Residency Program

Welcome to the Penn State Hershey Neurology residency program! The Penn State neurology residency program is a 4 year categorical program.  Under the leadership of our Chairman, Dr. David Good, we have enjoyed rapid growth over the past eight years. The Department is composed of 20 faculty physicians, 3 midlevel providers, 4 faculty with a doctorate degree, and 16 faculty members with joint appointments in Neurology. This is an exciting time for our department. Our residency size has increased from two residents per year to four. The amount of funding for our research programs has more than tripled in that time.

Before we give you some information about the structure of the department, we wanted to highlight what we think are the strengths of our Neurology residency. First, when you visit our program, you will notice the collegial environment. The residency is a priority for the department and all faculty are actively involved in teaching. We work hard to balance the educational and personal goals of our residents with the service requirements of our department. The size of our department is ideal: we are able to have multiple faculty in each of the subspecialties of neurology yet remain close knit so that residents are able to get to know each of the faculty during their residency. Next, an advantage for our residency is that almost all required rotations are at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This is the only hospital that the residents cover when they are on call and we have a night float system in place. In the medical center, all neuroscience patient rooms, from the Neuroscience Integrated Care Unit to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit are on the same floor as the resident work room and call room. Lastly, the Hershey area is a wonderful community that provides excellent schooling, a safe environment, and an affordable place to live.

In terms of the structure of our department, we have programs in each of the following areas:

  • Neuromuscular disease (including the ALS, MDA and pediatric MDA clinics and an AGCME approved Neuromuscular Fellowship)
  • Epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology (including a Level 4 Epilepsy Center and an ACGME approved Neurophysiology Fellowship).
  • Stroke and vascular neurology (including a Joint Commission certified stroke center and an ACGME approved Vascular Neurology Fellowship)
  • Movement disorders (including the Comprehensive Movement Disorders Clinic)
  • Multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology (including the MS Clinic)
  • Cognitive and behavioral neurology (Neuropsychology)
  • Headache
  • General neurology (including a new model for neurologic care, our Walk-In Clinic)
  • Pediatric neurology (housed in the Pediatrics department)
  • Neuro-ophthalmology (housed in the Ophthalmology department)
  • Sleep neurology (in collaboration with Pulmonary and Psychiatry)
  • Neuro-oncology (in collaboration with Neurosurgery as part of our newly built Cancer Center) Neurocritical care (in collaboration with Neurosurgery and Anesthesia)
  • Neurorehabilitation at our new Penn State Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Pain Medicine (in collaboration with Anesthesia and a Pain fellowship)
  • Neuropathology (housed in Pathology and Neurosurgery)
  • Neuroradiology (including an interventional neuroradiology program in collaboration with Radiology and Neurosurgery)

As you can see, one other hallmark of our department is close collaboration with other affiliated departments including Neurosurgery, Anesthesia, Pediatrics, Pathology, and Radiology. This collaboration is reinforced by the Penn State Neuroscience Institute that encourages collaboration on clinical, educational, research and community outreach projects.

In terms of research, our department has nationally and internationally renowned basic and clinical science research programs in many of the programs listed above. Let us highlight several of our stellar research programs. First, our Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic is led by Dr. Zachary Simmons and is certified by the ALS Association. It provides outstanding clinical care as well as the opportunity for ALS patients to participate in a variety of research projects. Our movement disorders researchers, Drs. Xuemei Huang and Thyagarajan Subramanian, have a Movement Disorder Research Program looking at novel imaging methods to identify how Parkinson's disease affects the brain and whether stem cells can play a role in treatment. Our multiple sclerosis program under the direction of Drs. Gary Thomas, Anthony Turel and Richard Tenser is held with staff support from the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and also offers clinical trials for patients with multiple sclerosis. Lastly, the stroke program participates actively in diverse research projects and has received ongoing certification from The Joint Commission since 2006 and is co-directed by Dr. Raymond Reichwein from neurology and Dr. Kevin Cockroft from neurosurgery, has won awards for its comprehensive services and quality outcomes. For three consecutive years the Medical Center has been recognized with the Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognizing the use of evidence-based treatment guidelines, best practice tools and resources in treating stroke patients. This marks the third consecutive year the Medical Center has been recognized at the Gold Plus level, the highest under the Get with the Guidelines program.  Our broad involvement in research provides ample opportunities for our residents to become involved in their own research projects. As you can see, it is a great time to be part of our department. We invite you to apply to our Neurology residency.

Sincerely,

Max Lowden MD

Max Lowden, M.D. Residency Program Director