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Neurology Residencies

The Department of Neurology strives to reach three goals: outstanding patient care, education of those who serve, and research. The Department has a full-time professional staff of 70, representing all the major subspecialty areas in Neurology. While each member of the staff has a unique roll to play in the productivity of the Department, all are required to participate in the teaching and mentoring process. The Department of Neurology registers 40,000 outpatient visits per year, 6,000 of which represent new patient visits. There are 1,900 primary neurological admissions to Cleveland Clinic annually, and an additional 3,000 inpatient consultations are rendered annually.

The Department of Neurology supports three ACGME-accredited primary residency programs, including Adult Neurology and Child Neurology. In addition, the Department currently supports four ACGME-accredited post-residency subspecialty training programs, including Clinical Neurophysiology with focus in EMG/Neuromuscular Diseases, Clinical Neurophysiology with focus in EEG/Epilepsy, Clinical Neurophysiology with focus in Sleep Medicine, and Vascular Neurology. In addition, the Department supports three other fellowship programs, including Headache/Pain, Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis, and Neurointensive Care.

Adult Neurology

The Neurology Residency Program, which is ACGME-accredited, accepts candidates through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). There are eight positions offered per year in our four-year, PGY-1 to PGY-4 program which includes a required first year in Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.

First Year of Residency (PGY-1)

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) requires that the PGY-1 year be spent in an accredited medical training program. The Residency Review Committee for Neurology and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) specify that 12 months of general internal medicine training is ideal prior to entry into the three-year neurology residency. This year must include at least eight months of direct patient care in internal medicine, no more than two in emergency medicine, and no more than two in neurology.

First Year of Neurology Residency (PGY-2)

The majority of this year is spent in direct patient care, most of which is in the inpatient setting. Residents spend most of the inpatient months on the two main adult neurology inpatient services: cerebrovascular disease and general neurology. Each inpatient team consists of a senior neurology resident, two junior neurology residents, two or more rotating junior residents from other departments, and two medical students. The on-call schedule during inpatient months averages every fourth-sixth night. Cleveland Clinic uses a module system, with 13 four-week module rotations making up the academic year. In total, a PGY-2 resident has eight inpatient modules and five outpatient modules where they have their weekends off and no call. Longitudinal outpatient clinic is scheduled one-half day per week with a staff preceptor who will work with the resident throughout the three years of training. There is one additional month per year spent in the outpatient department, rotating among the subspecialty services. Over the course of the three-year residency, three months are spent on the neuroradiology service, learning neuroimaging techniques and reading MRI and CT scans with staff neuroradiologists. Additional imaging training includes a daily neuroradiology conference while on the inpatient services.

PGY-2 Schedule

Inpatient Rotations
  • Stroke Neurology: three modules
  • General Neurology: three modules
  • Neuro ICU: one module
  • Epilepsy: one module
  • Pediatric Consults: one module
Outpatient Rotations
  • Pediatric Clinic: one module
  • Neuroradiology: one module
  • Subspecialty Clinic: one module
  • Elective: one module

Second and Third Years of Neurology Residency (PGY-3 and PGY-4)

As a senior resident, one module is spent per year managing the three inpatient services, as well as an additional module in the NICU and on the epilepsy service. The remaining time is split between electives and three academic courses. A three-month EEG/Epilepsy rotation features an in-depth course covering EEG, evoked potentials, sleep, and intraoperative monitoring. Residents read EEG records and attend staff reading sessions and epilepsy outpatient clinics. A one-month rotation in the EMG laboratory includes didactic sessions as well as hands-on experience in the techniques of nerve conductions studies and the needle electrode examinations. If the resident is interested in further EMG exposure, the rotation can be expanded to three months. Finally, there is a two-module Neuropathology course where residents are able to work directly with our Neuropathologists. Senior residents use a nightfloat call system. This includes four weeks each year, split between the first and second half of the year.

