Child Neurology Residency Curriculum Overview

Residents learn through a variety of adult and child rotations, collaborative research and didactic learning.

Clinical Rotations

Rotations in the Child Neurology Residency Program at Wake Forest School of Medicine are designed to allow our residents to experience all aspects of adult and child neurology while caring for diverse populations of patients. Residents work closely, often one-on-one, with attending physicians while being given the opportunity to pursue research. Electives, chosen in the second and third year of training, allow residents to delve deeply into their subspecialties of interest. During all rotations, residents continue to see patients in our weekly outpatient clinics.

Adult Neurology Rotations

To satisfy board certification requirements, each child neurology resident at the School of Medicine spends at least 12 months on adult neurology rotations at Wake Forest Baptist Health.

Year 1

Residents spend approximately five months training in the adult inpatient wards during their blocks in general neurology service, stroke service and consult service. They also spend approximately three months training in the adult outpatient rotations. One month in Adult Epilepsy focuses on epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU), EEG and adult epilepsy clinic. There is time spent in other subspecialty clinics including multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, stroke, headache and cognitive. Our residents receive an early foundation in neuroradiology with a one-month block during this year.

Year 2

Adult neurology training concludes with approximately one inpatient block in neuro ICU and outpatient blocks in sleep and neuromuscular medicine.

Child Neurology Rotations

Years 1, 2 and 3

Child neurology clinical training is at Brenner Children’s Hospital and Wake Forest Baptist Health, which are located on the same medical center campus. Our residents are introduced early in their training to child neurology during their first year with blocks in child neurology consult service and child neurology clinic rotation.

Additional Rotations include:

  • Inpatient Child Neurology Rotation (Years 1, 2, 3)
  • Outpatient Child Neurology Rotations (Year 1, 2, 3)
  • Child Epilepsy Rotation (Year 1)
  • Neurophysiology (Year 2)
  • Child Neurorehab Rotation (Year 2)
  • Inpatient Child Psychiatry (Year 3)
  • Child Neurosurgery (Year 3)
  • Neuroscience (Year 3)
  • Neuropathology (Year 3)
  • Elective Rotations (Year 2, 3)

For a full overview and rotation descriptions please download the Child Neurology Residency Curriculum Guide.

On-call Duties

Adult Neurology Call

Our residents do not have any adult in-house call throughout their three years of training. They participate in back-up home-call for code strokes to support adult neurology residents on weekends.

Child Neurology Call

Our residents participate in home-call only on the weekends for new child neurology consults and cover the patient calls after they are triaged by a nurse. The percentage of calls is highest in Year 1, decreasing each year. When residents see a patient in the ED, they are responsible for triaging the problem, and if the patient requires a consult, they will formulate a differential diagnosis and plan of management that they will discuss with the on-call child neurology attending.

Teaching

Child neurology residents have many opportunities to hone their teaching skills. Residents partner with attending physicians to ensure that inpatient rounds address topics relevant to medical students. Our residents throughout their training will alternate leading morning report and preparing lectures on specific board topics for their co-residents. Our residents annually prepare an educational problem-based learning workshop for the child residents. Senior residents in Year 3 will prepare and present Neurology Grand Rounds featuring their research or a clinical topic of interests to an audience of both adult and child residents and faculty prior to graduation.

Conferences and Didactics

Child Neurology

There is a weekly child neurology case conference attended by our child neurology faculty, nurse practitioners, medical students and the inpatient team where cases are discussed. There are weekly child EEG teaching rounds where recent LTMs and EEGs with abnormalities are reviewed. There is also a monthly journal club that focuses on child neurology topics, as well as monthly child tumor boards and brain cutting sessions that residents can elect to attend while on elective.

Shared with Adult Neurology

Residents attend a rich variety of weekly conferences that are a shared curriculum between adult and child neurology residency programs. In a monthly neuroradiology case conference co-led by neurology and radiology, rare and interesting clinical scenarios of both child and adult patients are discussed while the approach to reading imaging is reviewed. There are simulation labs hosted for the review of status epilepticus and code stroke. We also have bi-monthly live patient sessions where a resident will take a history and examine a mystery patient, working through the differential with guidance from co-residents and faculty.

Research Opportunities

The Child Neurology Residency Program offers limitless opportunities to engage in basic and translational neuroscience, participate in neurology clinical trials and collaborate with emerging biotech industry or neuroradiology imaging researchers. Resident investigators are encouraged to present their research at regional and national meetings.

Our residents are required to participate in quality improvement initiatives and develop a research project. They’re encouraged to take a research elective where they are given protected time to fully develop manuscripts and submit them for publication. They are expected to have an abstract presentation at either a regional or national meeting, which is supported by departmental travel funds, and to attend a national meeting during their training.

Research in the Department of Neurology

Currently, our neurology department has both federal- and congressional-funded research in addition to industry trial research. Our neurology department has become one of the top-producing departments across the medical center.

Our residents can learn and participate in ongoing clinical research. Specific research studies targeted toward child neurology patients include studies on the treatment of:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) / Rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP)
  • HIRREM’s effect in TBI
  • Concussion and TBI
  • HITS study using MEG to determine if cumulative effects of sub-concussive head impacts
  • Cannabinoid use in child epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut and infantile spasms