Residency Program Overview
Welcome to Weill Cornell Neurology! The NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Neurology Residency Training Program has two major goals:
- To develop highly qualified clinical neurologists by providing an abundant and varied patient population combined with a comprehensive educational program.
- To identify, select, and cultivate physicians with special aptitudes for careers in research, teaching, and/or public service.
Residency training at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell stresses a clinical approach to neurological problems based on an understanding of the pathology, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of neurological dysfunction and disease. Trainees learn to diagnose accurately, treat effectively, and understand the impact of social and psychological factors on neurologic symptoms. Considerable effort is placed on increasing the trainees' understanding and management of the morbidity that may be associated with neurological illness.
Highlights of our residency training program include:
- Wide depth, breadth, variety, and volume of patients, representing the spectrum of neurological disease
- Diverse faculty, representing all neurological subspecialties
- Encouragement and opportunity to participate in clinical or basic science research
- Exposure to the world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a quaternary referral center where residents have exposure to neurological complications of cancer and a diverse array of primary neurological malignancies
- Guaranteed, subsidized housing located next to the medical center
- Graded supervision during training, allowing for greater autonomy as residents gain more experience
- Opportunity to experience and enjoy New York City, one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world.
A Message from Our Program Director
On behalf of both the Department of Neurology and the Brain and Mind Research Institute, we would very much like to welcome you as an applicant to our program. I hope you find this website to be a useful source of information, but if you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact the program directly. This website, and our recently updated 2014-2015 Neurology Applicant Newsletter, will highlight each and every one of the crown jewels of our program: most importantly, our residents, but also our hospitals, faculty, and future plans. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to meeting you on your interview day!
Richard S. Isaacson, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology (Education)
Director, Alzheimer's Prevention & Treatment Program
Director, Neurology Graduate and Continuing Medical Education
Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College / New York Presbyterian Hospital
The hospital is located at East 68th street and York Avenue in New York City. Founded in 1771, New York Hospital was the first voluntary general hospital in New York City and the second in the American colonies. It became affiliated with Cornell University Medical College in 1898. Following construction of a new 766-bed, 850,000-square-foot, 11-story facility over the FDR Drive and overlooking the East River, the new facility opened its doors in July 1997.
In January 1998, New York Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital merged to form a single institution, named the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). Residency programs at each hospital have remained separate entities, although residents rotate at both institutions and have the opportunity to do electives at either site.
Located across York Avenue from NYPH and Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) provides a unique experience in neuro-oncology. The neuro-oncology service at MSKCC is world-renowned in both clinical care and research in the field. Residents meet daily with Dr. Lisa DeAngelis for Morning Report, during which all consult and floor patients are discussed, providing an enriching educational experience. The Division of Pain and Palliative Care has set the international standard for symptom management in cancer patients. Both institutions have functional MRI (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) programs, offering residents experience with the most advanced equipment available for functional brain imaging.
Resident training centers on three inpatient units and a Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit. MSKCC has a neuro-oncology floor service focused on primary neurological malignancies and neurological complications of cancer, such as metastases, seizures, and paraneoplastic disorders. NYPH has one resident service, which combines a 21-bed step-down unit that focuses on vascular neurology, and a general neurology floor, which houses patients with epilepsy, neuromuscular disorders, dementia, and a host of other neurological conditions. NYPH also has a state-of-the-art 14 bed Neurological Intensive Care Unit that takes care of patients with life-threatening neurological and neurosurgical conditions. In addition, NYPH has a Neurointerventional Radiology Suite, where endovascular procedures are performed for various disease processes, including acute stroke care.
Neurology residents provide direct care to neurology inpatients and perform consultations on the medical, surgical, burn, neurosurgical, obstetric, and pediatric services. Experience in the management of patients requiring an intensive care setting is gained not only on the special care units, but also as consultants to the medical, surgical, cardiac, cardiothoracic, pediatric, and burn ICUs.
Clinical rotations are performed in each of these facilities during the four-year program. Residents are supervised by attending neurologists, many of whom are internationally renowned specialists. Throughout their training, residents can elect to participate in clinical or laboratory research at any of these institutions or at The Rockefeller University, located across the street.
The Department of Neurology holds regularly scheduled teaching conferences at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center (NYPH) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). The following are scheduled conferences and educational activities:
- Rounds are conducted daily at each hospital by senior neurologists.
