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Chief Residents' Message

We are so glad that you are considering Northwestern Neurology for your residency training, and we are excited to share some of our favorite parts of the program with you.

The goal of our program is to provide a solid foundation in clinical neurology. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) is in the heart of downtown Chicago and we serve as a quaternary referral center and are the second-largest provider of charity care in Illinois. This provides exposure to a diverse patient population with a wide range of pathologies and ensures a robust, well-rounded clinical experience. We have world-renowned faculty in all subspecialties of neurology that are excited about teaching trainees and engaged in all types of research from bench to bedside.

While the quality of training is our top priority, we believe that the true strength of our program is in the highly collaborative and supportive training environment that makes coming to work each day enjoyable. Our relationship with our emergency department is reflected in us being awarded the consulting department of the year from our ED colleagues for six years of the last seven years. Our program leadership, namely our program director, Danny Bega, MD, MS, and our chairman, Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD meet with us regularly to elicit resident feedback, which drives change to the program curricula and structure. We have also implemented a wellness liaison position to enhance the resident experience and support for trainees. Some examples of recent significant changes include two-person night float system, eliminating all 24-hour call shifts, and moving to an X+Y schedule format, which were all driven by resident feedback. We have also recently expanded the number of residency positions to 10 per year. This should have the benefit of giving our trainees earlier exposure to a diverse variety of outpatient subspecialties.

Our residents are leaders of projects in a wide array of scholarly research including clinical trials, global health projects, health equities research, and quality improvement projects. All PGY-3s complete an Evidence-Based Medicine curriculum taught by our NIH-funded physician-scientists. Residents have funding from the department to present scholarly work at subspecialty conferences throughout the year. Furthermore, we have a strong didactic curriculum with daily morning and noon conferences, with a variety of catered lunch options from many different local Chicago restaurants. The morning conferences are a mixture of basic science lectures, weekly Grand Rounds, and resident presentations of overnight cases. We are especially proud of our weekly neuro-anatomy course that spans the first six months of the academic year and the entire nervous system. One of the most unique aspects of our program is a Clinical Neurophysiology course during early PGY-3 year. During this course, residents have an entire dedicated month of time protected from clinical duties to learn how to interpret EMGs, sleep studies, both pediatric and adult EEGs. We were especially excited to have weekends off to hang out with our co-residents and explore Chicago while also feeling extremely prepared to act as senior residents. Additionally, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University offers certificate programs in bioethics, medical education, health equity and advocacy, and global health that several of our residents are completing to support their career goals. We also offer a Physician Scientist Training Program pathway for those who see research as an integral part of their career trajectory.

But most of all, our residents sincerely enjoy what they do, the environment they work in, and they feel supported both inside and outside the hospital by their colleagues and faculty. We both found academic and personal fulfillment at Northwestern throughout our neurology training. We hope you strongly consider joining our program!

Current Chief Residents

Ryan Donaghy, MD

Brian Liu, MD, PhD

Jasmine May, MD, PhD

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