PGY-3 Schedule

Inpatient Rotations
  • Stroke Neurology: one module
  • General Neurology: one module
  • Adult Consults: one module
  • Neuro ICU: one module
  • Epilepsy: one module
  • Nightfloat: half modules x two
Outpatient Rotations
  • Subspecialty Clinic: one module
  • EMG Course: one-three modules
  • EEG Course: two-three modules
  • Elective: up to three modules

PGY-4 Schedule

Inpatient Rotations
  • Stroke Neurology: one module
  • General Neurology: one module
  • Adult Consults: one module
  • Pediatric Consults: one module
  • Nightfloat: half modules x two
Outpatient Rotations
  • Neuropathology: two modules
  • Subspecialty Clinic: one module
  • Elective: five modules

Elective Rotations

Trainees in Neurology can choose from a large array of elective rotations. Residents with particular research interests may use multiple blocks of elective time to devote to specific projects. For special academic pursuits, residents may spend elective time away from Cleveland Clinic, upon approval from the Program Director. The below list is not all-inclusive, as residents have done electives in a variety of fields.

  • Autonomic Disorders
  • Carotid Ultrasound/TCD
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • EEG
  • EMG/Neuromuscular
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Headache
  • Movement Disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Neuro-Infectious Disease
  • Neuroradiology
  • Pain Management
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Regional Neurology
  • Research
  • Rheumatology
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Stroke

Formal Evaluations During Training

As part of the residency requirement, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, requires each resident to satisfactorily complete five clinical skills evaluation exercises (NEX). These examinations are designed to assess the residents’ competency in medical interviewing, neurologic examination, humanistic qualities, professionalism and counseling skills. Each resident will be observed and evaluated by one of our faculty members in five different areas: critical care, neuromuscular, ambulatory, neurodegenerative and child neurology. Following each encounter, discussion and feedback from the faculty member will be given to the resident. These NEX exams will take place during the PGY-2, PGY-3 and early part of the PGY-4 years. During each of the training years, residents take the RITE written self-assessment examination provided by the American Academy of Neurology.

Prerequisites

Senior residents are permitted to moonlight on the Neurology, Epilepsy and NICU services. Residents are provided with the opportunity to attend national meetings to present their research, with full financial support from the department. The department also sponsors junior membership in the American Academy of Neurology for all residents. Three weeks are allotted for vacation each year.

Application Requirements

All candidates are required to register with ERAS.

No additional documents are required. The deadline for accepting applications directly from ERAS is November 30.

We welcome International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to apply to the Neurology Residency Program. IMGs must hold a valid standard ECFMG certificate or provide proof that they are in the process of obtaining one. Cleveland Clinic sponsors both J-1 and H-1B visas. We also welcome Doctors of Osteopathy to apply to the Neurology Residency Program.

We prefer a minimum score requirement of 80 and above on all USMLE tests taken, but we consider more than just scores when reviewing applications. We also accept COMLEX scores for DO candidates. We do not have a year of graduation requirement, but we prefer that candidates are current in their clinical experience.

Upon receipt, applications are reviewed by the Program Director, and then prospective candidates are contacted via telephone and/or e-mail to schedule an interview on a Monday or Friday between November and January.

Other Programs

  • Clinical Neurophysiology: EEG/Epilepsy Track
    • Adult EEG- Epilepsy Program
    • Pediatric EEG-Epilepsy Program
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • EMG/Neuromuscular
  • Headache Medicine
  • Movement Disorders
  • Neuroendovascular/Interventional Neuroradiology
  • Neuroimmunology (Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Neurocritical Care
  • Neuromuscular Medicine
  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Vascular Neurology
Child Neurology

The Department of Neurology and Section or Pediatric Neurology offer a three-year ACGME-accredited residency in Neurology with Special Competence in Child Neurology. Two child neurology residents are accepted each year. Applications are now processed through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

View a full description of the child neurology residency program.

