Education and Training Programs

Residency Training Program Overview

The Neurology Residency Training Program offers three years of comprehensive clinical training in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disease. Residents are exposed to a wide variety of patients and subspecialty opportunities in a setting that fosters close faculty contact, intellectual enquiry and excellence in patient care. Our primary goal is to train each Resident to become an accomplished diagnostician, teacher and compassionate physician. To achieve this goal, the Program provides a broad based curriculum that prepares trainees for diverse careers ranging from academics to general clinical Neurology.

Educational Philosophy and Curriculum

The Neurology Department strongly believes that trainees can best develop their knowledge and skills within a structured educational framework. To accomplish this, a Clinical Neuroscience Course has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the Residents. The Course begins in the first week of Residency, when the Neurologic Exam is taught in detail. This is followed by an intensive summer course on Neurological Emergencies. One hour each week is devoted to a didactic session followed by a second hour featuring case vignettes. In the fall, the Course introduces trainees to the basic and clinical Neurosciences which are comprehensively reviewed in three year cycles. The topics include

  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neurochemistry
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neuropathology
  • Neuroradiology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-opthalmology
  • Diseases of Nerve and Muscle
  • Neurologic Disease of Aging
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neurogenetics
  • Behavioral Neurology and Stroke

Faculty from multiple departments participate, and to facilitate learning, teaching is informal, interactive, problem-oriented and, whenever possible, clinically relevant. Every effort is made to assure that the Residents assimilate the most important material. This includes periodic written and oral examinations that have proved very popular with our residents since most do very well, and the exams provide an objective measure of their intellectual growth. Over a three year period, the Residents acquire a solid foundation in the Basic and Clinical Neurosciences to meet the future demands of their neurology practice and to pass the certification exams of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Establishing Proficiency in the Diagnostic Method—
Multimedia Case of the Month Highlights

It is important that the residents become proficient in the diagnostic method as practiced by the seasoned neurologist. To achieve this, a senior neurologist presents the Case of the Month featuring the most interesting or diagnostically challenging patient selected from the five local University Hospitals. Videotapes and live patients are presented in such a way that residents are actively involved in trying to make the diagnosis. At the end, the senior neurologist summarizes the pertinent aspects of the case. With lunch provided, attendance and enthusiasm are always excellent. In addition, faculty members conduct bedside Resident Teaching Rounds on the diagnostically interesting cases. Whenever possible, the discussion frames the clinical issues in a scientific perspective. These Rounds are restricted to Residents so that sufficient time can be devoted to teaching the nuances of neurological skills (as opposed to teaching the basics of neurology to medical students who have separate tutorials for this purpose). The discussion therefore proceeds at a more sophisticated level and is invigorated with pertinent references from the literature. Finally, to test their diagnostic prowess and to foster scholarship, the residents conduct a monthly Clinical Pathological Correlation Conference. Each submits a three to five page discussion of the CPC with references, and then, a resident is selected to lead the discussion. These CPCs are modeled after the New England Journal CPCs, but the atmosphere is much more informal (lunch is often provided). Each CPC is taken from a different area of neurology, so the residents are challenged to review a major field in depth and to learn to use MEDLINE and other library resources for their citations. This is a very popular session with the residents, most of whom manage to come up with the correct diagnosis.

Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Programs—
Developing Effective Bedside Manners

Most importantly, the quality of the training depends heavily on the quality of patient care as practiced at the bedside and in the clinic. Trainees receive individual, practical bedside teaching by faculty who supervise their patient management on a daily basis (Work Rounds). With managed care upon us, considerable time is spent in teaching Residents how to contain costs while improving the quality of care and patient outcome. Residents actively participate in the Department's Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement programs.

The Residents do not function as mere technicians who carry out the bidding of the staff. Residents are regarded as professional colleagues who are expected to think independently, to identify key questions regarding their patients, to seek solutions through their own initiative and independent reading, and wherever appropriate, to challenge the staff intellectually in collegial fashion.

Residents are encouraged to teach the teacher and thereby enrich everyone's education.

Diverse Academic Conferences, Subspecialty Electives,
and Research Opportunities

To round-out their education, the Department provides the Residents with a wide variety of required and optional conferences. Speakers are drawn from within and outside the University. These conferences include

  • Neurology/Neurosurgery Grand Rounds
  • Brain Cutting
  • Neuroradiology Conference
  • Pediatric Neurology Conference
  • Center for Neuroscience Seminar
  • Epilepsy Conference
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Nerve/Muscle Conference
  • Breakfast Journal Club

Many of these conferences are informal with lunch or breakfast provided by the hospital. Eight to ten hours of conference time are carefully scheduled each week to avoid conflicts with Clinics and other service demands so that the residents can attend these conferences. The Department also offers subspecialty electives and research opportunities that prepare the Resident for postdoctoral fellowships. The Department thus immerses trainees in an intensive academic environment that permits each trainee to learn and progress to the best of his or her ability.

OLSEN Student Links

Paula Odom
Adult Neurology Residency
Training Coordinator

Phone: (901) 448-6661
Fax: (901) 448-7440
E-Mail: podom@uthsc.edu

Denise Norman
Child Neurology Resident
Training Coordinator

Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center
777 Washington Ave, Suite 335
Memphis, TN 38105
Phone: (901) 287-5208
E-Mail: Denise.Norman@lebonheur.org

Contact Us

Department of Neurology

415 Link Building
855 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: (901) 448-6199
Fax: (901) 448-7440

David M. Stern, M.D.
Executive Dean

Andrei V. Alexandrov, M.D.
Chairman, Department of Neurology
Semmes-Murphey Professor
aalexa30@uthsc.edu

Paula Odom
Adult Neurology Residency
Training Coordinator

Phone: (901) 448-6661
Fax: (901) 448-7440
E-Mail: podom@uthsc.edu

Denise Norman
Child Neurology Resident
Training Coordinator

Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center
777 Washington Ave, Suite 335
Memphis, TN 38105
Phone: (901) 287-5208
E-Mail: Denise.Norman@lebonheur.org