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Letter from the Neurology Chief Residents

Greetings from Rochester, NY!

We are thrilled that you are interested in applying to the Neurology Residency Program at the University of Rochester.  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 major component of the culture at Rochester.  Our program director, Dr. Ralph Jozefowicz, is widely recognized as a national and international leader in neurology education, and the department values resident education is a top priority.  Each morning the inpatient services convene for either morning report or a neuro-radiology conference. We have a daily noon conference lecture series and weekly bedside teaching “Professor” rounds.  We have found these organized sessions extremely valuable, and they enrich the learning that occurs spontaneously during rounds.

Our program has created an environment that supports residents as educators.  At Rochester, we enjoy several unique opportunities to hone our own teaching skills.  We have an integral role in the highly acclaimed and widely adopted medical school second year neurology course, entitled “Mind, Brain, and Behavior.”  Similarly, the medical students rate the third year neurology clerkship extremely highly.  It is little surprise to us that roughly 10% of each medical school class matches into a neurology residency each year.  This is far above the national average, and it speaks volumes to the quality of our program.

The department is also well known for extensive clinical and basic science research. We have top funding across the country particularly in our Neuromuscular Department. There are ample areas of opportunity for clinical and basic science research and there is an annual research symposium that is put on jointly with the Neurosurgery department.

Recently, we have also enhanced our quality improvement curriculum and have multiple quality committees across the hospital both inpatient and outpatient. Many residents are involved with these multiple QI opportunities and have seen substantial changes to our patient flow as a result of these efforts. We also have monthly QI conferences as part of the noon conference lecture series.

The neurology faculty members at Rochester are excellent, and they create a very welcoming and collegial atmosphere.  Here, we have the pleasure of working alongside experts and leaders within each of the subspecialties of neurology.  There are exciting opportunities for research, and we would be happy to discuss these with you. 

Several times throughout the year an attending invites the residents to their home for journal club.  These are 50% journal and 50% “club,” so this provides us with a great opportunity to get to know our faculty outside of the hospital setting.  Dr. Jozefowicz hosts frequent Happy Hours as well.

Rochester is truly an enjoyable place to live and work, and is a very culturally rich city.  The city offers surprisingly affordable housing options as well as a wide array of activities.  There are too many festivals to list, but the most iconic are the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Lilac Festival.  We also enjoy listening to music performed by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the Eastman Theater, taking in plays at the Geva Theatre, and enjoying wine produced in the nearby Finger Lakes region.  There are fantastic restaurants and bars in the area.  The athletically inclined have access to excellent skiing, kayaking, hiking in the many parks (multiple designed by Frederick Law Olmstead), and running or biking along the Erie Canal.

We hope this has given you some insight into the life and opportunities for residents at the University of Rochester Neurology Residency Program.

Sincerely, the chief residents:

Matthew Leach

Michael Leone

Kathleen Munger

Mitch Onken

Amanda Opaskar

Blanca Valdovinos