Residency Training Program in Neurology

Initiated in 1987, the ACGME-accredited Neurology Residency Training Program is affiliated with Brown Medical School and is centered at Rhode Island Hospital under the direction of Michelle Mellion, MD.  Three years in duration, the Neurology Residency trains six residents each year.

Our mission is to educate our residents to be excellent clinical neurologists by giving them an intensive, broad, closely supervised education in neurology. The neurology staff and residents strive to provide high quality patient care through their activities on the ward and outpatient clinics. This high priority on strong teaching and patient care is based on the belief that the recruitment of high quality resident trainees, coupled with a neurology faculty commitment to outstanding patient care, is the best means of providing an exemplary environment for the teaching of neurology.

Eligible applicants to the residency program are graduates of an approved United States or Canadian Medical school or are foreign medical graduates who possess a J1 visa, Green Card, or US citizenship and have been certified through the ECFMG.  Neurology residents begin specialty training after completing an approved internship in Internal Medicine as required by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Opportunities to obtain preliminary PGY-1 year of training in Internal Medicine are available through the   Department of Medicine at Brown University.  Applications, procedures, and further information are available on their website. The Clinical Program The rotation schedule provides a varied, intensive clinical neurologic experience and gives the residents graded responsibility for teaching and patient care. The daily schedule balances patient care, attending rounds, and didactic sessions.

Year one emphasizes inpatient and emergency neurology. On the ward service, the neurology residents with their attending neurologist and medical interns care for patients with acute cerebrovascular, neuromuscular, epileptic and other acute neurologic conditions.  On the consultation service, residents evaluate patients on other specialty services including medicine, surgery, obstetrics, psychiatry, and pediatrics.  Rotations in neuroradiology and EEG provide a strong basis for continued education in these areas throughout the residency.

The second year resident focuses on outpatient and subspecialty disciplines.  During outpatient subspecialties and other rotations, residents attend clinics in child neurology, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular disease, neuro-immunology, neuro-oncology, dementia, movement disorders, neuro-ophthalmology, and general neurology as well as sessions in neuro-rehabilitation and liaison psychiatry.  Ten weeks in EMG and neuromuscular disease rotation provides an intensive clinical experience focusing on anatomy and diseases of the peripheral nervous system.  Residents also complete their child neurology rotation this year.

In the final year chief residents oversee the ward service and participate directly in all of the consultations that take place on the non-neurology wards and in the emergency room, providing supervision to the first and second year residents. Twenty-five weeks of elective time are used to pursue subspecialty clinical or research interests.Ten weeks in neuropathology greatly supplement the resident’s clinical experience and provide an opportunity for anatomy review and clinicopathological correlations.

A continuity clinic for each resident occurs for one-half day weekly throughout the three years.

The Educational Program

The supervised evaluation and care of patients with neurologic problems is the primary source of education throughout the residency. The residents get immediate feedback and ongoing clinical education in 7 am work rounds led by the chief resident and in daily attending rounds on the ward and consultation service.

Conferences provide another source of continuing education. Morning Report is led each morning by Dr. Easton. Weekly conferences include Neurology Grand Rounds, Neuroradiology Conference, and didactic sessions. Journal Club, neuropathology, and neuro-ophthalmology conferences occur monthly. Basic neurosciences book review, EEG reading, board review and “Case of the Week” conferences occur bi-weekly. The educational program is directed by the residency education committee in which the chief residents participate.

Affiliated Programs

The Neurology department supports a combined Neurology/Psychiatry residency training program.

The Neurology department supports subspecialty fellowships in:
EEG and Epilepsy
EMG Neuromuscular Disease
Geriatric Neurology
Movement Disorders
Stroke/Cerebrovascular Ultrasonography

Residents from the departments of Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, and Emergency Medicine rotate on the Neurology ward and consult services.

Research Opportunities

Research activities are encouraged and supported. Twenty-five weeks of elective time in the third year, and some time while on other rotations, are available for residents to work on clinical or basic research projects at Brown University or affiliated hospitals. All residents complete an academic project during their residency and prepare and deliver a Grand Rounds presentation during their PGY-4 year. Many residents publish papers and present at national meetings during their residency.

Evaluation of Residents

The residents are evaluated monthly by the neurology faculty and each year take the American Academy of Neurology's Residency In-Service Training Examination (RITE). Residents take clinical skills evaluations each year. The performance of each resident, evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout the year, is discussed with the resident twice yearly.

Residents are assigned individual faculty mentors with whom they meet to discuss progress, goals, and problems.  Residents also evaluate rotations and attendings each month. This feedback is taken seriously and is critical to ongoing modifications in the program.

