Welcome to Stanford Neurology! We are committed to building a community of leaders in neurology with an emphasis on compassion, clinical excellence, innovative scholarship, and career development. Please explore the neurology resident website, as well as the website for our Neurology Department and our many divisions and programs. Thank you for taking the time to learn about what our residency training program has to offer.
A culture of mentorship and early career development
Stanford Neurology’s open-door policy and culture allows for strong mentor relationships to develop at any point in training. We have formal programs with each resident selecting an official professional development mentor as well as scholarship mentor. We cultivate our residents’ passions to find the unique way in which they will contribute as leaders in Neurology. We are proud of our graduates across the nation who are directors, departmental leaders, and innovators in their areas of interest.
An optimal balance of inpatient/outpatient experience
Our program balances inpatient and outpatient experiences to best reflect daily practice of most neurologists. We believe this to be unique feature of Stanford compared to other top academic neurology training programs. Residents spend at least 7 months rotating through subspecialty clinics at Stanford Neuroscience Health Center. These clinics include Dementia/Behavioral Neurology, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology, Movement Disorders, Neuromuscular, Neuro-oncology, Headache, Stroke, and Autonomic. Additional general neurology clinic experiences come from weekly continuity clinic over 3 years, and rotations through our other training sites: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Palo Alto VA Hospital, and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.
We provide as much flexibility as possible for our residents to pursue their interests. Residents each have approximately 10months of elective time over the course of their three years, in addition to 3-4 weeks of vacation per year. Electives provide time for intensive exposure to neurology subspecialties and facilitates individualized career development during residency training. Click here to view a list of common electives and their syllabi. Residents can also create their own electives (e.g. medico-legal rotation) or work on their scholarly activity. Off-site electives, including global health, are easily possible with special arrangement. Select residents will apply for up to 6 continuous months of dedicated neuroscience research time.
Breadth of scholarship and research exposure during residency
Our residents will select a mentored area of concentration, typically in the neurosciences, medical education, or quality improvement, to pursue their scholarly activities. Many residents have successfully developed innovative projects that are a launching point for their career.
Neurosciences: All residents are exposed to our research curriculum and will have opportunities to engage with the physician scientist community at Stanford. Those residents particularly interested in a research career may apply for the department’s Neuroscience Scholar Track in the PGY-2 year and be awarded 24 continuous weeks of mentored research time during PGY-3 of residency and/or 1-2 years of funded post-graduate research fellowship following residency. An NINDS R25 funding mechanism is also available. As part of our commitment to career development, those physician scientists applying to residency may consider the Investigator Training Pipeline (ITP) and interview for a 2-year fellowship at the same time as the residency interview.
Quality improvement: All residents gain experience in QI methodology and systems improvement. Our monthly morbidity, mortality, and improvement conference is a popular launching point for multidisciplinary projects that result in national conference presentation and publication, along with innovative change to improve neurological care. Read more here about projects highlighted at the annual QI symposium.
Continuous educational exposure
Our residency program strives to maintain a rich environment for education. There is a Morning Report four days/week, an “Educational Half-Day” every Wednesday afternoon, and Neurology Grand Rounds each Friday morning. There are also optional subspecialty conferences in epilepsy, stroke, neuromuscular diseases, clinical neurophysiology, tumor board, child neurology, etc. Basic science conferences at Stanford are given by the world’s best, literally the “who’s who” in modern neuroscience. (See Weekly Teaching Calendar and our Conference Schedule). Residents see diverse patient population through 4 phenomenal teaching hospitals.
A steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion
At Stanford Neurology, we strongly believe in the value of diversity in our training program and our community. We encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply Learn more at Diversity and Inclusion.
An innovative approach to wellness
We take great care of our residents and are deeply aware of the importance of building resilience in the face of research exposing the risks of burnout amongst neurologists nationally. Stanford Neurology has innovated a robust well-being program for our trainees that is one of the first in the country and presented at the AMA International Conference on Physician Health. Learn more about our Neurology Wellness and Mentorship Program.
Frequently Asked Resident Questions
What are the clinical rotations & sites?
Stanford University Hospital (Stanford Health Care, SHC) is nationally ranked on US News & World Report’s Honor Roll with 613 beds. Patients are complex and diverse, with many neurology patients from underserved communities throughout Northern California especially the Central Coast. Residents rotate in teams through busy primary inpatient neuro-hospitalist, stroke, epilepsy, and neurocritical care services supervised by faculty and fellows in those subspecialties. There is also a high-volume neuro-hospitalist consult service seeing neurology patients throughout the hospital and emergency room. Two night float residents take in-house call overnight.
Stanford Neuroscience Health Center (SNHC) houses most our outpatient clinics. This is a state-of-the-art patient-centered neurosciences facility with advanced neuroimaging, rehab, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, support groups and research services to facilitate care for our patients. Residents rotate through clinics in all neurological subspecialties, including Autonomic, Dementia, Epilepsy, Headache, Movement Disorders, Neuroimmunology / Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromuscular Disease, Neuro-oncology, Neuro-ophthalmology, Neuro-Otology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sleep, and Stroke.
Lucille Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH) is also nationally ranked and the largest child neurology program on the West Coast. With 364 beds, residents rotate through a busy, primarily consultative service that sees patients in the neonatal ICU, pediatric ICU, and throughout the hospital. Residents also rotate through the outpatient child neurology clinics. Residents take home call overnight.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Valley) is our busy county facility with 574 beds, just 30 minutes from Stanford. It is a level 1 trauma center & safety-net hospital for the most populous county in the San Francisco Bay Area. The breadth of cases seen and diversity is remarkable. Residents rotate through a high-volume and exciting inpatient consult service as well as outpatient neurology clinics. Residents take home call overnight.