Overview of Program

Residents begin with one year on the adult neurology service (Adult Neurology Residency Program). During the second and third years, child neurology residents spend a total of six months as the child neurology inpatient chief resident and is responsible, along with the attending staff, for managing all primary inpatients and hospital consultations. They also spend six months in the child neurology outpatient clinic, as well as rotating through specialty clinics. Training includes a comprehensive neurophysiology course with three months spent in EEG and two months spent in EMG. Other required rotations include a one month child psychiatry block as well as two months of neuropathology. A number of months are dedicated to elective time which includes, amongst others, neuro-ophthalmology, developmental pediatrics, neurobehavioral pediatrics, pediatric rehabilitation medicine, neuro-otolaryngology, and sleep medicine. Electives outside Cleveland Clinic are possible.

The residents conduct a weekly CME-credited Child Neurology Grand Rounds. There is also a daily Noon Conference lecture series, weekly “live patient” conferences and a monthly journal club.

Call

The child neurology resident on-call rotates, on average, every fourth to fifth night. There is no in-house call during the last two years of the program.

Research

In addition to the standard training requirements, residents will be expected to complete at least one clinical or basic research project during each year of the program. Many residents choose to be involved in more than one ongoing clinical research project, including drug development studies and longitudinal studies. There is the opportunity for sponsored travel for those residents who present research projects at scientific meetings. Residents are mentored and encouraged to publish the results of their studies in peer-reviewed journals.

Formal Evaluations During Training

During the program, progress is monitored by monthly reviews as well as by semi-annual evaluations with the Program Director. These semi-annual evaluations include feedback from staff attending faculty, other residents, nurses, clerical staff and patients. Each spring, the American Academy of Neurology administers the Resident In-Service Training Examination, which is intended to simulate the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) Certification Examination. Feedback is provided so that residents can assess their strengths and weaknesses towards improvement.

The ABPN also mandates that residents demonstrate competency in clinical skills by successfully completing a series of five formal evaluations. Residents are assessed on their ability to interview and to perform a neurological examination. These evaluations can be performed throughout the three years of neurology residency. Successful completion is required to apply for the certification examinations after completion of the residency.

Prerequisites

Three weeks are allotted for vacation each year. The Department sponsors junior membership in the Academy of Neurology and Child Neurology Society for all residents. During the PGY-5 year, three days may be spent away at one professional meeting toward which a stipend can be applied to defray costs. The one meeting limit does not apply to trainees presenting scientific papers, for whom costs of meeting attendance will be defrayed for all such meetings.

Application Requirements

Candidates for the child neurology residency must have completed the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology requirements for pediatric training prior to beginning this training program. Eligibility for training in child neurology requires successful completion of a minimum of two years of training in an ACGME-approved pediatric training program prior to matriculation in this program. All applicants will be expected to complete the entire three years of training in child neurology. At the completion of the program, candidates will be qualified to sit for the certification examinations administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

International Medical Graduates are welcome to apply to the program and must hold a valid ECFMG certificate or provide proof that they are in the process of obtaining a certificate. They must fulfill the ACGME requirements as listed above The Child Neurology Residency Program now participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). More information should be available shortly through the NRMP website.

Applications are reviewed by the Program Director, and prospective candidates are contacted by telephone and/or email to schedule an interview in the latter half of the year. Applications should be completed by Sept. 30th.

If you would like to receive additional information about the Child Neurology Residency Program, please fax, mail or email a written request to:

Education has been an integral component of Cleveland Clinic's mission since its inception in 1921. As a part of that overall commitment to education, below are the recognized current neurology residents who value the importance of providing the highest quality of medical care.


