We have been training future neurologists at Penn State Hershey for over thirty years. Over those years, we have learned many valuable lessons from our residents about what is important in a neurology training program in order to provide excellent neurologic training. Our program provides superb clinical training in an academic environment and provides the training needed to become a successful neurologist in academic medicine or private practice. A graduate from our program will meet eligibility requirements for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology board examination. Our program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We admit four residents per year.
Our curriculum is designed so that each resident gains expertise in diagnosis and management of patients with a wide range of neurologic disorders. We have multiple faculty in all of the subspecialties of neurology. Our faculty are internationally recognized for quality patient care, clinical teaching, and research. Most importantly for our residents, training of new neurologists is a priority in our department. Our curriculum for training is built around active patient-care experiences. We feel these experiences are the intellectual backbone of neurology. Since this process can best be taught by demonstration, we encourage one-on-one teaching between the faculty and our residents. The high ratio (almost 2:1) of full-time attending teaching faculty to the number of residents allows ample opportunity for one-on-one teaching. Attending physicians are always available to discuss patient-care issues and serve as guides in the process of resident education.
From a clinical standpoint, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Department of Neurology function as a tertiary and quaternary referral center as well as a primary care center. The facility has a referral base of more than 2.5 million people. Penn State Hershey is the only tertiary/quaternary medical center in the region, which allows our residents exposure to patients with a wide variety of neurologic diagnoses. Access to this wide variety and volume of patients allows for the clinical exposure that a neurology resident needs in their residency. In our surveys of former residents, every one of the respondents has told us they feel the Penn State Hershey Neurology Residency prepared them well for the position they are in now. In addition, we know the majority of our graduates, whether they pursue an academic or private practice career, will have an outpatient style of practice. For this reason, we emphasize the exposure to outpatient clinical neurology and begin this training in the first year of neurology residency.
From an educational standpoint, our didactic curriculum is set up to ensure there is teaching on the clinical aspects of neurology, electrophysiology, and neuroscience as well as evidence based medicine. Our department prides ourselves on the quality of the neurology education we provide to medical students and our neurology residents play an active role in medical student education, which they find rewarding.
From an academic standpoint, all residents receive training in biostatistics/evidence based medicine, participate in an active journal club, and complete a research project with the help of a faculty mentor. All our residents present posters at local and national meetings and many are able to publish during their residency. In addition, for those applicants interested in more in depth training, our program allows up to three months of research time during a standard residency or a year off for research as part of a flexible residency.
The Penn State neurology residency is a 4 year categorical program. All residents will complete an ACGME approved PGY-1 year at The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he/she does at least 8 months of internal medicine.
During the interview process, Dr. Lowden will give you a presentation with more details about our program. Below is the presentation given to applicants during their interview day from 2012-2013. An updated version will be given during the interviews.