Adult Neurology Program

The UW Neurology Residency Program is integrated between four affiliated hospitals. The different characters of the hospitals make for a richly varied and extremely complete training experience. The Program is designed to:

  • Train physicians to become proficient, compassionate clinical neurologists by providing three years of progressive experience and responsibility in the diagnosis and management of adult and pediatric patients with neurologic conditions.
  • Provide exposure to a number of ancillary disciplines including electroencephalography, electromyography, neuroradiology, neuropathology, neuro-ophthalmology, neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine.
  • Provide a broad educational experience in the basic neurosciences to form the foundation for understanding and applying the principles of clinical neurology.

    2014 Seniors

Medicine Intern Year

One of the great benefits of our residency program is the opportunity to complete our intern year at one of the nation's most prestigious Internal Medicine residency programs. We are a categorical program: all applicants who match are guaranteed an internship position at the University of Washington. The neurology interns are fully integrated in the Medicine program. Our training primarily occurs on the inpatient services, including general medicine, cardiology, and hematology/oncology as well as 2 blocks in the ICU. In the latter third of the year, we also rotate through the neurology inpatient service at HMC. The last month of intern year is dedicated to a neurology didactics block, covering neuroradiology and basic core topics in neurology to help us with our transition to N1 year. These lectures are given by neurology faculty and the chief residents.

At the end of our intern year, we've received a well-rounded and solid foundation in internal medicine and can confidently manage medical issues in acutely and critically ill neurologic patients. We also create long-lasting relationships and friendships with our Medicine co-residents.

Sample schedule for intern year

Block 1
Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 Block 5 Block 6 Block 7
UW MICU UW ER UW Hem/Onc UW Cardiology VA Medicine Risk VA Nightfloat
Block 8 Block 9 Block 10 Block 11 Block 12 Block 13
HMC ER HMC Medicine UW Medicine Consults HMC MICU HMC Neurology


Neurology Didactics


N1 Year

swanson examN1 year is dedicated to building a broad working knowledge of neurology and developing the clinical skills necessary to evaluate and treat common neurological disorders. Resident education proceeds primarily through hands-on exposure and bedside clinical teaching during inpatient rotations at the program's four hospitals, each of which offers a unique array of patients. In addition to clinical exposure, there are dedicated lectures for the N1 residents, focusing on core topics in neurology. Didactics also include weekly lunch conferences in neurologic subspecialties, such as EEG, neuropathology, and vascular neurology.

During each inpatient block, we take care of both acutely and critically ill patients as well as consult cases, with ample supervision available. These inpatient months include 3-4 blocks each at UWMC, HMC, and the VA as well as one block at Seattle Children's Hospital. Exposure to outpatient neurology is provided by our weekly continuity clinic and by 1 block each in the subspecialty clinics at UWMC and the VA. During the UWMC clinic block, we spend time learning neuroanatomy as well, with one-to-one supervision from faculty in Biological Structure Department. As our knowledge of neurology grows, we have opportunities to discuss early career planning with our faculty and resident mentors, who provide support throughout the year.

Sample schedule for N1 year

 Block 1  Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 Block 5 Block 6  Block 7
 UW Neuro  VA Neuro  VA Neuro  HMC Neuro  HMC Neuro  VA Neuro  UW Neuro Clinic
 Block 8  Block 9  Block 10  Block 11  Block 12  Block 13
 HMC Neuro  HMC Neuro  UW Neuro  SCH  UW Neuro  VA Neuro


N2 Year

resident groupOur N2 year marks a significant transition from our role as a junior to senior resident. We are now in charge of an entire team and with this comes new responsibilities and challenges. We learn to think about "the big picture" of patient management and provide backup for our juniors. This is daunting at first but we realize that N1 year has prepared us well. Of course, we are not expected to know everything and our attendings continue to be readily available. Whereas the purpose of N1 year is to learn broadly and deal with acute inpatient neurology, the emphasis of N2 year is to acquire more in-depth knowledge, especially of outpatient neurology. N2 year is also the time to think about fellowship plans and career options.

We spend a total of 6-7 blocks as the inpatient senior at UWMC, HMC, and the VA and 1 block on the inpatient pediatric neurology service at Seattle Children's Hospital. At UWMC and the VA, we also supervise the junior resident on the consult service, affording a good mix of both inpatient and consult patient management. Call duty requirements are significantly less compared to N1 year. The remaining 5-6 blocks are available for outpatient and elective time, including one block rotating through VA subspecialty clinics. Most of us choose electives based on our future fellowship plans and many complete the required selectives in EEG and EMG during this year. Elective choices are abundant, ranging from clinical rotations in neuro-critical care, MS, dementia, movement disorders, neuro-ophthalmology, and neuro-oncology to clinical and basic research. Some present at conferences during this year, with sponsorship from the residency program. Overall, there is more time to read and teach as well as pursue academic and personal interests during N2 year.

Sample schedule for N2 year

 Block 1  Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 Block 5  Block 6 Block 7
 UW/VA Movement  HMC Neuro  VA Neuro Clinic  UW Neuro  EMG  VA Neuro  EEG
 Block 8  Block 9  Block 10  Block 11  Block 12  Block 13  
 SCH  HMC Neuro  VA Neuro  UW Headache  UW Neuro  UW MS


N3 Year

Our N3 year is focused on refining our role as a senior resident. We continue to expand and hone our general and subspecialty knowledge through a variety of elective and selective rotations and consolidate future career plans.

Inpatient rotations are fewer compared to N2 year: 2 blocks each are spent at UWMC and HMC. During these inpatient months, even more emphasis is placed on independent decision-making and teaching the team. A unique rotation is a 6-week block as the HMC consult senior, during which we oversee a consult team and manage a multitude of both common and more unusual consult cases. The other 7.5 blocks are reserved for selectives, including psychiatry and neuropathology, more electives, and our third and final month of pediatric neurology in general and subspecialty clinics at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Beyond our clinical duties, educational/academic opportunities are abundant, including formal presentations at inter- and cross-departmental conferences such as QI and neuropathology conference. Many of us also present at the annual departmental poster symposium and national conferences. Lastly, we finalize our fellowship and career plans with the help of our mentors. By the end of N3 year, we graduate feeling confident about our neurologic skills and are prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Sample schedule for N3 year

 Block 1  Block 2  Block 3  Block 4  Block 5  Block 6 Block  7
UW Neuro Research HMC Neuro UW Dementia UW Neuro HMC Neuro-Optho HMC Consults
 Block 8  Block 9  Block 10  Block 11  Block 12  Block 13
HMC Consults/ Sleep HMC Psychiatry HMC Neuropathology HMC Neuro SCH Clinics UW Neuro-Oncology