Adult Neurology Residents

Class of 2015
Hesham Abboud, MD

Fellowship: Movement Disorders, Cleveland Clinic
Residency: Neurology and Psychiatry University of Alexandria, Egypt
Medical School: University of Alexandria – Egypt
Clinical Interests: Movement Disorders, Deep Brain Stimulation, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology
Research Interests: Predictors of Outcome after DBS in PD patients and Movement Disorders in MS patients

Zubair Ahmed, MD

Chief Resident

Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Wis.

Suma Babu, MD, MPH

Medical School: Bangalore Medical College, India
Clinical Interests: Neuromuscular Medicine, Neuroimmunology, General Neurology

Megan Donnelly, DO

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Erie, Pa.
Clinical Interests: Traumatic brain injury, epilepsy and neuro-oncology

Mohamed Hegazy, MD

Medical School University of Cairo – Egypt
Clinical Interests: Cerebrovascular Disease, Epilepsy, Behavioral Neurology

Lauren Koffman, DO, MS

Chief Resident

Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York, N.Y.
Clinical Interests: Neurocritical Care and Stoke
Research Interests: Primary Interventricular Hemorrhage and Transcranial Doppler Emboli Monitoring

Karin Mente, MD

Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine – Toledo, Ohio
Clinical Interests: Movement Disorders, Behavioral Neurology, Performing Arts Medicine
Research Interests: Stroke Recovery and Music, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Autoimmune Encephalitis

Fernando Santos Pinheiro, MD

Medical School Fundacao Universitaria do Abc - Brazil
Clinical Interests: Degenerative disorders, Epilepsy and Non-invasive brain stimulation
Research Activities: Non-invasive stimulation techniques, such as tDCS and TMS and their therapeutic impacts in neurodegenerative disorders and Epilepsy

Xin Xin Yu, MD

Medical School: University of Kentucky College of Medicine – Lexington, Ky.

Class of 2016
Ali Ashhar, DO

Medical School: Michigan State University – East Lansing, Mich.
Undergraduate: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Mich.
Clinical/Research Interests: Clinical Oncology, miRNA's

A. Blake Buletko, MD

Medical School: Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine – Rootstown, Ohio
Undergraduate: University of Akron

Jason Mathew, DO

Medical School: New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Rutgers University
Clinical Interests: Stroke, Movement Disorders

Rebecca Michael, MD

Medical School: University of Nevada School of Medicine
Undergraduate: University of Southern California

Natalie Organek, DO

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine – East Lansing, Mich.
Undergraduate: Michigan State University

Luay Shayya, MD

Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine – Oklahoma City, Okla.
Clinical Interests: General Neurology and Movement Disorders
Research Interests: EMR Quality Improvement

Jessica Winslow, MD

Medical School: Georgetown University School of Medicine – Washington, D.C.

Class of 2017
Rodica Bernatowicz, MD

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Neuroimmunology, Neuro-oncology, Cleveland Clinic
Medical School: Ludwig-Maximilians University
Clinical Interests: Neuro-oncology, neuroimmunology and neuro intensive care

Kelly Braun, MD

Medical School: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Undergraduate: McGill University, Canada

Rejo Cherian, MD

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Undergraduate: The College of New Jersey – Ewing, New Jersey

Sung Cho, DO

Medical School: Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Yonsei University
Clinical Interests: Stroke, movement disorders and electrophysiology

Lauren Gotterer, DO

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Muhlenberg College
Clinical Interests: General Neurology, Neuro-Oncology

Meagan Seay, DO

Medical School: University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Abilene Christian University
Clinical Interests: Neuro-ophthalmology, multiple sclerosis and sports neurology

Lila Sheikhi, MD

Medical School: Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine

Tamara Strohm, MD

Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Undergraduate: Baylor University
Clinical Interests: General Neurology

Class of 2018
Julia Bucklan, DO

Medical School: Ohio University, College of Osteopathic Medicine – Athens, OH
Undergraduate: Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

Jenny Feng, MD

Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine – Louisville, KY
Undergraduate: Washington University – St. Louis, MO

Deborah Kerrigan, MD

Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine – St. Louis, MO
Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee

