Didactic Sessions

Morning Report — Weekdays at 7:45 a.m.
A fast-paced conference in which recent patient presentations are used as a starting point for discussion of differential diagnoses, pathophysiology, and management.

Grand Rounds — Wednesdays at 9 a.m.
Formal lectures on a variety of current topics in Neurology and allied specialties. Local, national, and international speakers are invited to give lectures on their specific areas of expertise.

Clinical Case Conference — Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
The residents take turns presenting interesting patients for discussion. Whenever possible, the presenting resident will discuss a case that is linked to the grand rounds topic.

Midday Conference Weekdays 11:30-12:30. Lunch provided.

The Midday didactics are daily sessions that are designed to augment the residents’ knowledge base by incorporating various lecture styles and approaches to optimize integration of long term knowledge to serve the residents for their clinical careers as well as the boards and RITE examinations. The curriculum is designed to span a 1.5 year cycle, in other words, a resident will be exposed to each topic twice over their 3 years of neurology residency training. The specific blocks are listed below. . We do have a 1 day PGY-2 “Boot Camp” in the beginning of the year where the entire day is dedicated to review of the neurologic examination, emergency situations (acute stroke, status epilepticus), high volume consultation topics (acute headache management, the approach to patients with altered mental status) and simulation sessions.

The general design of each block is similar, although the length of the blocks vary. The beginning lectures focus on anatomy, physiology and embryology to serve as a platform for the latter topics. The latter topics focus on the pathophysiology, diagnostic approach and therapeutic interventions for specific groups of disease states (i.e. acquired neuropathies or genetic stroke syndromes). For specific topics, additional sessions with regard to electro diagnostics are added. For example, in the neuromuscular block there are several sessions devoted to observing EMG and NCS being performed by a neuromuscular expert, with discussion of how to interpret the findings. Sessions devoted to pathology are also given with a focus on high yield board topics. For each didactic session there is an accompanying reading (typically 3-5 pages in Merritt’s 13th Edition) that residents should review prior to the session to prime their learning. Many of the sessions are designed to be interactive, which helps solidify the learners’ knowledge. Finally, our more senior residents close off the block with review sessions which vary from Jeopardy, Password, Board Review Quick Tips, and High Yield Imaging. The Chief Resident compiles a question bank based off the various lectures and distributes a “Block Test” for self-assessment.

The one unique aspect of our didactic series is that this is protected time for our PGY-2s. The senior residents on service take over the pagers and answer all pages and will go take care of clinical emergencies independently at that time. It is essential that we allow our PGY-2 residents an opportunity to learn neurology in the classroom setting to supplement the vast amount of knowledge that they are gaining with their clinical experiences. Overall, the residency training program is dedicated to providing the best educational opportunity for residents through clinical experience, reading and classroom learning sessions.

If you have any questions about the didactic sessions or would like to see an example of one of the educational blocks, please contact Chief Resident Christopher Stack at cstack1@umm.edu.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference - Mondays at 11:30 a.m. - 12 times a year
The department safety officer presents statistics on patient outcomes from the preceding month. The PGY-4 residents recently on service will present cases with adverse outcomes or areas for improvement for a no-fault root cause analysis and discussion. Lunch provided.


Emergency lecture series: Covering those topics that neurology residents need be familiar with early in residency to deal with issues that may arise while on call.


Introductory talks on the major areas of neurology.  Designed to give new residents a good base of knowledge to build upon and as a review for more senior residents.

Neuroanatomy review: A two week intensive course taught by PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents to review the major anatomic structures and connections of the nervous system.



Resident Meeting – Monthly: The Program Director meets with all the residents to discuss any resident concerns, disseminate information, and brainstorm about ideas for improvements.

Chair Rounds (2-3 times a month): A formal patient presentation and discussion led by the Chairman or his designee.


The visiting Grand Rounds speaker for the week will give an additional session just for the residents to discuss further learning points on their area of expertise.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays - Resident Midday Learning Sessions:

The core lecture series has recently been redesigned based on resident feedback such that each subject area is given a block of sessions (varying from 2-7 weeks in length) to cover the major topics in that field.  The schedule is designed so that each topic block is repeated twice over the course of the 3 years of neurology residency.

Topic blocks:

  • Vascular
  • Neuro-ophthalmology /Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy and Sleep
  • Oncology
  • Neuromuscular
  • Spinal Cord
  • Headache/Pain/Substance Abuse
  • Neuropsychology and Cognition
  • Dementia and Movement Disorders
  • Demyelinating/Neuroimmunology/Neuro-ID
  • Development and Genetics
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry

Each block incorporates sessions in:

  • Epidemiology       
  • Radiology
  • Pathology
  • Physiology & Chemistry
  • Pharmacology & Current treatment guidelines
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Critical care issues
  • Ethics
  • Board Review
  • Journal Club: 1-2 sessions each block. A resident will lead the discussion of an article related to the block topic.  Faculty experts in both the clinical topic, as well as experts in research trial design and analysis attend to facilitate discussion

Residents meet in the UMMC MASTRI simulation center for Lumbar Puncture tutorial.

For patient inquiries or to make an appointment, call 1-800-492-5538.