Each resident typically spends 3 months on electives during each of their last two years. Residents are provided guidance by the Program Director, Chairman, and other faculty members in selecting these electives. These electives can be taken in any area that will help further the residents goals for his/her career development.
Many residents spend their elective time enhancing their knowledge and skills in aspects of clinical neurology in which they are particularly interested. The possibilities for this are unlimited, since there is a large number of clinical specialties represented at Yale, and when not available locally residents can spend elective time at other institutions with strengths in specific subspecialties. Many of our residents use their elective time in this way to broaden their experience, or to enhance their competitiveness for clinical practice. Examples of clinical electives available to our residents locally include:
- Neuroimmunology / Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuromuscular Disease
- Clinical Neurophysiology/EMG/EEG
- Headache / Chronic Pain
- Movement Disorders
- Neuro-AIDS / HIV
- Functional MRI / Behavioral Neurology
Many residents choose to spend elective time pursuing a clinical or basic science research project in collaboration with one of the many faculty members in Neurology or in other departments at Yale University. Many of these projects culminate in presentations at national meetings. Previous experience in research is not necessary. Click here to learn about research opportunities.
Elective time during the second or third year of neurology training can be organized into mini-fellowships. This allows residents to address topics in greater detail than usually afforded in a clinical elective. Previous residents have arranged mini-fellowships in clinical neurophysiology, epilepsy, stroke, and basic neuroscience research. These fellowships can be undertaken in conjunction with a clinical research project. In some cases, these mini-fellowships can decrease the time required in a formal fellowship, or offer more flexibility in post-graduate training.
Flexible Training in Neurology
The Yale Neurology Residency Curriculum meets the guidelines of the American Neurological Association, and endorsed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to support education designed to maximize efficient development of neurologist investigators. This goal is achieved in part through the availability of Research Electives in clinical neurology and basic neuroscience, as well via the availability of the Clinical Neuroscience Career Development Track and Mini-Fellowships, while also meeting all of the requirements for eligibility to sit for the examination of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to become board certified in adult neurology.
Residents are encouraged to take off-campus electives at other institutions and/or in other countries. To this end both PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents are allowed a “Golden Elective” as one of their three electives. During this 4 week block the residents do not have any Continuity Clinic or call responsibilities. This allows residents to explore off-campus and away electives. These electives are invaluable for those residents seeking exposure to areas of neurology that are not available at Yale University, and can give insight into the approach to clinical care at other institutions or countries.
There are many possibilities available for away electives. One example that has been attractive to our residents is to learn Clinical Neurology at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. This successful and popular elective is run by Martin J Stransky, one of our faculty, who is based in Prague for much of the year. Dr. Stransky directs a large clinic and has a number of leadership positions in Prague (http://www.narodni.cz). The Prague elective is open to all residents and is tailored in length and content to the residents' particular interests. Along with a rich historical tradition in neurology (e.g. Purkinje), Prague has several prominent teaching hospitals with a full range of neurological services, including gamma knife surgery and PET scanning. Limited funds are available to defray some of the expenses incurred by travel to Prague.
During elective months, residents continue to attend their Continuity Clinics an average of once every week.