Clerkship Director: Basim Uthman, MD
Associate Director: Leopold Streletz, MD
Staff Support: email@example.com
The neurology clerkship is a four-week required clinical rotation and the core knowledge taught in this clerkship is important in the every day practice of most physicians, regardless of specialty. Neurological emergencies like seizures, strokes, coma and spinal cord compression are common and students will certainly encounter them in their future careers. On the other end of the spectrum, routine neurological problems like headache, back pain, cognitive difficulties and weakness are very common and all physicians should have a basic understanding of the workup and treatment of these conditions.
Our educational philosophy is not to teach or learn by rote memorization, but by integration of newly acquired facts into a preexisting framework of knowledge. Getting the “big picture” is much more important than the ability to memorize a random list of facts which will be quickly forgotten. The method of neurology is organized and involves stepping back and summarizing the case history and findings on neurological examination, localizing the lesion by clinical reasoning then answering some basic questions before generating long lists of differential diagnoses.
We recognize that most students do not select neurology as their eventual career. However, for those who are even only slightly considering the specialty, we encourage them to take this opportunity to speak to as many faculty members as they can to find out more about this wonderful career and make connections early in their careers.
In addition to weekly Neurology conferences, a specific set of daily didactic lectures and interactive sessions has been designed for medical student education in Clinical Neurology. The conferences are designed to provide students with a framework for the study and practice of Clinical Neurology.
The Neurology medical student is responsible for evaluating and managing patients daily under immediate supervision by hospital staff who oversee, modify and approve the final management and treatment plans. The Neurology core curriculum takes place daily in the morning or the afternoon. Topics discussed include: The Neurological Method, Headache, Cerebrovascular disease, Clinical Approach to Weakness, Neuro-infectious diseases, Seizures and Epilepsy, Delirium and Dementia, Movement Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Pediatric Neurology and NeuroEthics. Additionally, clinical tutors at the hospital give lectures on lesion localization, neuroimaging, EEG, EMG, fundoscopy, psychogenic seizures, coma and other topics of interest to the tutor on call.
Hospital and college tutors give ongoing feedback on a daily basis during inpatient ward rounds, outpatient clinics or group educational discussions. Every student has a formal one-on-one feedback session in mid-clerkship when formative assessment and a plan for improvement are shared with the student. Other means of feedback include OSCE (objective ….) sessions, USMLE questions for learning and student or tutor initiated ad hoc feedback sessions. The final clerkship grade consists of 4 components; namely, the National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Neurology Shelf Examination (NBME), clinical assessment by tutors, weekly case write-ups and 2 open-book quizzes. On the last Thursday of the clerkship (week four), the NBME, a standardized examination similar in format to the USMLE Step 2 examination,is administered. Like other clinical clerkships, neurology is graded on the Cornell system of: Honors, High Pass, Pass and Fail. Grading in this clerkship is transparent.