- Morning report is held four days a week with the residents and clinical faculty to review all admissions to the ward, consultations, and emergency room evaluations over the preceding 24 hours. Residents are required to provide cogent histories and exam findings and to cite the scientific literature in defending their assessments and treatment plans. “Mechanism of the Week (MeOW)” presentations are given weekly during morning report to introduce a novel mechanism of neurological disease from the basic science literature.
- Weekly Professor's Rounds are conducted by clinical faculty, including Dr. Fink, Dr. Dinkin, Dr. Beal, and Dr. Bernardini, in the NYPH inpatient neurology unit and the NYPH Neurological ICU, as well as by Dr. DeAngelis at MSKCC.
- Weekly Grand Rounds are conducted at NYPH. Weill Cornell faculty and major national and international figures in neurology provide a varied program of clinical and basic science lectures in neurology and neuroscience. Recent Grand Rounds speakers include the following notable neurologists:
- Stephan A. Mayer, MD, FCCM, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Kristine Yaffe, MD, Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Epidemiology, University of California, San Francisco
- Nutan Sharma, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
- Reisa Anne Sperling, MD, Professor of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Harvard Medical School
- Joseph Berger, MD, Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
- Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, Professor and Olenberg Chair of Neurology, University of Miami
- Jacquelyn French, MD, Professor of Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center
- Noon lecture curriculum is scheduled from Tuesday to Friday each week and is based on each of the American Academy of Neurology’s Continuum issues. Lectures are conducted by academic neurologists at Weill Cornell and MSKCC.
- Senior residents present review lectures at the end of each lecture month.
- Biweekly neuromuscular conference, where a resident is selected to obtain a history and examine a patient and discuss the localization, differential diagnosis, and plan.
- Weekly neurophysiology conference reviews the basics of EEG, EMG, and evoked potentials, and a clinical neurophysiologist reviews the interesting EEGs from the week.
- Bimonthly neuroradiology, pediatric neurology, neuropathology, vascular neurology, neuroimmunology, neuro-ophthalmology, and neuroscience conferences round out the syllabus.
- A resident-directed and organized, interactive journal club that enables graduate staff to review the scientific basis of neurology and the latest publications in the literature.
- Bimonthly clinicopathologic conference, which is a multidisciplinary conference featuring an expert clinical neurologist, neuroradiologist, and neuropathologist, who are presented with a challenging case and are tasked with arriving at the correct diagnosis.
- Questions of the Day, based on the AAN Continuum question bank, are sent daily to assist residents in RITE exam preparation throughout the year.
The medical library maintains a large number of computers for literature searches and offers formal courses in information search and retrieval as well as informal instruction year-round. Residents have unrestricted access to the Library, which includes the 150,000-volume, 1,600-journal Samuel J. Wood Library, and the C.V. Starr Biomedical Information Center. Residents may also use The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Library in The Nathan Cummings Center and The Rockefeller University Library. The Neurology Department's own library has a full complement of neurology texts and journals. Residents may access this library 24/7.
Department of Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC). The internship is integrated with the neurology program (meaning that we are a four-year categorical program), and thus does not require a separate application. The PGY-1 Medical Internship Year is automatic upon matching with us. Those applicants wishing to do an internship elsewhere may be permitted to join our program as a PGY-2 under special circumstances and must inform us of this at the time of application.
The preliminary year offers top-notch training in internal medicine with our highly prestigious and competitive Internal Medicine Residency Program. The following is an approximate breakdown of the rotations during this year:
• 20 weeks on various medicine inpatient services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (general medicine, renal, geriatrics, etc.)
