Welcome from the Chief Residents

Dear Future Neurologist,

As chief residents for the 2016-2017 class we are delighted to welcome you to the Department of Neurology here at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While you are beginning your search for where to pursue the next phase of your training, we hope you consider UPMC. We are excited to share all of the great things that make our program a unique place to train.

UPMC is a leader in Neurology. With ever increasing NIH funding, we are the 5th largest research program in the nation. We also rank among the most active programs clinically with more than 65,000 outpatient visits and 2,400 admissions annually. What these numbers mean to you as a resident is one crucial thing: opportunity to learn. At Presbyterian hospital you will get experience treating a broad array of common and unique neurologic disorders. Additionally, UPMC is one of the top stroke centers in the country, meaning you will become very comfortable evaluating, triaging, and treating stroke patients while becoming familiar with past and current research trials and the newest cutting-edge developments in the field. We also rotate at the VA which offers a wealth of experience with bread-and-butter neurology as well as undifferentiated patients. Our resident clinics are staffed by the same preceptor for all three years which provides you and your patients a true sense of continuity. It doesn’t take long for you to feel a real patient ownership in your clinic, granting you the opportunity to grow professionally and personally as you build a relationship and rapport with your patients.

A precedent of excellent education is set forth early as your formal didactics in neurology begin with the Resident Boot Camp at the start of the PGY-2 year. The boot camp offers a combination of lectures and clinical experiences to provide you with the essentials to hit the ground running. After completing boot camp, interpreting an EEG or harnessing the history and neurologic exam to localize a lesion become second nature. The didactic training continues throughout the rest of your time with our program-wide noon conferences covering topics like EEG and EMG review, neuroimaging and even brain cutting sessions in the morgue with our outstanding neuropathologists. Additionally, education extends well beyond the classroom with enthusiastic bedside and clinical teaching by our attendings and fellows.

What makes our program like no other is the city of Pittsburgh. Wherever you end up, residency is going to be a busy time of your life and when you are outside of the hospital you will want ample opportunity to enjoy yourself. There is a reason Pittsburgh has been named the country’s most livable city year after year. Many of those unfamiliar tend to envision the Pittsburgh of old: an industrial city built on coal and steel. However, today’s Pittsburgh is a thriving intellectual hub of Universities, tech start ups, and health care. The culture is world class with museums like the Carnegie Natural History and Warhol, and venues like Heinz Hall (home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra) providing opportunities for enrichment. Whether you like them or not, Pittsburgh sports teams are points of pride in the city. The Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Panthers, and even the new Riverhounds give fans of every sport someone to root for…. or against. If you like the outdoors, Schenley Park is minutes from the resident lounge and the Laurel Highlands are just outside of the city. Perhaps a cocktail or a beer is your passion; well you can trace the Allegheny libation trail which is home to just a few of the city’s countless breweries, distilleries and wineries. We understand not everyone is a doctor; many of our spouses enjoy working as part of the city’s thriving economy. Those with families come to realize there are an abundance of attractions like the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium as well as the Carnegie Science center. Considering all there is to do, it is surprising just how affordable the city remains.

Despite our different backgrounds, there was one thing that drew us all to UPMC and that was the people that comprise the program. The atmosphere is always convivial among residents and the attendings regard us as colleagues. As early as the interview dinner one thing becomes clear: we like to have fun. Whether it is the monthly cerebellar rounds for a much appreciated happy hour or the chance to throw a Frisbee over on Pitt’s campus, residency is made better in the company of friends. We hope you will join us.

Best of luck, and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!

Andrew, Megan, and Jen