Welcome to the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford!
The Department has been a center of excellence for more than four decades and includes over 140 School of Medicine faculty members with primary academic appointments in the Department at our four outstanding teaching hospitals and health care systems. The Stanford Health Care (SHC) new 824,000 square-foot state-of-the-art hospital opened in 2019 with over 600 beds, making it one of the largest inpatient facilities in California. Ranked in the top 10 for Neurology and Neurosurgical Care by US News and World Report, SHC is at the cutting edge of the latest treatments for neurological diseases. SHC boasts a dedicated outpatient Stanford Neuroscience Health Center—a facility like no other on the West Coast—as well as clinics located throughout Northern California. With over 60,000 annual outpatient visits and thus one of the largest neurology volumes in the U.S., Stanford Neurology provides care for a large and highly diverse patient population and supports excellence in clinical care, education, and research. The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, with its new 364-bed hospital having opened in 2018, and clinics situated throughout Northern California, was recently named one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the U.S. by US News and World Report. The combined Stanford Health Care and Packard Children’s Hospital system offers a 964-bed inpatient capability. The VA Palo Alto Health Care System is a top-tier modern, comprehensive veteran’s hospital which hosts and leads many national academic clinical and research programs. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, our county hospital, is the second highest volume hospital in California, serving a diverse spectrum of patients with a vast array of neurologic disorders. It is part of the County of Santa Clara Health System (COSCHS), one of the largest county-owned health and hospital systems in the U.S. The ongoing population growth in Northern California, and the Bay Area in particular, along with the technology and economic leadership of Silicon Valley continue to support the robust development of our health care systems and have assured our status as one of the highest volume clinical neurology programs in the country.
Clinical services are offered by a full spectrum of divisions and programs within the Department including: General Neurology, Epilepsy, Stroke, Neurocritical Care, Neuro-hospitalist care, Movement Disorders, Memory Disorders, Neuro-immunology-Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromuscular Diseases, Neuro-Oncology, Headache and Facial Pain, Autonomic Disorders, Neuropsychology, and Intraoperative Monitoring. Joint programs with allied departments include Sleep, Neuro-otology and Neuro-ophthalmology. Robust divisions in Neuro-oncology, Autonomic Neurology, Headache and Facial Pain, Intraoperative Monitoring and Neuro-hospitalist care are uncommon for U.S. neurology departments and provide our residents and fellows with an exceptional breadth and depth of training while contributing to our goals of outstanding care. With more than 30 faculty, our Child Neurology Division is one of the largest in the country. The Department provides care and consultative services to a large number of patients referred from throughout the country, and many patients from the Pacific Rim and other international locations. Our skilled clinicians provide comprehensive care to a diverse mix of patients and emphasize monitoring and promotion of clinical quality and optimal outcomes, the use of multidisciplinary rounds for challenging cases, and deep collaborations across other medical specialties. We continue our emphasis on the traditional clinical skills and critical human components essential for exceptional patient care, while at the same time harnessing Stanford’s leadership in the rapidly emerging areas of brain circuit assessment and modulation, artificial intelligence, and digital health.
Education. Our graduate medical educational programs offer outstanding, comprehensive, high-volume residency training in adult and child neurology, and post-residency clinical and research fellowship training in most neurological subspecialties. Currently boasting 70 Neurology residents and fellows, Stanford offers one of the largest comprehensive training programs in the U.S. Teaching is a major priority for our faculty as highlighted by Stanford Neurology having been selected by Stanford medical students as the #1 clinical clerkship at Stanford for ten of the past eleven years and among the top in the U.S. (AAMC annual survey for education quality). Residents and fellows work closely with faculty mentors in a rigorous and diverse clinical environment to optimize teaching. Many faculty members are international leaders in their field and provide direct personal and professional mentorship to trainees through formal programs. The School of Medicine offers nationally renowned formal training for faculty and house staff through the Stanford Faculty Development Center for Medical Teachers that allows them to develop their own teaching and mentoring skills. The Stanford Neurology program is unique in the degree to which it provides residents with choices, in the form of extensive elective time and opportunities for career-building scholarly projects. Trainees may participate in specialized Stanford programs ranging from Global Health Neurology to the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship program. Additional program strengths include our formal resident research curriculum, well-funded resident research tracks with an institutional R25 and mentored models designed to optimize transition from residency to fellowship and on to junior faculty positions, a post-residency fellowship/Instructor pathway with mentorship focused on obtaining assistant professor positions in the national context, a formal neurology-specific trainee wellness and mentoring program, formal coaches assigned to each resident to enhance their communication skills, and rigorous clinical training afforded by the high volume of diverse patients seen at our multiple sites. We are proud that many of the Department’s trainees and faculty alumni serve as department chairs, division chiefs, and leaders in American neurology.
