Skip to main content

Letter from the Neurology Chief Residents



Greetings from Rochester, NY!   Chiefs Welcome  photo

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Neurology Residency Program at the University of Rochester (UR). On behalf of our residents, the current chief class is excited to help you get to know our program!

Our program works to give residents a breadth and depth of exposure to neurology beginning in the very first weeks of the PGY1 year, through introduction to our neurology continuity clinics. Even during the internal medicine intern year, our residents have longitudinal exposure to new and follow-up neurology outpatients as well as floor and consultation experiences. The PGY2 year offers a breadth of exposure to both inpatient and outpatient neurology to facilitate learning and early career discernment, which is carried forward into the PGY3 year where the addition of further elective time allows for further professional development as clinicians, researchers, administrators, and leaders. The PGY4 or “chief” year further facilitates leadership development, encouraging the transition from learner to teacher through formal work as instructors in the “Mind, Brain, and Behavior” neuroscience course, work as junior teaching faculty at Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and through work on a communal leadership project intended to continue our program’s trajectory of growth and improvement. The growth of our program from six to eight residents per class year in 2019 has facilitated the expansion of subspecialty and elective experiences and the tailoring of the individual resident experience to clinical and academic interests.

Education is at the center of our program, with the intent of developing our residents as both learners and teachers. We have a rich didactic structure, including morning report case discussion, neuroradiology conference, Grand Rounds, and a protected didactic education series occurring on Wednesday afternoons. Our tradition of education stems from the UR Neurology family’s history of pioneers in neurology education like Dr. Ralph Jozefowicz, affectionately known as “Dr. J,” an internationally recognized ‘program director’ of program directors who over 25 years has mentored residents and faculty alike into clinician-educators. In 2022, Dr. J passed the torch on to our beloved Dr. Colleen Tomcik who as our program director, along with Drs. Chris Tarolli, and Jennifer Marsella associate program directors, continue to facilitate our growth and education.

In addition to our structured and unstructured didactics, our program allows our residents to develop their passions and talents in multiple other ways, both personally and professionally. Robust opportunities exist for international medicine and research, including programs in Spain, Poland, Peru, and Zambia. Our residents are represented throughout our Department’s initiatives, including the Wellness Task Force, the IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Antiracism, and Social Justice) Council, quality improvement products (including those of their own design), and clinical and basic science research, for which our Department consistently ranks among the top 10 in NIH research funding. Our passion for neurology translates to our medical students, about 10% of whom enter neurology annually in programs throughout the country.

It is just as important to love where you live, and the Flower City is truly an enjoyable and culturally rich place to be. In addition to being an affordable place to live and work, Rochester boasts a variety of summer festivals, including the internationally recognized Lilac and Jazz Festivals; the Eastman School of Music, which has a downstream influence on a wide range of musical pursuits in the city; enough parks to last you through all of residency and beyond; and a wide range of restaurants, breweries, and wineries. Just beyond the outskirts of the city are the Finger Lakes, the Adirondack Mountains, and a bevy of state parks, including Watkins Glen and Letchworth State Park for those interested in outdoor adventures.

We hope we have given you a glimpse into the life and opportunities for residents at the University of Rochester Neurology Residency Program. Please reach out to any of us if you would like to learn more and/or follow us on Instagram at urmc_neurology_residency and Twitter @URMC_Neurology!!

Kindly, the UR Neurology chief residents:

Shubhdeep Ahden, DO

Felicia Cooper Overmiller, MD

Kathryn Eszes, MD

Maxime Jean, MD, PhD

Christina Perri, MD

David Sandness, MD

Andrew Thierman, MD

Carlos Vervloet Sollero, MD