After Residency

Our Neurology Residency graduates have chosen to pursue a wide variety of clinical and research specialties.  Our residents have been successful in obtaining prestigious fellowships and then employment, whether in practice and academia.

Residency Teaching Responsibilities  

Residents have a major role in teaching Neurology, primarily at the bedside on a day-to-day basis to medical students and residents from other services. The Chief  Residents give occasional lectures to trainees in Medicine, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Neurosurgery as well as to medical students.

The Faculty

An important strength of the residency is the faculty in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

Each faculty member was recruited to fulfill specific needs for the residency program. As a result, the group is energetic, has a specific interest in and talent for residency training, and represents most subspecialty disciplines within neurology.  The faculty have high academic productivity in research and education and give invited lectures and participate in committees at the local, national and international levels. Clinical trials are ongoing in most of the subspecialty disciplines. As a result, the residents are exposed to the latest information and state-of-the-art care within each of the neurologic disciplines.

Additionally, practicing adult neurologists and child neurologists in the Department of Neurology participate in the teaching of the neurology residents. Faculty in Pathology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Medicine, and Psychiatry also participate in and enrich the educational program in Neurology.

Clinical Laboratories and Facilities

The Neurology Department at Rhode Island Hospital directs three hospital laboratories:

  • Neurology Cerebrovascular Lab (carotid duplex ultrasound, transcranial Doppler ultrasound)
  • Electroencephalography Lab (conventional EEG, closed circuit telemetered EEG)
  • Neurology Electromyography Lab (EMG, nerve conduction, evoked potentials, intraoperative monitoring, autonomic testing
  • In Neuropathology Drs. Edward Stopa and John Donahue are a valued resource for neurology resident training and support of the clinical services.  In addition to monthly Neuropathology conferences, residents spend ten weeks on the neuropathology service.

The Affiliated Institutions

Brown University, an Ivy League school and the 7th oldest college in the United States, has a national reputation for educational innovation and excellence.  Accredited in 1972, The Warren Alpert Medical School graduates 100 medical students a year.  The Department of Neurology is chaired by Dr. Karen Furie.


The Rhode Island Hospital is a 719 bed referral center consisting of 27 buildings on 66 acres. The major patient care facilities include the Main and Jane Brown Buildings for adult inpatient care; The Hasbro Children's Hospital (opened in February, 1994) for Pediatric inpatients; the 12 story Ambulatory Center (APC and a new Ambulatory Care/Cooperative Care Center. The hospital also serves as the state's designated trauma and poison center. More than 750 medical staff members represent every medical and surgical specialty. Rhode Island Hospital is the primary teaching facility for the Neurology and Neurosurgery Residency Training Programs. In addition, there are residency programs in all other major specialties at the Rhode Island Hospital.

Women and Infant's Hospital houses 137 adult beds, 123 infant care bassinets, including neonatal intensive care, and contains the state's largest obstetric service of it's kind in New England. There is a companion gynecological service which provides the community with a comprehensive range of medical services for women. Women and Infant's is adjacent to Rhode Island Hospital and is an integral component of the training programs.

Other teaching hospitals within the Brown University community include the 294-bed Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, housing the University's Center for Primary Care and Prevention, The Miriam Hospital and Butler Hospital, which is Rhode Island's only private adult and adolescent psychiatric hospital. Elective experiences are provided at these hospitals.

Salary and Benefits

First year neurology residents are paid as PGY-2's, even if they have had more than one prior year of post-graduate training.Medical insurance, malpractice insurance, parking and meals on call are supplied to residents in accordance with Rhode Island Hospital Policy. Library and gymnasium facilities at Brown University are also available to residents.

First and second-year residents receive three weeks/15 weekdays of vacation each year; third-year residents receive four weeks/20 weekdays.

The Neurology Department supplies residents with two to three Neuroscience text books each year. Residents are supported to attend a national conference during their residency. White laboratory coats are also given to the residents.


The Brown University Neurology Residency Program is a vigorous enterprise. The University is long established and superb, and Rhode Island Hospital is a large and outstanding academic medical facility. The faculty in Neurology are committed to excellence in teaching and patient care and are involved in both clinical and research endeavors. Providence, Rhode Island, and the surrounding area add immeasurably to the attraction of our program with a unique blend of people and culture and recreation.  There are museums, concerts, premier shopping, exceptional dining and numerous other recreational activities. 

For more information on applying to our program, please click on this link for applicants.  For assistance with planning a trip to visit us, please call (401)444-6183or click on this link for visitors information.