Welcome from the Chief Residents

Dear Future Neurologist, 

As the chief residents for the 2021-2022 class, we are delighted to welcome you to the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While you search for where to pursue the next phase of your training, we hope you consider UPMC. We are excited to share all of the great things that make our program a unique place to train. 

The UPMC Neurology Residency is one of the finest in the country, known for producing skilled graduates who are, “prepared for anything”. Your clinical training will cover the entire spectrum of neurology, ranging from managing critical illness in the Neurological ICU, to establishing your own weekly outpatient continuity clinic. Our program strongly supports residents taking ownership of their clinic patients and you will serve as your patients’ primary neurologist. You will work closely alongside your assigned clinic preceptor who is only just a phone call or text message away. 

You will serve as the team leader at the central hub of healthcare in Western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. The UPMC Neurology Department evaluates over 65,000 outpatients per year and at our flagship Presbyterian Hospital, over 2,300 neurology inpatients are cared for annually. This large volume directly translates into invaluable clinical experience seeing patients at our two comprehensive stroke and tertiary care centers, as well as training at dedicated cancer, women’s, children’s, and Veterans’ hospitals. UPMC’s telemedicine network encompasses over 50 other hospitals. As a result, you will see everything from bread-and-butter problems to once-in-a-career cases. UPMC is one of the highest volume stroke and interventional centers in the country, and our extensive network attracts the most complex diseases in the region. You will become very comfortable managing acute cerebrovascular and neurological disease through a substantial clinical volume and excellent mentorship from neurology fellows and attendings. UPMC is on the cutting edge of innovation and was the highest enrolling center in the DAWN trial, which has changed the landscape of acute stroke care and expanded our treatment windows. We actively participate in enrollment for several ongoing clinical trials.  

We maintain professional and supportive relationships with our faculty, many of whom are known in their subspecialties on a national level. Residents from UPMC have the opportunity to enter competitive fellowships in every field of neurology, owing in large part to our exceptional training and the unwavering support from faculty. With nearly all neurological subspecialties represented, there is ample opportunity to gain exposure and experience in whatever field interests you. While residents remain the primary drivers of patient care on the inpatient services, faculty are available 24/7 to supervise consultations and admissions. During rounds, daily bedside teaching and informal teaching sessions help to improve both your skills and patient care. 

To bolster our clinical knowledge, we have a thorough didactic teaching schedule. A precedent of an excellent education is set forth early during the Resident Boot Camp at the start of the PGY-2 year. This three-week course lays a groundwork of academic and clinical knowledge allowing residents to start off on the right foot during rotations. We continually build on our fundamental knowledge with weekly afternoon case reports and daily, program-wide noon conferences. By the completion of your junior year, you will feel comfortable with the diagnosis and management of most neurologic complaints, performing lumbar punctures, interpreting EEGs, and reading neuroimages. During the third and fourth years, you will continue to hone these skills and refine your clinical decision making as well as educate your colleagues by leading grand rounds.  

Among all that our program has to offer, our amazing group of residents is the greatest strength of our program. While working together, there is a collaborative and fun atmosphere allowing even the longest days to be enjoyable and rewarding. Our resident Social Chairs plan monthly Cerebellar Rounds and we gather to celebrate birthdays, weddings, or even just days off. We support each other and maintain a sense of camaraderie, all while living in the great city of Pittsburgh! Known for our amazing sports teams, culture, and food, as well as a low cost of living, it truly is a great place to be during residency training. 

We hope that you will consider the University of Pittsburgh for your neurology training! While we will miss seeing you on interview days, we welcome the opportunity to show you around if you do make it to Pittsburgh this year for whatever reason. We promise you will appreciate the friendship among residents, the support from the faculty and our mighty, beautiful city. 

~Your Chiefs, 
Sudipa Biswas
Emre Cakmak 
Keiko Fukuda
James Harb
Naga Kothapalli 
Iris Lin
Sydney Palka 
Jiyeon Son