Neurology Residency Program

Program Director

Juan Ochoa, M.D.
Professor of Neurology
Director, SouthCEP comprehensive epilepsy program

Our Goals

To train the finest neurologists for the future, who have mastered:

  • superb bedside clinical skills
  • comprehensive knowledge of scientific and clinical bases for neurological practice
  • ability to critically judge information and data
  • technical skills needed for their practice of neurology
  • teaching skills to improve the knowledge and clinical practice of their future communities
2019 Gold Plus StrokeDNV-GL Certified Stroke Center

 

NAEC Level 4 Epilepsy Center

 

▼   Program Aims

Program Aims

In accordance with our sponsoring institution’s mission to “help people lead longer, better lives,” the principal goal of the University of South Alabama Neurology Residency Program is to assure that our trainees acquire the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to independently and competently practice General Neurology. In accordance with the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, our aim is to prove competency in the areas of Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-Based Practice, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Professionalism, and Interpersonal and Communication Skills.

  1. Residents will acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health in a variety of roles within a health system, in a variety of healthcare settings and across a broad spectrum of neurological disorders.
  2. Residents will acquire competence in the assessment and management of outpatients and inpatients with neurological disorders across the lifespan, including those who require emergency and intensive care.
  3. Residents will acquire the knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social behavioral sciences and the ability to apply this knowledge to patient care across a broad spectrum of clinical disorders.
  4. Residents will demonstrate competency in:
    1. Working effectively in various health care delivery settings and systems relevant to their clinical specialty
    2. Coordinating patient care across the health care continuum and beyond as relevant to their clinical specialty
    3. Advocating for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems
    4. Working in interprofessional teams to enhance patient safety and improve patient care quality
    5. Participating in identifying system errors and implementing potential systems solutions
    6. Incorporating considerations of value, cost awareness, delivery and payment, and risk-benefit analysis in patient and/or population-based care as appropriate
    7. Understanding health care finances and its impact on individual patients’ health decisions
  5. Residents will acquire the ability to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their patient care practices based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning.
  6. Residents will acquire the ability to identify strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one’s knowledge and expertise, set learning and improvement goals, identify and perform appropriate learning activities, and use information technology and evidence based medicine to optimize learning and participate in the education of patients, families, students, residents, and other healthcare professionals.
  7. Residents will demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles. Residents are expected to demonstrate compassion, integrity, and respect for others, a responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest, respect for patient privacy and autonomy, and accountability to patients, society and the profession, and sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation.
  8. Residents will demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals. Residents are expected to communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, communicate effectively with physicians, other health professionals, and health related agencies, work effectively as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group, act in a consultative role to other physicians and health professionals, and maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records.
▼   Residency Highlights

Four year categorical program with integrated internship

  • Neurology residency accredited by ACGME
  • PGY-1 year (Prelim/IM/Neuro) provided by the USA Department of Internal Medicine
  • ACGME accredited fellowship in clinical neurophysiology available

Balanced patient population

  • a wide range of secondary and tertiary referrals and a wide geographic draw 

Structured coursework

Formal coursework is provides structured learning to residents in areas needed for Board certification and clinical practice

  • Core clinical neurology
  • EEG, EMG
  • basic science neurophysiology
  • neuroanatomy
  • neuropharmacology
  • neuropathology

Training in neurologic procedures

  • EEG
  • EMG
  • evoked potentials
  • carotid ultrasonography
  • autonomic studies
  • ocular coherence tomography (OCT)
  • sleep
  • vagus nerve stimulation
  • deep brain stimulation
  • botulinum toxin (Botox)

Ample elective time

  • areas of study can be tailored to pursue individual interests 

Highly effective educational experience

  • Over the last 8 years, 93% of residents have passed the Neurology Board Exam on first attempt.
▼   Applying for Residency Training

The Department of Neurology at the University of South Alabama has three available Neurology Residency positions including internship, starting July 1, 2021. The USA Neurology Residency is a "Categorical" residency, with an internship position provided for each residency slot.

We will begin accepting applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) on September 05, 2019, and begin interviewing applicants on October 5, 2020.

Required documents submitted through ERAS application include the common application form, CV, three letters of recommendation, MSPE (Dean’s letter), copy of MD/DO/MBBS diploma, and official copies of USMLE scores. If you are an osteopathic school graduate, USMLE scores are strongly preferred, although COMLEX scores will be considered. If you are a foreign medical school graduate, you must provide a copy of your current ECFMG certificate and verified transcripts of your grades and graduation. We do not offer positions on a pre-Match basis.

