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. Each resident will additionally be assigned a 1:1 Communications coach. We cultivate our residents’ passions to find the unique ways 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.
Breadth of scholarship and research exposure during residency
Our residents will select a mentored area of scholarship, typically in the neurosciences, medical education, or quality improvement. Many residents have successfully developed innovative projects that are a launching point for their career.
Neuroscience Research: 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 and be awarded 6 blocks (i.e. 24 weeks) of mentored research time. As part of our commitment to career development, those future physician scientists applying to residency may consider the Investigator Training Pipeline (ITP) and interview for a 2-year research-focused fellowship in their chosen area at the same time as the residency interview.
Quality improvement: All residents gain experience in QI methodology and systems improvement. A novel formal curriculum has been designed to give our Neurology residents hands-on experience and the tools necessary to solve real-world problems within a complex healthcare system. 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.
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 Resident Continuity Clinic over three years, and rotations through our other training sites: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Palo Alto VA Hospital, and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.
A sample schedule can be seen here:
Personalized and flexible training
We provide as much flexibility as possible for our residents to pursue their interests. Residents each have approximately 10 blocks of flexible elective time over the course of their three years. This is in addition to four weeks of vacation per year, of which one week will guaranteed during the Winter Holiday season. Electives provide time for intensive exposure to neurology subspecialties or research, 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 or work on their scholarly activity. Off-site electives, including global health, are possible with special arrangement. Select residents will apply for up to six continuous blocks of dedicated neuroscience research time.
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.
A steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most diverse areas within the United States. At Stanford Neurology, we strongly believe in the value of diversity in our training program and our community. Residents see a tremendously diverse patient population through our four phenomenal teaching hospitals. 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 physicians, including 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
How large is your residency program?
Stanford Neurology has undergone tremendous growth in the last 15 years, now one of the largest Neurology departments and training programs in the country. Our residency and fellowship programs have expanded over the years as well, reflecting the enlargement of our health care systems along with ever-increasing academic opportunities. Currently, we are matching twelve (12) Neurology residents, and four (4) Child Neurology residents into our integrated residency programs, making Stanford the largest neurology training program outside of the East Coast. The larger training environment includes approximately three dozen fellows across 15 Neurology/Child Neurology fellowships.
Is Stanford Neurology a categorical or an advanced program?
We are an Advanced program with 6 guaranteed PGY1 positions at Stanford, 4 guaranteed PGY1 positions at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC, our local county hospital), and 2 priority positions at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco. There are additional PGY1 positions available at SCVMC and CPMC. We are in the process of officially changing the 6 positions at Stanford to a 4 year Categorical Neurology program though the curriculum will be unchanged with the first year spent primarily in Internal Medicine . No matter where you do your PGY1-year, all neurology (and child neurology) resident will come together the first week of July PGY2 year for a Boot Camp to get on the same page, learn logistics, how to treat neurologic emergencies, stroke simulation, and connect through many social activities.
What are the clinical rotations & sites?
Stanford University Hospital (Stanford Health Care, SHC) is nationally ranked on US News & World Report’s Honor Roll as top 10 in the US, and #1 in Northern California. With 613 licensed beds (but frequently a census > 700 patients), there is ample clinical volume to support the educational development of some 1300 housestaff. Our patients are complex and diverse, with many neurology patients from underserved communities throughout Northern California, especially the Central Valley and Coast. Residents rotate in teams through busy primary inpatient neuro-hospitalist, stroke, epilepsy, and neurocritical care services supervised by faculty and fellows with fellowship training 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 covering the ER and ward services, while a separate neuro-critical care overnight call system handles the Neuro ICU.
Stanford Neuroscience Health Center (SNHC) houses most of our outpatient clinics. This is a state-of-the-art patient-centered neurosciences facility with advanced neuroimaging, neurophysiology, rehab, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, support groups and research services to facilitate care for our Neurology 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 additional 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 (“the Valley”) is our busy county facility, the largest hospital by bed count (976) in California. It is located off the nearby 280 freeway, about 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 two 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.
Residents are assigned a weekly continuity clinic at Stanford (SNHC), the Valley, or VA for a longitudinal experience over their entire residency. Interns at SCV or Stanford will be their continuity clinic experience during their PGY-1 year. Explore our clinical and research facilities further.
Can I afford to live in Silicon Valley?
Yes. The opportunities in Silicon Valley, plus its 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 for residents and their partners, and an annual housing bonus to supplement the posted salary. 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 if you have concerns.
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, graduate and undergraduate libraries, PAC-10 sporting events, concerts, theater, film series that take place on campus, etc. You will feel part of the Stanford University community.
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?
Because our Program is large (16 residents/class), call is less frequent than other programs you may be considering. Stanford Hospital (SHC) is the only site that residents take in-house call. The other three sites have “home call”.
The majority of in-house call is through a night float rotation that is six (6) nights per week, two weeks at a time, for a maximum of 6-8 weeks throughout residency. The neurocritical care service has a separate night float embedded in the rotation, and the number of nights total about one (1) week per month/rotation as the remainder of the overnight coverage is shared with advanced practice providers.
