators. The Child Neurology training program accepts a diverse array of trainees, with variable goals for their future. Our goal is to provide trainees with a breadth of experience in the field, and to allow them to pursue their passions and develop into leaders in our field.

Trainees spend the first two years in Pediatrics and are board-eligible for Pediatrics after training. We collaborate with our two linked training programs, UCSF Pediatrics Residency and Oakland Pediatrics Residency, to ensure our trainees fulfill requirements and experience core pediatrics learning while staying connected to their goals in neurology. Residents work directly with Child Neurologists during this time in training, in the care of inpatients, in continuity clinics, and with assigned Child Neurology faculty mentors.

Trainees then spend a year in Adult Neurology training in the excellent UCSF Adult Neurology residency program. Their experience is tailored to maximize core neurology learning, including experiencing some inpatient time on primary and consultation services and experiencing outpatient adult neurology specialties. The Child Neurology residents in their adult neurology year attend a mix of adult and child neurology continuity clinics to both see the outpatient world of adult neurology and start to develop their own panel of pediatric neurology patients.

The final two years of Child Neurology training are spent in the Child Neurology department fully. Residents experience several different inpatient services at the Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, Child Neurology continuity clinic at this hospital and our county hospital (Zuckerberg San Francisco General). Core rotations in Child Psychiatry, Pathology and Electrophysiology happen during these years. Electives are available in both Child Neurology subspecialties and in related areas outside our division (Genetics, Neuroradiology, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Pediatric Dermatology, etc). Residents are able to tailor their experiences to help with fellowship selection, and those who participate in the Flexible Residency program would spend this time in their final, PGY5 year doing research or other academic work.

Upon completion of residency, trainees become eligible for certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and the American Board of Pediatrics. Some residents choose to pursue further clinical fellowship training in a neurologic subspecialty (such as stroke/critical care, neonatal neurology, epilepsy, neuromuscular, or multiple sclerosis), or enter clinical or laboratory research fellowships that last 1-2 years. About one third of our trainees pursue primary clinical practice after graduation.

Didactics occur throughout training, including weekly shared didactic time with the adult neurology program and pediatric neurology specific didactics, journal clubs and QI meetings. All child neurology fellows are expected to participate in an academic project or presentation during their residency and to attend an academic meeting.

An example of the typical distribution of rotations:

During the adult neurology year, residents take night float call and have about have eight weekend days of call per year. Child Neurology residents have the same distribution of call in the first year as Adult Neurology residents.

During the child neurology residency years, residents are responsible for home call split between the 6 trainees, as well as home call every 5th to 6th weekends.