Other application information

We evaluate applications considering multiple factors, therefore we don’t have a minimum USMLE score or passing attempts criteria. Other application information includes:

  • Program application deadline: December 18, 2020
  • We don’t have an absolute medical school graduation date.
  • US clinical experience is not required
  • Applicants requiring visas: please note that we accept only J-1 visas.
  • Letters of recommendation: We suggest your letters of recommendation include, a neurology clerkship director, a program director or program chair.
▼   Resident Elective Rotations
  • Pain management
  • Clinical neurology
  • Specialty clinics
  • EEG/VEEG and evoked potentials
  • EMG/NCV - Neuromuscular
  • Sleep
  • Neuro-otology
  • Neuro-ophthamology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Clinical research methods
  • Basic research
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Epilepsy Movement Disorders
▼   Resident Research Opportunities

Participation in research projects during residency is encouraged. Most residents participate as co-investigators on our clinical trials, and receive IRB training. There are many opportunities to work with faculty mentors on individual projects.

There are also many opportunities for original clinical research. Ongoing resident research projects include studies on dysautonomia in various neurologic disorders, cognitive function in Parkinson patients and seizure outcome in the ED. Case reviews and series reviews may be set up with faculty mentors.

A research elective is available, which covers principles of Human Research, study design and ethics. Residents learn how to prepare a research proposal and submit for IRB approval.

▼   Neurology Residency Clinical Rotations

Each year is divided into 13 blocks.

PGY-1 year

  • Inpatient service - 6 blocks
  • Outpatient clinic - 3 blocks
  • Cardiology - 1 block
  • ICU - 1 block
  • ER - 1 block
  • Renal - 1 block
  • Infectious disease - 1 block

PGY-2 year

  • Inpatient service - 6.5 blocks
  • Outpatient clinic - 4.5 blocks
  • Child neurology - 1 block
  • Neuroradiology/Neuropathology - 1 block

PGY-3 year

  • Inpatient service - 3.5 blocks
  • Outpatient clinic - 4.5 blocks
  • Child neurology - 1 block
  • EMG - 2 blocks
  • EMU - 1 block
  • ICU - 1 block

PGY-4 year

  • Inpatient service/Chief Resident - 3 blocks
  • Outpatient/specialty clinics - 2 blocks
  • Electives - 8 blocks

Clinics

  • Continuity clinic is attended by all residents weekly
  • Residents read carotid sonogram (Doppler) studies and transcranial dopplers
▼   Resident Salaries and Benefits
 

Resident salaries and benefits are established by the University of South Alabama. Current figures are provided on the Graduate Medical Education Web page. 

Academic Leave

Residents are encouraged to attend and present papers at National Meetings, such as the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Up to five days per year may be taken for academic leave for purpose of attending scientific meetings and/or interviewing for fellowship training.

▼   Coursework and Formal Conferences
  • Basic Science Course - alternates each year between:
    • Neurophysiology
    • Neuropharmacology
    • Neuroanatomy
  • EEG/Neurophysiology - combines structured lectures with interpretation sessions weekly
  • EMG/NCV - biweekly
  • Child Neurology - biweekly
  • Grand Rounds - weekly
  • Professor's Rounds - weekly
  • Journal Club - monthly
  • Neuroradiology Conference - weekly
  • Neuropathology - monthly
  • Neurologic Emergencies - summer months
▼   Recent Neurology Resident Publications

Full manuscripts

  • Chen W and Chalhub EG. Inattention and Poor Eye Contact Is Not All Autism. Clinical Ped 2017; 56:873-875. PubMed Link
  • Del Santo MA and Cordina SM. Infantile intracranial aneurysm of the superior cerebellar artery. J Neurointerv Surg 2016; Mar 3. PubMed Link
  • Del Santo MA and Cordina SM. Infantile intracranial aneurysm of the superior cerebellar artery. BMJ Case Rep 2016; doi:10.1136/bcr-2015-012175. PubMed Link
  • Gore E, Manley A, Dees D, Appleby BS and Lerner AJ. A young-onset frontal dementia with dramatic calcifications due to a novel CSF1R mutation. Neurocase 2016; Apr 19:1-6. PubMed Link
  • Ochoa JG and Kilgo WA. The role of benzodiazepines in the treatment of epilepsy. Curr Treat Options Neurol 2016; 18:18. PubMed Link
  • Manley AT and Maertens PM. The Shepherd's Crook Sign: A New Neuroimaging Pareidolia in Joubert Syndrome. J Neuroimaging 2015; 25:510-12. PubMed Link

