Info for Medical Students


The clinical neurology clerkship is a third-year core clerkship where students are scheduled per preference in one of six clinical sites:

  • The inpatient ward service
  • The inpatient consults service
  • The VA Medical Center
  • Shadyside Hospital
  • UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • Neurology outpatient clinics

Performing a complete, organized neurologic examination by the end of the rotation will be the primary focus of the clerkship. Laurie Knepper, MD, the clerkship director, will demonstrate this process at orientation. The distributed syllabus will outline clerkship goals and objectives while explaining how they will be assessed; information about required forms, texts, websites and conferences will either be available online or through the Scaife Health Science Library. The topical syllabus, compiled by various department faculty, contains a chapter for each major neurologic disorder – students are encouraged to read this as they progress through the rotation.


Didactic lectures will be given by faculty and residents – topics include:

  • Neuroradiology
  • Peripheral Nerve Diseases
  • Stroke
  • Movement Disorders
  • Seizures
  • Headache
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • NBME subject examination review
  • Four neurologic emergency cases presented by residents

Medical students will be able to atten a pediatric neurology case conference via teleconference, perform an OSCE neurologic examination at the end of orientation week, and receive feedback on professionalism and accuracy of their completed components. In addition to attending a neuropathology small group session, students take an evening of stroke night call with the senior resident; this enables the students to observe patient sign-out and the acute evaluation and management of stroke patients.


The standard University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine clinical evaluation form is distributed through Medhub to all faculty, fellows, and residents with whom each student has worked, and they submit them as they see fit. This evaluation encompasses clinical knowledge, clinical skills, data reporting (oral and written, clinical reasoning, problem-solving, and differential diagnosis), professionalism and communication. Midway through the rotation, a faculty member or resident will complete a mid-clerkship evaluation for each student; this includes feedback as well as student self-reflection about their progress. Additionally, faculty and residents observe a complete patient history and physical examination for each student. There is also an EMR note review exercise; students are required to submit one note in the middle of rotation (for which they receive formative feedback) and a second note at the end (where they are graded by one of five reviewers per standardized form).

If there are any questions, please contact Laurie Knepper, MD, director of the neurology clerkship and electives.