• 8 weeks in the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) ICU (medical ICU, cardiac ICU)
• 6 weeks of medicine outpatient time at Weill Cornell Internal Medicine Associates (WCIMA)
• 4 weeks of psychiatry at NYPH (combination of inpatient, emergency room, and consult-liaison services)
• 2 weeks of neuroradiology
• 8 weeks as a junior resident on the NYPH inpatient neurology service, which serves as an introduction to clinical neurology in preparation for the second year
• 4 weeks of vacation
Post-Graduate Year 2 (PGY-2)
The PGY-2 year provides the resident with training focused on the care of inpatients, while developing skills necessary for outpatient neurology practice. The following is an approximate breakdown of the rotations during this year:
• 6 weeks on the NYPH Vascular Service
• 10 weeks on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) Neurology Consult Service
• 10 weeks in the NYPH Neurological ICU
• 8 weeks as junior resident on the NYPH neurology consult service
• 3 weeks of selective in EEG training (learning how to read long term and routine EEGs, admitting patients to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit)
• 3 weeks of ambulatory neurology (dementia, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuro-ophthalmology, and sleep)
• 8 weeks of Elective time
• 4 weeks of vacation
On the neurology wards at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, PGY-2 trainees act as residents and supervise the interns from neurology and psychiatry, and are responsible for the overall functioning of the inpatient services, including presentation of all new admissions to the attending staff. PGY-2 residents are supervised by the senior resident (PGY-4), stroke fellow, and ward attending on service. PGY-2 trainees also assume formal teaching duties for third and fourth year medical students.
Experience managing critically ill patients with neurologic disease is provided in the state-of-the-art Neurological ICU at Weill Cornell (including a portable CT scanner), where neurology residents rotate together with neurosurgery and anesthesiology residents to provide comprehensive care. Residents care for patients with acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, status epilepticus, CNS tumors, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and a host of other neurological emergencies. During this rotation, neurology residents are taught several diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, intracranial pressure monitoring, central venous catheterization, and arterial line placement.
PGY-2 residents also learn how to perform neurologic consultations in several settings: PGY-2 residents serve as junior residents on the NYPH Neurology consult service, working closely with attendings and supervised by PGY-3 residents at all times. In addition, PGY-2 residents also rotate on the Neurology Consult Service at MSKCC, supervised by a neuro-oncology fellow, and attending. The Neurology Consult Service at MSKCC functions on a call system, where the resident is on call every three to four days.
PGY-2 trainees receive an introduction to clinical neurophysiology during the EEG selective. Residents follow a curriculum to learn the basic science behind EEG and its applications and limitations. Residents learn to interpret standard and continuous EEGs with the clinical neurophysiology fellows and faculty and observe intraoperative monitoring.
Beginning in the PGY-2 year and continuing throughout their training, every resident follows a group of outpatients in a weekly attending-supervised neurology clinic. The primary Neurologist is the resident, whereas the attending serves as a supervisor only. In addition to continuity clinic, PGY-2 through PGY-4 residents participate in an ambulatory neurology rotation. The ambulatory neurology rotation is designed to provide the resident with exposure to both general neurology as well as subspecialty neurology in outpatients. The resident on the ambulatory rotation provides care to patients in the various specialty clinics, including: epilepsy, neuromuscular disease, memory disorders, movement disorders, neuro-ophthalmology, multiple sclerosis, sleep, and a lumbar puncture clinic.
Each PGY-2 resident has approximately 8 weeks of elective time during their second year, which they can spend doing clinical rotations or research.
Post-Graduate Year 3 (PGY-3)
The PGY-3 year provides the resident with training focused on consultative neurology and outpatient neurology. The following is an approximate breakdown of the rotations during this year:
• 20 weeks on the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Neurology consult service (combination of days and nights). PGY-3 residents are responsible for running all stroke code activations.
• 11 weeks as senior resident on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center neurology consult service.
• 1 week on the NYPH Neurological ICU
• 3 weeks of ambulatory neurology, including formal training in Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
• 2 weeks of dedicated Research time
• 6 weeks of elective time
• 2-5 weeks of inpatient pediatric neurology
• 4 weeks of vacation
The consult services at both hospitals (NYP/Weill Cornell and MSKCC) provide the residents with exposure to a broad range of neurologic diagnoses, including neurologic emergencies. An acute stroke protocol is in place at NYP/Weill Cornell; the PGY-3 consult resident performs all initial evaluations and directs care under the supervision of the stroke fellow and attending. A brain resuscitation protocol is also in place in which the PGY-3 consult resident assesses all post-cardiac arrest patients for the utility of therapeutic hypothermia, in conjunction with the medical and neurocritical care fellows. Teaching rounds occur daily with the general neurology service attending and the stroke service attending.