Abstracts

  • Kilgo WA, Ro DI, Minto E. Are Dawson fingers pathognomonic of Multiple Sclerosis?. USA Resident and Fellow Symposium 2017.
  • Rini J Pregabalin Neurotoxicity and the Risk of Undetected Renal Failure. USA Resident and Fellow Symposium 2017.
  • Rini J and Ro DI,Transient Cortical Hemianopsia: A Rare Complication of Cerebral Angiography. USA Resident and Fellow Symposium 2017.
  • Rini J and Maertens P. Limbic encephalitis due to Voltage–gated potassium channel antibodies (VGKC-AB) in a Child. Southern Pediatric Neurology Symposium 42nd Annual Meeting, 2017
  • Ro DI and Cordina SM. Traumatic vertebral arteriovenous fistula with stroke as the preventing symptom as well as steal phenomenon. USA Resident and Fellow Symposium 2017.
  • Ro DI, Kilgo WA, Cordina SM. Isolated aphasia without major motor or sensory deficits as the sole presenting symptom of a left middle cerebral artery stroke. USA Resident and Fellow Symposium 2017.
  • Kilgo WA, Maertens P, Revere A, Del Santo M, Cordina S. Neurosonologic monitoring of pseudoaneurysm of superior cerebellar artery in an infant. American Society of Neuroimaging Annual Meeting Abstracts 2015.
▼   Recent Graduates and Feedback

Feedback from recent graduates

Jose Sanchez, M.D.Jose Sanchez, M.D. (Class of 2020)

Fellow at the University of North Carolina

The education/training experience that I received at the University of South Alabama is an integral part in my career. I was prepared to practice as a clinician in the field of neurology. I was exposed to a variety of subspecialties of which I really enjoyed neuromuscular medicine. I'm currently completing a neuromuscular fellowship at the University of North Carolina.

James Lamb, M.D.James Lamb, M.D. (Class of 2020)

Attending Neurologist at North Alabama Medical Center with North Alabama Neuroservices, Florence, AL

I wanted to do neurology since before medical school, and USA offered me the perfect training for what I wanted out of my career. I graduated with the knowledge and confidence to practice neurology in a private setting and to be able to handle anything that walks into the door. I would train here again in a heartbeat! I hope I can give back to the neurological community the way that USA gave to me. Thank you!

James Rini, M.D., MPHJames Rini, M.D., MPH (Class of 2019)

Behavioral Neurology Fellowship (2019-2021) at the Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

I am currently a second-year Behavioral Neurology Fellow at the Memory and Aging Center of the University of California San Francisco. In addition to learning diagnostic and management techniques for neurodegenerative conditions, I am also building a career as an academic researcher of remote virtual diagnostic evaluations.

My neurology training at the University of South Alabama was invaluable in helping me achieve my goals. At larger programs with multiple subspecialty fellows and enormous faculties, it is easy to get lost in the process. At the University of South Alabama, the close-knit residents and one to one faculty mentorship provide the optimal catalyst for excellent hands-on training. The clinical exposure is excellent. Though a small program, Southern Alabama has a combination of high-density neurological risk factors and limited preventative care, which leads to substantial exposure to both simple and complex conditions throughout your residency. The faculty and staff are exceptionally supportive in terms of research and extra-mural activities, which has facilitated my development as an academic. Furthermore, the relatively laid-back approach of the staff and faculty invites a sense of hospitality and family that I don't believe I would have received in other residency programs. Looking back, I am very thankful for my time at the University of South Alabama.

Jordan Combs, M.D.Jordan Combs, M.D. (Class of 2016)

From the frigid north, I just wanted to send everybody a big thank you for being a great group of friends and colleagues.

Things are going great here in Grand Rapids. I am now clinical faculty at Michigan State College of Human Medicine, and an attending neuro-hospitalist at Spectrum Health Medical Center. We have our residency through Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners.

