As health care faces unprecedented changes, there has never been a greater need for neurologists. Our fully accredited categorical residency program is dedicated to training doctors who will be able to meet and exceed the growing needs of the patient population.
The University of Missouri School of Medicine Department of Neurology is experiencing remarkable growth and productivity. An acute stroke interventional program has been added and achieved level 1 status. We have hired new neurologists who perform endovascular stroke interventions and, along with our other neurology faculty, provide comprehensive stroke care. We now have the only neurology-run fellowship in endovascular stroke care in the county, and we populate the stroke service with senior and junior neurology residents who, last year, personally ran 891 stroke codes. We opened a neuro-intensive care unit with multiple fellowship-trained neurointensivists. In response to this growth, our residency size has steadily increased in size and our faculty has more than quadrupled since 2002. Most importantly, we have blended these new services and new rotations, along with the new faculty, new didactics, new work-flow patterns, and new assessment and feedback systems, still keeping the program balanced, to give comprehensive training in all areas of clinical neurology.
Our clinically active and scholarly productive faculty span virtually all neurologic subspecialties. Residents have the opportunity to work one-on-one with specialists in fields such as cognitive-behavioral neurology, epilepsy, movement disorders, stroke, sleep neurology, neuromuscular, multiple sclerosis, and headache. An organized curriculum of rotations, didactic sessions, conferences, and research opportunities provides comprehensive training and hands-on experience.
Each resident has his or her own workstation and storage area in a dedicated residents office within the department. In addition, a conference room, library and full departmental staff and resources are right down the hall. Residents have online access to an extensive array of products including UpToDate, our electronic medical record system, a clinical imaging system, and the University’s extensive library system. We provide our residents with an annual book fund, membership in the American Academy of Neurology, and a subscription to the Continuum journal series.
MU Neurology graduates go on to attend competitive fellowships at numerous institutions of their choosing. Our graduates perform well when they sit for their neurology board exam and have chosen careers in both clinical practice as well as academics.
We currently accept five residents into our program each year. As a categorical residency program, residents automatically get the first postgraduate year (PGY1) in internal medicine here at MU. This translates to both continuity across residency training, as well as less time, money, and stress interviewing and matching for two programs.
For me, personally, I love being a residency program director. My first best destiny is as a teacher. What I love most, and do best, is teach, and help learners learn. My mission is to reach each learner so that person feels touched, personally. I want the learner to feel individually valued and understood, invested in the topic I hope to teach, so that the learning moment somehow can directly speak to the learner. As a residency program director, I commit to each resident, know and value each one of them as a person, invest myself in the person’s welfare, and try to facilitate the person’s learning and maturation.
From these core values, my approach to education, pedagogically, is straightforward. My principles are: (1) learners learn more than teachers teach; (2) help make things clear, focused, and understandable; (3) motivate the learner, and make it fun; and (4) advocate for learning, and for the learner. With these values and approaches, I have tried to teach and inspire interest in neurology.