Pediatric Neurology Residency
Welcome Message from the Program Director
We are a new Pediatric Neurology Residency Program that was approved by the ACGME in April 2020. We will be accepting application for the July 2021 Match (NRMP) via ERAS. The Hackensack Meridian Health Network consists of 17 institutions including two children’s hospitals, the Joseph M Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center and the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Both hospitals have been providing a comprehensive and compassionate care to their respective communities. They are leaders in Children’s Health in the state of New Jersey and nationally. They have received recognition by U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) as well as other organizations and include USNWR recognition for pediatric oncology and pediatric neurology/pediatric neurosurgery. JFK Neuroscience institute provides exemplary care in Neurology and Neurosurgery and Rehabilitation. We currently have pediatric residency training programs at both our children hospitals and JFK has an ACGME certified training program for adult neurology residents.
The vision of our program is to provide residents a solid foundation in Child Neurology, allowing them the options of either proceeding directly to clinical practice, obtaining further training in subspecialties such as epilepsy, neuromuscular disorders, movement disorders, neuroimmunology or neurocritical care. Depending on the trainee’s interests, some may even opt for a career in academic medicine, participating not only in clinical practice, but also in research and teaching. Our goal is to produce exceptional child neurologists who will contribute to the field and improve the heath outcomes of all populations.
As a new program, we will be offering both PGY-1 opportunities in a combined program with the General Pediatrics Residency at K Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, as well as PGY3 positions for candidates who are currently in, or have already finished their Pediatric Residency elsewhere.
Training of Child Neurologists consists of three phases. First comes two or more years of General Pediatric Residency, during which time the resident learns the basics of Pediatrics, including the physiology of the normal infant and child, as well as the pathophysiology of Pediatric diseases. The Clinical rotations in Pediatrics then apply that knowledge to the diagnosis and management of Pediatric patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
The second phase is one year (PGY3) of Adult Neurology training, which takes place at JFK Neuroscience Institute. This PGY3 year is a time to learn about the basic types of Neurologic disease. Neurologic diagnosis relies heavily on the findings from the physical and neurological examinations, and the time devoted to the “Neurologic exam” is generally more extensive than for most organ systems. Given that adult patients are generally more cooperative and more able to express themselves than the typical Pediatric patient, the Adult year is the best opportunity a resident has to master the “Complete Neurologic Examination.” A unique aspect of the neurologic diagnostic process is localization, ie determining where (in the nervous system) the lesion is, so as to best direct imaging and other testing.
Again, the adult year affords the resident a great deal of practice in this process. By the end of the year, the resident will have achieved a basic understanding of how the neurologist gathers information, and then uses that information to make a diagnosis and manage the disease.
The third phase, PGY 4 and 5, are focused on Child neurology itself. These experiences occur at both the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at JSUMC, as well as the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HUMC. Utilizing these two sites allows the resident the opportunity to encounter a wide variety of neurological disorders in children and to learn from a diversity of pediatric neurology subspecialists. The trainees will have a continuity clinic where they will have the opportunity for long term exposure to a variety of pediatric neurological disorders in a diverse patient population. Building on the principles and knowledge gained in the first three years, the resident learns how to adopt the principles of the neurological examination across all age groups, from neonates and infants onward. The main clinical rotations on the inpatient and outpatient Child Neurology Services provides the resident with the opportunity to hone their history taking and examination skills. At the same time, their knowledge base increases as they read and learn about the diseases they are seeing. Electives offer further opportunities for focused experiences on selected areas of importance. By the end of this experience, the resident should be competent in diagnosing and managing the general array of Neurologic disease in neonates, children and adolescents.