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 one of the highest number of neurology inpatients of any 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. These include resident-driven Morning Report, Morbidity, Mortality, and Improvement, Quality Assurance, and Grand Rounds (which includes Clinical Pathology Conferences and Quality Improvement Conferences)
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. Eighteen month lecture cycles include lecture blocks of the various subspecialties (i.e. x weeks of stroke, y weeks of movement disorders, etc)
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, population health, DEI issues in neurology, 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?
Yes. We have six (6) PGY1 slots reserved at Stanford and four (4) at SCVMC. Your interview with us in Neurology will count for those two programs. Additionally, we recommend you apply to the excellent community hospital California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. We have a partnership with CPMC and have two (2) slots linked through what is called a joint A/P program, that can only be used if you match to Stanford Neurology (all other intern slots at CPMC would be available to you, however, if you matched elsewhere). Stanford, SCVMC, and CPMC provide phenomenal teaching, diverse case exposure, and opportunities to begin collaborative neurology projects even in intern year.
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 preliminary 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 explore "How to Apply" and email the program director and coordinator.
How to Apply
Thank you for your interest in the Stanford Neurology Residency Program. We have twelve (12) Neurology residency positions. We seek applicants who are passionate about neurology and have excelled in their unique interests. These may include experiences in basic/translational/clinical neuroscience, medical education, quality improvement, data science, digital health, advocacy, or global health.
Stanford Neurology and the entire Stanford organization are committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We do not use minimum scores from a single test to screen candidates. We conduct a holistic review of every candidate’s file including letters of recommendation, academic performance, and extra-curricular activities. This has allowed us to build a rich educational environment and strong community for all our residents.
Standard application materials include a personal statement, CV, photograph, medical school transcript, medical school performance evaluation (MSPE), USMLE step 1 score, and 3-4 letters of recommendation. A passing USMLE step 2 CS & CK score will be required prior to finishing medical school, but we understand there may be some delays given the current COVID-19 pandemic. If possible, it is desirable to have these results available early in the selection process.
International medical graduates must also submit a valid ECMG certificate, USMLE step 1-3 scores, and evidence of recent US clinical experience. As with all candidates, one year of ACGME-approved Internal Medicine training prior to commencement of neurology training. A post-graduate training authorization letter (PTAL) is required prior to starting residency in California.
All interviews will be conducted virtually. Interviews are by invitation only and are offered on a rolling basis. Interview dates are Wednesdays from November to January. If invited to interview, please indicate in your response if you want to interview for a fellowship through the ITP program, or any additional faculty you would like to meet with on the interview day. We strongly encourage those invited to interview at Stanford Neurology to apply for internships at neighboring Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and California Pacific Medical Center.
Prior to starting residency at Stanford Neurology, each candidate must complete an internship that includes a minimum of six (6) months of internal medicine plus two (2) months of internal medicine, pediatrics, or emergency medicine. We strongly recommend critical care experience. While you may complete your internship year in any accredited program that meets these requirements, many residents will choose one of the following:
Stanford. We offer 6 guaranteed internship slots at Stanford Internal Medicine creating a categorical-like program (listed as a Categorical program in NRMP). Your interview with Stanford Neurology will serve as your interview for Stanford’s preliminary medicine intern year. You are not eligible for a Stanford internship if you do not match to Stanford Neurology.
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (VMC). VMC is our county hospital and Stanford Neurology affiliate. There is phenomenal training, community, and opportunity to begin your continuity clinic at VMC Neurology as a PGY-1. We offer 4 guaranteed internship slots at VMC Internal Medicine and there are 4 additional slots that you are also eligible for. Your interview with Stanford Neurology will serve as your interview for VMC’s preliminary medicine intern year. The 4 guaranteed positions are set aside in a Joint A/P program and can only be used if you match to Stanford Neurology. You should also rank the regular medicine preliminary program as all of those slots are available as well (but do not require matching to Stanford Neurology). See table below.
California Pacific Medical Center(CPMC). CPMC is a community teaching hospital in San Francisco that offers fantastic training, education, and community. You must apply and interview separately at CPMC; their program will make decisions about interviews and ranking. We have set aside 2 positions in a Joint A/P program that can only be used if you match to Stanford Neurology. You should also rank the regular medicine preliminary program as all those slots are available as well (but do not require matching to Stanford Neurology). See table below.
ACGME Program Code
NRMP Program Code
No supplemental list for “categorical” program
Non-Stanford PGY1 list is supplemental to our advanced program, NRMP#1820180A0
Med-Prelim/Neuro (Stanford only)
Med-Prelim open to all
Med-Prelim/Neuro (Stanford only)
Med-Prelim open to all
Please follow the deadlines to register and rank programs via the main residency NRMP calendar. Be sure to rank Stanford Neurology advanced program (NRMP #1820180A0) and a preliminary internship year (see table). Remember, if you have interviewed for CPMC or VMC, rank both the joint Med-Prelim/Neuro and regular Med-Prelim programs. The program is identical but it will maximize your chances of getting an internship there if you match to Stanford Neurology. All selections are made per NRMP rules.