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Letter from the Neurology Chief Residents

RFJ photo

Ralph F. Jozefowicz, M.D.
Program Director

Colleen Tomcik, M.D.

Colleen Tomcik, M.D.

Associate Program Director

Greetings from Rochester, NY!

We are thrilled that you are interested in applying to the Neurology Residency Program at the University of Rochester (UR). As chief residents, we are familiar with the program's many strengths, and we would like to share some of our insights with you.

Education is a vital part of the culture at UR. Our program director, Dr. Ralph Jozefowicz, is widely recognized as an international leader in neurology education, and resident education is a top priority within the Department. Education is incorporated into day to day resident life through our morning report case discussions, neuro-radiology conferences, bedside professor rounds, and daily noon lectures (catered lunch provided!) – all of which help to enrich the learning that already occurs spontaneously during clinical rounds.

Our program has also created an environment that supports residents as educators. We play an integral role in the highly acclaimed and widely adopted second year neurology course for medical students, entitled “Mind, Brain, and Behavior.” This course has undoubtedly influenced about 10% of each medical school class to pursue and match into neurology residency, which is far above the national average and speaks volumes to the quality of our educational program. Additionally, our chief residents spend one month in Krakow, Poland teaching neurology to international medical students at Jagiellonian University, which is a unique learning experience for our residents.

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental values within our residency and the department. Residents have the opportunity to be closely involved with many different activities within the department focused on anti-racism and racial disparities including research, book clubs, mentorships, and clinical initiatives throughout the Rochester community. In addition, there are many opportunities to pursue diverse clinical work all over the world, with specific programs in Spain, Peru, and Zambia.

Quality improvement is another major focus for our residents and faculty. Many residents play an integral role in hospital and departmental quality improvement committees, creating and leading initiatives that have led to system-wide change and substantial improvements in patient care delivery.

The Department of Neurology is very well known for its extensive clinical and basic science research, consistently ranking among the top 10 for National Institutes of Health research funding. In addition, approximately 25 percent of the total research activity at the UR Medical Center is in the field of neuroscience. Resident engagement in research activities (either clinical, bench or quality improvement) is fostered through a formal research mentorship program and informal connections between residents, attending physicians and fellows. The formal program pairs each resident with a faculty member to allow for guidance through residency life, discussion of research opportunities, and advice for professional development. Each resident also participates in an annual research symposium held jointly with the Department of Neurosurgery.

We love Rochester! Rochester is truly an enjoyable and culturally rich place to live. The city offers surprisingly affordable housing options as well as a wide variety of things to do. There are too many festivals to list, but the most iconic are the Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Lilac Festival, both of which are internationally recognized. We have the opportunity to enjoy anything from world class performances at the Eastman School of Music and GEVA theaters to a multitude of outdoor activities including skiing, kayaking, hiking in our many parks (many designed by Frederick Law Olmstead), or running or biking along the Erie Canal. Additionally, there are fantastic restaurants, breweries and wineries in the area and we are close to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Northeast, including the Finger Lakes, Letchworth State Park, and the Adirondack Mountains.

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!

Kindly, the UR Neurology chief residents:

Natalia Chunga, MD

Jennifer Corcoran, MD

James Matthew Dupree, MD

Andre Huang, MD

Michael Ibarra, MD

Diana Li, MD