Palo Alto Veterans Affair Medical Center (PAVA) is our local VA hospital with 642 beds, just 4 miles south of Stanford. This hospital serves a diverse group of Bay Area veterans, many homeless, with complex multi-system diseases. PAVA is a leader in mental health services, as well as spinal cord & traumatic brain injury patient care and research. Residents rotate through an inpatient consult service as well as outpatient neurology clinics. Senior residents also rotate through subspecialty clinics in neurosurgery and rehab. Residents take home call overnight.
Yes. The opportunities in Silicon Valley, diversity, weather, geography, and quality public schools attract young professionals and families to the area. While it is no secret that cost of living is one of the highest in the country, Stanford Neurology residents also enjoy one of the top salaries in the country and excellent comprehensive benefits including completely free health care and annual housing bonus. Explore Salary and Benefits to learn more.
The city of Palo Alto, where Stanford is located, is generally the most expensive because of its highly regarded public school system. Some Stanford-owned units are available on campus (e.g. Welch Road Apartments) at below market rates. Many residents live within 20 minutes of the hospital in adjacent cities like Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, and Redwood City.
All residents can afford their housing and most choose to stay in the area for their career. Be sure to ask about this when you visit!
What is it like to live near Stanford and Palo Alto?
We love it! The Stanford community reflects the culture of the Bay Area – one of innovation, inclusivity, friendship, and commitment to learning and self-improvement whether in tech or medicine.
Our department and the School of Medicine are on the main campus of Stanford University, one of the world’s premier institutions of higher education. Our trainees have access to all the remarkable intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities of Stanford, including world-class gyms, pool, and climbing wall (free), graduate and undergraduate libraries (free), PAC-10 sporting events, concerts, theater, film series that take place on campus.
The weather is unbeatable and the region is a haven for outdoor activities. The Northern California coastline, coastal mountains, San Francisco, and San Jose are within an hour of driving. Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks, ski areas around Lake Tahoe, Carmel, Big Sur, Napa and Sonoma wine country, the Marin Headlands, Point Reyes, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, and many other attractions are within easy driving distance. It is no wonder that people come to visit Northern California from all over the world. We feel lucky to live here!
How often am I on call overnight?
Not often. Only PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents take in-house call at Stanford. The majority of call is through a night float rotation that is 6 nights per week (Friday is off), 2 weeks at a time, for a maximum of 4-6 weeks throughout residency. Friday overnight coverage is provided by one of the residents on the stroke rotation. The neurocritical care service has a separate night float embedded in the rotation, and the number of days total about 1 week per month as the remainder of the overnight coverage is shared with an advanced practice provider.
Coverage of the child neurology, VA, and Valley services is done from home with expectation to drive in to the hospital within 30 minutes for neurological emergencies. There is tremendous back up available with senior residents and faculty for all residents on-call.
Are there sufficient patients for residency training?
Absolutely! Stanford is as strong in its clinical programs as its research. We serve a densely populated, diverse patient population with a catchment area spanning many underserved areas within the borders of Southern Oregon, Northern Nevada, Santa Barbara, and as far west as Hawaii and Asia. As the population of Silicon Valley has increased dramatically in the last several decades with the growth of technology, so too has the patient base. Stanford Neurology boasts a high volume that continues to grow with our hospital expansion and with addition of satellite clinics throughout the Bay Area. Our services are among those most frequently consulted at our other teaching hospitals as well. There are over 60,000 neurology patient visits per year and the second highest number of neurology inpatients of any academic hospital in California.
Despite the busy clinical services, residents have time to read and learn neurology, thanks to phenomenal teaching faculty, excellent ancillary services at all hospital sites, and our commitment to provide a well-rounded neurology education balancing inpatient and outpatient, as well as ample elective time.
What are some teaching conferences devoted to residents?
Case-based learning is a strong emphasis of the program. Cases are presented at many neurology conferences to illustrate and teach a systematic approach to neurologic disease. View our teaching calendar, but these include resident-driven Morning Report, Morbidity, Mortality, and Improvement, Quality Assurance, Clinical Pathology Conference.
Neurology Grand Rounds are devoted to cutting edge concepts in neuroscience, clinical neurology, and other innovative topics. Chief residents invite world-renown speakers with opportunities to meet over an intimate dinner or lunch.
Wednesday afternoons are devoted to resident learning through didactic lectures and workshops, including case review in neuroradiology, neurophysiology, neuropathology, neuroanatomy, and important topics in quality improvement, ethics, global health, and population health.
Numerous popular subspecialty conferences are available to residents that may cover clinical, basic, or translational neuroscience, including neuroimmunology, stroke, neuromuscular, movement disorder video rounds, epilepsy surgery, neuro-oncology tumor board, and neurophysiology. There are frequent lectures on neuroscience, ethics, health care policy, education, and other important topics in the School of Medicine and throughout the University. Explore a selection of these events & conferences.
Can I do my internship somewhere other than Stanford Hospital?
We recommend you interview with our county hospital Santa Clara Valley Medical Center or California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. These programs provide phenomenal teaching, diverse case exposure, and opportunities to begin collaborative neurology projects even in intern year. We work closely with their program directors and have a special Match number to prioritize your match to the internship if you match to Stanford Neurology. Of course, we know some applicants prefer to stay near their current institution, family, or live somewhere new for a year, and that is OK too. You can do your internship anywhere (accredited) that will provide you with robust training in internal medicine with critical care exposure. If you have any questions about this, please email the program director and coordinator.