Steven MacDonald, MD

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine – East Lansing, MI
Undergraduate: Lake Superior State University – Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Robert Marquardt, DO

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine– Erie, PA
Undergraduate: Kent State University– Kent, OH

Prachi Parikh, MBBS

Medical School: Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College- India

Cory Rice, MD

Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine– Toledo, OH
Undergraduate: The Ohio State University– Columbus, OH

Tara Sharma, DO

Medical School: New York College of Osteopathic Medicine– Westbury, New York
Masters Degree: Mount Sinai – New York, New York
Undergraduate: Claremont McKenna College– CA

Ruta Yardi, MBBS

Medical School: Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences– Karad, India

Ifrah Zawar, MD

Medical School: The Aga Khan University Medical College– Karachi, Pakistan


Child Neurology Residents

Class of 2015
Sreenivas Avula, MD

Medical School: Kakatiya Medical College - Warangal, India
Clinical Interests: Neurometabolic Disorders/Neuromuscular disorders
Research Interests: Neurometabolic Disorders, Neonatal Neurology

Class of 2016
Emily Langan, MD

Medical School: State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine

Indu Sivaraman, MD

Medical School: Stanley Medical College, India
Clinical Interests: General Pediatric Neurology
Research Interests: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sleep Medicine and Headache

Class of 2017
Trishna Kantamneni, MD

Medical School: Osmania Medical College– Telangana, India

Lileth Mondok, MD

Medical School: University of the Philippines– Philippines

Kofi Quist, MD

Medical School: University of Science and Technology– Kumasi, Ghana

Conferences/Didactics:

Cleveland Clinic's neurology residency program offers an extensive schedule of didactic and continuing medical education lecture series and conferences for trainees and staff including:

Daily (M-F) Noon Conference Series With Topics Including:
  • Cerebrovascular/Stroke
  • Cognitive/Behavioral/Dementia
  • Epilepsy
  • Evidence and Action (critical review of evidence-based medicine)
  • Headache
  • Movement Disorders
  • Neuro/Bioethics
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurocritical Care
  • Neuroemergencies
  • Neurogenetics
  • NeuroID
  • Neuroimmunology, Rheumatology and MS
  • Neuromuscular
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Neuropathology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuroradiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • PM&R
  • Professional development (personal and medical finance, private vs. academic practice, fellowship application process, legal/contracts, etc.)
  • Psychiatry
  • Research/Stats/Epidemiology (updates with on-going research, statistics, starting research, conducting research, etc.)
  • Sleep
  • Spine/Spinal Cord
Daily Neuroradiology Rounds (with staff neuroradiologist)

Weekly Conferences Include:
  • Cerebrovascular/Stroke Conference
  • Epilepsy Grand Rounds
  • Epilepsy Patient Management Conference
  • Live Patient examination and teaching
  • Neurology book chapter review
  • Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Neuroscience Grand Rounds
  • Pediatric Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Pediatric Neurology Neuroimaging Conference
Monthly Conferences Include:
  • Adult neurology journal club at local restaurants
  • Pediatric neurology journal club at local restaurants
  • Brain cutting/pathology sessions
  • Monthly/bimonthly - RITE/neurology board review
Others:
  • Adult & Child Neurology Journal Clubs
  • Brain cutting/pathology sessions
  • Quarterly Resident Meeting with Dr. Toby Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic CEO
  • Quarterly Neurological Institute Core Conference Series
  • Neurology morbidity and mortality rounds
  • Monthly meeting with Program Director, Department Chairman and residents
Visiting Professor:

Annually, a visiting professor is selected to serve as the Guy Williams lecturer. This individual, a neurologist of international stature, gives a keynote speech and participates in educational activities with the residents.

Away Conferences:

In addition to the above conferences, residents are encouraged to attend and present at national meetings. A generous travel policy by the Neurological Institute supports and promotes these functions.