Pediatric Neurology Residency Program
Physicians who want to specialize in childhood brain and nerve disorders now have a new place to receive the advanced training they need. The University of Florida College of Medicine has launched a residency program in pediatric neurology, helping to ease a decades-long nationwide shortage of specialists. The program is the second of its kind in Florida, and one of just 72 nationally.
Pediatric neurologists diagnose, treat and manage disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system, including developmental delays, headache syndromes, neuropathy seizures and sleep, neuromuscular and spinal cord disorders. But there aren’t enough pediatric neurologists to help all the patients who need their services. A 2003 study by the Child Neurology Society found that just 1,080 pediatric neurologists existed in the U.S. in 1998 — 20 percent lower than the number needed to meet the demand estimated by the Bureau of Health Professions. The shortage is expected to remain through 2020.
Although training programs exist, an increasing number of class slots are going unfilled and fewer and fewer physicians are entering the field. The percentage of child neurology residency positions filled decreased from 70 percent to 55 percent in the 10-year period starting in1993, according to the American Medical Association.
The decline could be because of a combination of factors, including that medical students aren’t sufficiently exposed to child neurology as a career option during the course of their studies, because the training takes a long time — typically five years on top of the eight years candidates would have already spent in undergraduate and medical school, and because salaries are low compared with those in other pediatric subspecialties, experts say.
To address many of those issues, UF offers medical students the opportunity to attend lectures on pediatric neurology, gain clinical and research experience in the field and receive mentorship from senior pediatric neurologists.
UF’s three-year pediatric neurology residency program provides advantages not available elsewhere, including immersion in the department’s faculty practice and extensive collaborations with other UF centers and departments, including the McKnight Brain Institute, the Clinical Research Center, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Multi-Disciplinary Training Program and the departments of neurology, neurosurgery, pediatrics and psychiatry.
UF’s program will produce one new specialist each year. Trainees will study adult neurology in their first year then focus on child neurology for the rest of their studies. The program was approved November 2012 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME, the national body that certifies post-medical school education in the U.S.. Physicians who complete the program can apply for a practice license in any state or pursue fellowship opportunities. Graduates will be eligible for certification by both the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and able to treat both adults and children.
Applications are being accepted through February for the inaugural class, which will start in July. The program is open to physicians who have already completed at least two years of a general pediatrics residency program, or one year of general pediatrics and one year of internal medicine, or one year of general pediatrics and one year of basic neuroscience research.
- Two years of training in general pediatrics or
- One year of training in general pediatrics and one year of training in internal medicine or
- One year of training in general pediatrics and one year of training in basic neuroscience research
- Curriculum vitae
- Three recommendation letters (personal/professional qualities)
- USMLE scores
- Candidate personal statement
For more information about the Pediatric Neurology Residency Program contact:
Edgard Andrade, M.D.
Child Neurology Residency Program – Department of Pediatrics
University of Florida College of Medicine
P.O. Box 100296
Gainesville, FL 32610-0296