At NYPH, the consult service consists of a day team of one to two PGY-3 neurology residents and up to three PGY-2 residents (neurology and medicine residents), as well as medical students, and is supervised by general and vascular consult attendings. There is a night float system in place, with the night team consisting of a PGY-3 neurology resident and a physician assistant. The PGY-3 neurology resident’s role overnight is to do consultations and admissions only; all patients on the floor service are covered by the physician assistant. There is no 24-hour call for consult residents at NYP/Weill Cornell; the maximum shift duration is 12 hours.
PGY-3 trainees continue their introduction to clinical neurophysiology during the EMG/NCS selective. Residents follow a curriculum to learn the basic science behind EMG and NCS and its applications and limitations. Residents learn to interpret EMG/NCS with the neuromuscular fellows and faculty either at the Weill Cornell Peripheral Neuropathy Center or New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Residents may learn to perform EMG in addition to NCS and skin biopsies.
Post-Graduate Year 4 (PGY-4)
The PGY-4 year provides the resident with training focused on preparation to become an attending neurologist by functioning as ward chief. They no longer work nights or 24 hour shifts, and do not rotate on the consult service at NYPH or MSKCC. In addition, the PGY-4 year provides in-depth training in pediatric neurology. The following is an approximate breakdown of the rotation during this year:
• 7 weeks as neurology ward chief on New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Vascular Service
• 7 weeks as neurology ward chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
• 7 weeks as neurology ward chief on New York-Presbyterian Hospital, General Neurology Service
• 7-10 weeks as a senior resident on the pediatric neurology service at NYPH
• 4 weeks of ambulatory neurology
• 14 weeks elective time, including opportunities for international electives in Tanzania or China
• 4 weeks of vacation
Senior residents assume broad responsibility for patient care on each hospital's clinical service, including the supervision and teaching of junior residents, interns, and students. Their role on the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Vascular Service is to provide supervision to the PGY-2 resident and interns, as well as to formulate daily plans on the patients. The PGY-4 residents work in conjunction with the General Neurology attending and physician assistant to provide care to patients on the General Neurology Service at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. During the General Neurology Service rotation, they are also responsible for leading Morning Report. Likewise, they supervise nurse practitioners in the care of Neuro-oncology patients (mainly suffering from CNS lymphoma, Glioblastoma and Anaplastic Astrocytoma) on the MSKCC floor service.
During the pediatric neurology rotation, senior residents assume equal responsibility as the pediatric neurology fellow. Working closely with the attending pediatric neurologist, residents manage patients in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and on the pediatric inpatient unit, which includes continuous EEG monitoring beds. In addition, residents see patients in two weekly pediatric neurology clinics each week.
The fourth year neurology residents have dedicated elective time during their final year, with options to do Global Health and rotate at Zhejiang University in China or Weill Bugando Hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Pediatric Neurology Residency
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell offers a Pediatric Neurology Residency. Residents follow the first-year adult neurology program, but in subsequent years receive instruction specific to their area of specialization. This includes attendance at a weekly pediatric neuroradiology conference, Grand Rounds, the pediatric epilepsy clinic, the muscular dystrophy clinic, and the general pediatric neurology clinic.
Residents make daily ward rounds when on service and may see patients with the division chief or other members of the Weill Cornell faculty practice. Six months of the two-year training are elective, and may be spent developing skills in special areas of clinical or basic neuroscience with the approval of the Director.
This program requires two years of pediatric training prior to acceptance.
Potential candidates should contact Gail Forde, Pediatric Neurology Residency Program Coordinator, at (212) 746-3321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents gain exposure to the subspecialties of neurology through electives in EEG, EMG, and subspecialty clinics, as well as in rotations offered by NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's subspecialty centers listed below.
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center treats adult and pediatric patients with intractable seizures as well as those with other epilepsy-related diagnostic and management problems. Cases are investigated through clinical examination, routine laboratory tests, neuropsychological testing, CT/MRI/PET, and EEG and intracranial electrode monitoring. Appropriate patients are treated surgically.
The Neuromuscular Clinic provides treatment for patients with a variety of disorders including compression neuropathy, myasthenia gravis, traumatic nerve injury, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, back pain, myotonic dystrophy, and muscular dystrophy. Residents can gain further experience with neuromuscular disease through elective and EMG/NCS rotations at the Peripheral Neuropathy Center.
The Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Institute provides care for patients with a wide variety of movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease, tremor, ataxia, restless legs syndrome, dystonia, and myoclonus. Residents learn the appropriate use of state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques (PET, SPECT, DAT, neurophysiological studies, genetic testing) and management strategies (pharmacotherapy, botulinum toxin injections, neurosurgical procedures, and other interventions).
The Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Center affords residents the opportunity to treat and follow patients with MS and other demyelinating illnesses. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing clinical trials.
The Stroke Clinic offers consultation on a broad range of cerebrovascular issues, including primary and recurrent stroke prevention. Multidisciplinary management of patients with aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations is coordinated with Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology.
The Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Program is well known for its research and clinical care. The practice contains a large number of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and vascular dementia. The Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment Program was started in August 2013 and focuses on therapeutic approaches, including lifestyle modification and nutrition, in the care of AD patients and their relatives.
The Lumbar Puncture Clinic offers the resident additional opportunities to perform lumbar punctures in a supervised setting.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association-Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MDA-ALS) clinic, supervised by Dale Lange from the Hospital for Special Surgery, exposes the resident to a comprehensive clinical approach to motor neuron disease. Each appointment includes visits from a neurologist as well as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, respiratory therapist, dietician, study coordinator, and social worker to coordinate the complex care of these patients.
Residents can also conduct elective rotations at the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine, a state-of-the-art center staffed by a multidisciplinary team dedicated to evaluating a full range of sleep problems — whether they arise from an underlying medical problem such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, other underlying medical and psychiatric conditions, physical airway obstruction, or from poor sleep habits, stress, or anxiety.
Location, Housing, and Stipends
The NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and its affiliates, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, are part of the largest, non-governmental, medical-bioscience complex in the world. Ramps lead to an esplanade along the East River, where residents can walk, jog, or bicycle. Tennis courts, ice skating, softball, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities are available in Central Park. Residents are ideally situated to take advantage of New York's cultural treasures and sporting events. Outstanding restaurants representing cuisines from all corners of the world are located right in the neighborhood.
Neurology residents are offered an excellent quality of life living in one of the world's greatest cities. Residents are offered housing in modern, high-rise apartment buildings in close proximity to the hospital. Apartments are available for single residents and for those who are married, with or without children. There are excellent daycare facilities for young children on the premises.
Stipends for trainees are consistent with those of other New York City institutions and increase annually for each additional year of training. In addition, the Department of Neurology has a Resident Educational Fund to assist trainees in attending national medical scientific meetings or other events to advance their education.
Trainees are entitled to medical (including vision), dental, life, and malpractice insurance coverage, as well as paid vacation time of four weeks per year. Meals are provided when on call. White coats are provided by the program.
The Department also sponsors numerous social events for residents, including a holiday party, resident retreat, social excursions out of the city, graduation celebration, dinners, and monthly happy hours.
Apply to the Residency Program
Please complete an application through the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The application requires a personal statement, medical school transcript, USMLE scores for Step 1 and 2 exams, three letters of reference, and the Dean's letter. It is preferred to have Step 2 completed, with scores available for review, by February 1. Residency positions are selected through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
Please note that traditionally we have offered only four-year categorical residency program positions. However, in 2015 we offered 2 advanced positions. Please check back in late August as we will either again be offering 5 categorical positions and 2 advanced, OR we may grow our resident allotment and offer 7 categorical positions instead. To clarify:
- Categorical positions include one year of Internal Medicine at NYP/Weill Cornell, followed by three years of Neurology. A separate application to the NRMP for the internal medicine PGY1 year is not required for the categorical program.
- Advanced Neurology positions (PGY 2-4) are three-year positions, where the PGY-1 year would be completed elsewhere.
One additional Research Track position (PGY 1-4 categorical) is also offered every four years. The next Research Track position will be recruited in the 2016 match to begin as a 4-year categorical position beginning in 2017.
Unexpected program vacancies are listed through the AAMC "Find a Resident" Website. If you have any questions, please review the Frequently Asked Questions section. Also, please feel free to contact us directly.
For foreign applicants, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital ONLY sponsors J-1 visas through ECFMG. NYPH does not sponsor H-1B visas.
For international medical school graduates, ECFMG certification is required.
All correspondence regarding the Neurology Residency Training Program should be addressed to:
Residency Program Coordinator
Department of Neurology
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center
525 East 68th Street, Room F-610
New York, NY 10065
Phone: (212) 746-6515
Fax: (212) 746-8735