Summary & Links:

  1. There are lots of things to choose from!
  2. Check the elective scheduling sheet found at http://bit.ly/NeuroElectives to make sure the elective is available at the time you’re interested
  3. Please request electives at least one month prior to the start date by getting approval from the elective director and emailing the elective request form to the following people: Mitizine Wright, current administrative chiefs, program director, and associate program director
  4. Elective syllabi and the elective request form can be found at http://bit.ly/NeuroElectives
  5. Quick contact information for elective directors can be found below


Ample elective time is a key element of our program. The faculty wish to preserve elective time but also ensure that elective time is well spent on academic activities. Each resident has approximately 8-9 blocks of elective time throughout the residency (including 3 weeks of vacation per year). The goal of these electives is to provide committed time to working with a subspecialty attending or service, helping with career planning, independent research or participating in rotations at outside hospitals.

  1. Initial approval for the elective should come from the appropriate division’s resident education director or their representative. Please see contact info and syllabus information below. You can check to make sure that no one is signed up for the elective you’re interested in at the same time by referring to the elective scheduling documented located in the elective folder (see below).
  2. After approval from the elective director, an elective form should be submitted to Mitzine Wright, the current administrative chiefs, the program director, and the associate program director at least one block prior to the start of the rotation. Failure to do so is subject to loss of elective time and assignment to other duties at the discretion of the program director. The elective request form is available in the electives folder (see below).
  3. An elective should be reasonably busy through the entire workweek. For example, a very light subspecialty rotation should be complemented by other activities. These other activities may include a second subspecialty rotation, attendance of lectures/courses/conference, and research. Please feel free to consult with faculty or program directors in your planning.
  4. Research is encouraged. If you plan on doing research during your elective time, you have to be specific about your project, you faculty mentor, and your timeline. You should include a brief statement on what you hope to accomplish by the end of the elective block. A brief paragraph is generally sufficient, but be specific. Your faculty mentor has to sign off on your plan.
  5. You cannot take 2 or 4 weeks off entirely for “reading,” although you can put down some library or reading time as part of your elective week.
  6. Residents should remain available and reachable by cell phone or pager during work hours. In general, residents are expected to be on the premises, unless off site for research or other academic reasons, or the elective is out of town. Those on jeopardy have to be reachable at all times. Please check your jeopardy dates and mark your calendar.
  7. Attendance at all the mandatory residency educational activities (AM report, Wednesday Academic Half Day and Grand Rounds) and resident continuity clinics are expected during electives. Any conflict with the proposed elective activities should be discussed with the program director.


Electives include, but are not limited to, the following: Epilepsy/EEG, Neuromuscular/EMG, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology, Movement Disorders, Neuro-Oncology, Sleep Disorders, Neurointerventional Radiology, Headache, Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology, Behavioral Neurology/Dementia, Intraoperative Monitoring, Neuro-Otology, PM&R, Pain/Anesthesia, Neuro-IR, Neuropsychology, and the Senior Teaching Elective.

Please note that headache, epilepsy/EEG, and neuromuscular/EMG are built into the schedule as required rotations over the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years, but residents are always welcome to supplement these experience with further elective time.

Electives away from Stanford are allowed only under special circumstances. In general, this is permissible when a particular subspecialty experience is not available at Stanford, or an away elective will substantially benefit a resident’s career development. Any interested resident should plan in advance to allow enough time to complete the necessary paperwork (malpractice insurance, your salary continuing to get paid, etc.). It is important to speak to Mitzine Wright and the program director(s) first and then Ann Dohn through the GME office for final approval. Electives at Valley Medical Center and VA are considered within the Stanford system and do not require additional advanced approval.

Contacts & Syllabi

To get a sense of the electives before placing your request, please see the elective syllabi at the following link, where you can also access the elective request form: http://bit.ly/NeuroElectives

If the elective you’re interested in does not have a syllabus, you can reach out to the appropriate contact from the list below. If the elective you’re interested in is not listed, you can speak with any of the chief residents or program directors and they can put you in contact with the appropriate person.