Adult Neurology Residency

Adult Neurology Residency

Transitions into the PGY-1 and PGY-2 Years


Orientation and mentorship: The transition from medical student to internship can be quite challenging. UW Health’s GME Office conducts a comprehensive orientation to our institution and the general duties of the resident. The neurology department also conducts its own orientation, and will work with the GME office to provide additional assistance if needed (e.g. additional practice or training on our electronic medical record system). Each neurology intern will be assigned both faculty and resident mentors to guide them through the transition and work with neurology program leadership to identify and address any adjustment difficulties. Our internal medicine colleagues provide further orientation to the services on which the neurology interns rotate.

Overview: The PGY-1 year is designed to provide a broad training in internal medicine, along with an introduction to neurology and related disciplines pertinent to the future neurologist. Per ACGME and ABPN regulations, the PGY-1 year includes 6 months of internal medicine with primary responsibility for patient care (i.e. order-writing).

Phase 1: The rotation schedule features graded levels of responsibility over the course of the year in order to make the transition as smooth as possible while maximizing the resident’s learning. During the first 6 months, the neurology intern will rotate on the following services. These will serve as an introduction to the UW health system and acute care medicine and are structured to provide close guidance:

  • Inpatient Neurology (Stroke or General Neurology service)
  • Neurocritical Care
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurology subspecialty clinics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Psychiatry

Phase 2: In the second half of the year, the neurology interns begin rotating on the following internal medicine ward services. At first, they will be paired with another intern until the interns demonstrate competence in managing these services individually (usually after the first medicine rotation):

  • General Medicine wards
  • VA Inpatient Cardiology service

Phase 3: Once the interns are fully independent, they will complete additional rotations on the above inpatient services, along with other internal medicine rotations relevant to neurologists:

  • Night Float
  • Medicine subspecialty clinics
  • Geriatrics


Whenever possible, the PGY-2 resident will maintain the same mentors as were assigned during the PGY-1 year to assist with the other major transition in neurology training. In order to ensure that incoming PGY-2 residents have a good foundation for handling medical and neurological emergencies, we require incoming residents to complete the following prior to the start of the year:

  • ACLS Many residents will have obtained this training during the PGY-1 year.
  • NIHSS The NIH Stroke Scale is the most widely-used measure of stroke severity. Knowing how to administer the NIHSS exam prior to the beginning of the PGY-2 year will facilitate your running of stroke codes.


Latest revision: 09-10-2018
 Justin A. Sattin, M.D.