I am confident in saying that my neurology training at USAMC was robust and complete. Having a multi-sub-specialty clinic and regional referral medical center provided extensive opportunity to see and care for a wide range of common, complex and extremely rare neurological conditions. Personally providing care to tertiary referrals for all the regions advanced neurovascular, neuromuscular, movement disorder, multiple sclerosis, pediatric neurology and epilepsy patients has prepared me for my daily rounds. In particular the bread and butter neurology of stroke and seizure education were phenomenal. I was able to participate first hand in the care of acute stroke patients requiring advanced endovascular interventions and neuro-critical care monitoring. Also continuous monitoring of EMU and epilepsy surgery candidates allowed for practical training in advanced topographic/localization software, intracranial monitoring, WADA and language mapping. Furthermore, the rest of the faculties active clinics for MS, headache, stroke, seizure, Parkinson’s, Botox and neurophysiology, all with great hands on experiences, have prepared me for real world consults and procedures. After 4 years of lectures, rounds and clinic I felt well prepared for boards and starting my career.

I miss you all, thank you. A special thank you to everyone who reached out personally to help me get exactly what I was looking for right out of residency.

Sincerely,
Jordan

Andrew Manley, M.D.Andrew Manley, M.D. (Class of 2016)

The USA Neurology Residency affords the resident constant one-on-one teaching from faculty, while still exposing the resident to a widely varied array of patient cases equivalent to cases seen by residents at much larger programs.

On day one after graduation, I felt fully prepared and confident in making my own decisions as a practicing general neurologist.

Where are they now?

  • Diana Hengartner, M.D. (2017) - Movement disorder specialist at the Neurodegenerative Disease Center of Northwestern Medicine CDH and affiliated with the Department of Neurology of Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago IL
  • William Kilgo, M.D. (2017) - Fellowship in Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis (2017-2018), University of Alabama Birmingham, Birmingham AL
  • Jaesung Kim, M.D. (2017) - Attending neurologist, Tulsa OK
  • Jordan Combs, M.D. (2016) - Neurohospitalist and faculty, Michigan State College of Human Medicine/Spectrum Health Medical Center, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Andrew Manley, M.D. (2016) - Attending neurologist, Thomas Hospital, Fairhope, AL, Coastal Neurological Institute, Mobile, AL
  • Matthew McLean, M.D. (2014) - Attending neurologist, Infirmary Hospital, Mobile, AL
  • Ethan Gore, M.D. (2014) - Attending neurologist, Pensacola, FL; Fellowship in Cognitive Neurology, Case Western University, Cleveland, OH
  • Eric Grover, M.D. (2014) - Faculty, Dartmouth University/Hitchcock Medical Center, Manchester, NH; Fellowship in Epilepsy (2014-2016), Yale University, New Haven CN
  • Gloria Simms, M.D. (2013) - Attending neurologist, Inland Hospital/ EMHS. Location: Bangor, ME
  • Judy Chun Huang, M.D. (2013) - Neurohospitalist, Memorial Health Systems, Chattanooga, TN
  • T. Elliot Foster, M.D. (2012) - Attending neurologist, Coastal Neurological Institute, Mobile, AL
  • Gregory Lipscomb, M.D. (2012) - Attending neurologist, Neurology Consultants of Montgomery, Jackson Hospital, Montgomery, AL
  • Daniel Dees, M.D. (2011) - Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of South Alabama, Mobile AL; Fellowship in Movement Disorders (2011-2012), Medical College of Georgia, Augusta GA
  • Kristina Duffy, M.D. (2011) - Attending neurologist, Niceville, FL
  • Shannon Overs, M.D. (2011) - Attending neurologist, Charlotte, NC; Fellowship in Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis, University of Oregon (2011-2013), Portland OR
  • Izabella Koper, M.D. (2010) - Attending neurologist, Mobile VA Medical Center, Mobile AL
  • Maher Loutfi, M.D. (2010) - Attending neurologist, Sentara Healthcare, Woodbridge VA; Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology, Vanderbilt University (2010-2011)
▼   Contact Information

Department of Neurology Residency Program
University of South Alabama
2451 University Hospital Drive, Suite 10E
Mobile, AL 36617
Phone: (251) 445-8261
Fax: (251) 445-8249

Leigh Rowell
GME Program Coordinator II
University of South Alabama Department of Neurology
2451 University Hospital Drive, Suite 10E
Mobile, AL 36617
(251) 445-8261
clrowell@health.southalabama.edu 

Juan G. Ochoa, M.D.
Professor, Neurology
Residency Program Director
University of South Alabama Department of Neurology
2451 University Hospital Drive, Suite 10E
Mobile, AL 36617
(251) 445-8261
jochoa@health.southalabama.edu