A defining attribute of our department is boundless curiosity — something that is evident in our focus on education. Our training programs are a centerpiece of departmental life. We offer eight adult neurology residency positions and one child neurology fellowship position each year, plus fellowship programs in clinical neurophysiology, epilepsy, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuro-oncology, neuromuscular medicine and vascular neurology. All VCU medical students participate in a required third-year year neurology clerkship.
The VCU School of Medicine Department of Neurology offers several educational programs.
Neurology Residency Program
Our residency program provides world-class clinical training in a supportive and collegial environment, while ensuring our graduates obtain the skills they need to become leaders and pioneers in the field of neurology.
First and foremost, you can expect a comprehensive education in the diagnosis and management of a wide range of common and rare neurological diseases in a diverse patient population coming from across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Skilled clinicians, researchers and educators who are deeply invested in your educational development and success will provide guidance and mentorship throughout your time at VCU, treating you as colleagues in the care of our patients. I am especially proud of the environment of community in the Department of Neurology and the well-established camaraderie among our faculty and residents.
Though our training will ensure you become the best neurologist you can be, it is also important to us that you grow into the kind of neurologist you want to be. To that end, our program is designed with flexibility, and we encourage you to pursue educational opportunities and personal growth outside of your core clinical training. This gives you the chance to explore interests you may have in areas such as subspecialty care, research, education and international medicine.
The neuromuscular fellowship provides advanced training in clinical neuromuscular medicine and electrodiagnostic testing for one fellow each year. Upon completion of the one-year program, the fellow will be skilled in evaluation, diagnosis and management of neuromuscular disorders such as neuron disease, neuromuscular junction disease, peripheral neuropathy and muscle diseases.
The fellow will benefit from ample learning opportunities through both inpatient and outpatient clinical exposure, hands-on electrodiagnostic testing, research, conference attendance and the opportunity to work with a diverse faculty.
An accredited neuro-oncology fellowship program, created and directed by Dr. Alicia Zukas, has been approved by the UCNS. Funded by the Dean of the School of Medicine and/or VCU Health, the position will start with one fellow per year. The division will consider allowing this fellow a one-month elective to attend another institution for a different perspective on the management of patients with neuro-oncological diseases.
Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Program
The clinical neurophysiology laboratory within the Department of Neurology offers a one-year neurophysiology fellowship, led by program director and professor Dr. Lawrence Morton.
Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate medical Education, this program provides the training needed for fellows to take the Added Qualification in Clinical Neurophysiology Exam offered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
The fellowship involves in-depth training in both electroencephalogram (EEG) for epilepsy and electromyography (EEG) for neuromuscular disorders in a laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment. The fellow may choose to split the year evenly between the two areas or spend nine months with one subspecialty and three months with the other.
Fellows also receive training in evoked potentials, intraoperative monitoring, long-term video/EEG seizure monitoring and, if interested, polysomnography. This year of training exposes fellows to a broad spectrum of patients, including those in the adult and pediatric seizure clinics, neuromuscular clinics and the muscular dystrophy clinic, one of 150 Muscular Dystrophy Association Care Centers in the country. A wide range of research opportunities are also available, including investigational drug trials.
Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship Program
The VCU Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research Center offers one-year and two-year fellowship positions in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology.
Fellows will train in both the inpatient and outpatient care and management of MS and MS-related disorders, as well as participate in MS therapeutic trials and other clinical research. MS and MS-related disorders require multidisciplinary care, and thus fellows will have the opportunity to work with our colleagues in fields such as physical medicine and rehabilitation, urology, ophthalmology and neuroradiology.
The program provides a flexible learning environment to meet the specific interests of the fellow, and in the second year they may pursue independent research projects in clinical, translational research, or basic science labs.
Movement Disorders Fellowship Program
The Division of Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders offers a one-year or two-year fellowship that provides clinical training in the diagnosis and management of movement disorders. Fellows can expect in-depth exposure to a broad spectrum of common and rare movement disorders, involvement in clinical and translational research and electives tailored to their specific goals and interests.
One-year fellowships are primarily clinical, with some additional opportunity for research projects and clinical trial design. Two-year fellowships provide expanded time during the second year for pursuing more in-depth research projects and research training to further develop fellows into clinician investigators.
Epilepsy Fellowship Program
The Department of Neurology offers a one-year epilepsy fellowship, led by Dr. Victor Gonzalez Montoya and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Those who successfully complete the program are eligible to take the Added Qualification in Epilepsy Exam offered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
The academic role of epilepsy clinics is to familiarize fellows with epilepsy disorders or mimetic conditions in pediatric and adult populations. Fellows will learn the etiology, pathophysiologic process, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic work-up and therapeutic management of epilepsy disorders as well as the social aspects of the disease. Clinics will provide fellows the expertise needed to manage the full spectrum of epilepsy disorders, mainly in an outpatient setting but also in the context of inpatient emergencies.
Our electroencephalogram (EEG) laboratories are located at both the VCU Medical Center and the Hunter Holmes Mcguire Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Fellows will spend six months in the EEG lab and another six months in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.
Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program
The Department of Neurology offers a one-year vascular neurology fellowship approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This comprehensive program provides training in the inpatient and outpatient management of cerebrovascular disorders under the supervision of internationally renowned faculty.
Fellows can choose between two tracks:
- The academic track is located primarily within the VCU Medical Center in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Fellows receive training in a comprehensive stroke center that sees an average of 1,000 stroke patients each year, with one of the highest rates and fastest times of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (IV tPA) administration and stroke intervention.
- The community track offers training in collaboration with Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia. This provides the opportunity to train in community stroke, neuroimaging and endovascular surgical neuroradiology.
Strengths of the program include extensive training in stroke neuroimaging, neurocritical care, acute stroke evaluation, assessment for stroke intervention and outpatient stroke prevention. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in clinical research and ongoing clinical trials.
Completion of the vascular neurology fellowship prepares the candidate for an academic career, and courses in research methodology can be incorporated into the curriculum for those interested.
Led by Dr. Elizabeth Waterhouse, VCU’s neurology clerkship is a dynamic and engaging one-month clinical experience offering third-year medical students the opportunity to work within in-patient, consultative and community clinical environments within the Department of Neurology. The program introduces students to the discipline by providing exposure to the elements related to delivering clinical care to neurological patients along with fundamental concepts associated with communication, teamwork and professionalism, plus medical knowledge and education in neurosciences.