Research in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences hosts one of the top neurology research programs in the U.S. with its faculty serving as leaders in many fields of neurology research. The department is currently ranked among the top 5 neurology departments in NIH funding and has NIH and other formally designated Centers of Excellence in multiple areas. In addition, our department has the highest number of NIH Pioneer Award Faculty members in the U.S. (four), a reflection of the exceptionally innovative Stanford research milieu and department research support. Our research activities cover a wide range of programs ranging from basic neuroscience studies, quantitative data sciences, translational studies, and clinical trials. In addition, Stanford University is well known for its outstanding, high-impact neuroscience community consisting of several hundred faculty including many international leaders in multiple areas. The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute integrates the entire neuroscience community at Stanford University and during 2020 moved into its new complex adjacent to the School of Medicine and Medical Center. The School of Medicine, along with the Stanford adult and children's hospitals, are fortunate to be one of only 20% of medical school/hospital systems located on a main university campus. This allows for close integration of the Department with the considerable resources of Stanford University, an institution ranked among the top universities in the world and among the top two in the world in neuroscience. This combination of neuroscience critical mass, high-caliber research, and direct, readily available interactions across a large range of campus disciplines makes possible a truly exceptional milieu for neurological research for our trainees and faculty. Our location at the center of the largest technology and biotechnology hub in the United States is yet another substantial resource in our research environment. The recent opening of the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center with its Neuro Clinical Trials Unit and the Jill and John Freidenrich Center for Translational Research provide an important home for one of the largest neurology clinical trial programs in the country, currently supporting over 170 clinical trials in neurology and thus rendering the Department one of the largest neurology clinical trial platforms in the U.S.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion. In addition to the three traditional missions of clinical care, teaching and research, a high-priority for the Stanford Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences is the fostering and development of a fully diverse community of faculty and trainees both within our department and within the fields of neurology and medicine in general. In a study published in 2018 (McDermott et al, JAMA Neurology), Stanford Neurology was ranked #1 among the top US neurology programs with having the highest percentage of women faculty. Through department, school and university programs, along with structured mentoring, we endeavor to promote academic and leadership skills and milestones for women and all traditionally underrepresented groups in academic medicine. Please visit our Diversity and Inclusion site to see the broad range of engagement and opportunities for all to participate.
Quality, Safety & Value
Finally, the Stanford Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences has recently established itself as a national leader in designing and implementing innovative performance improvement projects and in quality improvement education at all levels of training. Compared to peer institutions, Stanford ranks among the top neurology departments in the nation for key metrics such as hospital length of stay and inpatient mortality as measured by the Vizient Quality & Accountability Scorecard. Faculty have effectively led complex, multidisciplinary projects to improve patient access to neurological care and to continuously improve the safety and patient-centeredness of that care. Nearly 20 current faculty members have completed advanced training courses in quality improvement methodology and leadership. A description of our novel resident-driven quality improvementcurriculum and its impact has been published in Neurology. Residents have been first author on publications of improvement projects related to physician-patient communication, safe transitions of care, and expanding access to MRI. Please visit our Quality, Safety, & Value site to learn more about improvement work going on across the department