Top Neurology Residency Programs: Your Guide to the Best Programs in the Country

Looking to pursue a career in neurology? Our guide to the top residency programs in the country will help you choose the best program for your goals and aspirations.

Posted May 19, 2023

Free Event

Tackling Medical School Secondaries

Starting Wednesday, June 19

2:15 AM UTC · 45 minutes

undefined's profile

Featuring Akila M.

Table of Contents

If you're passionate about neurology and are looking for the best residency programs in the country, you're in the right place. In this guide, we'll provide you with all the information you need to know about neurology residency programs, what to look for when choosing a program, and a comprehensive list of the top 10 neurology residency programs in the US. So, let's get started!

What is Neurology Residency? A Comprehensive Overview

Neurology is the study of the nervous system and its disorders. Neurologists diagnose and treat conditions related to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. A neurology residency program is a post-graduate training program that equips physicians with the knowledge and skills they need to become board-certified neurologists. Typically, neurology residency programs are three years long and consist of both clinical rotations and didactic coursework.

During their residency, neurology residents gain hands-on experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of neurological conditions, including stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. They also learn how to interpret diagnostic tests such as EEGs, MRIs, and CT scans. In addition to clinical rotations, residents attend lectures, conferences, and grand rounds to deepen their understanding of neurology and stay up-to-date with the latest research and treatment options.

Importance of Choosing the Right Neurology Residency Program

Choosing the right neurology residency program can have a significant impact on your career as a neurologist. A good residency program will provide you with excellent training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. It can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to excel in your career and lay the foundation for future success. On the other hand, a subpar program can hinder your career prospects and limit your opportunities for growth.

When selecting a neurology residency program, it's important to consider factors beyond just the quality of training. Location, program size, and culture can all play a role in your overall experience. For example, if you prefer a smaller program with a tight-knit community, a larger program with a more competitive atmosphere may not be the best fit for you. Additionally, if you have a specific area of interest within neurology, such as epilepsy or movement disorders, you may want to look for programs with specialized tracks or opportunities for research in those areas.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Neurology Residency Program

When selecting a neurology residency program, several factors should be considered. These include the program's reputation, location, funding opportunities, research opportunities, resident happiness, faculty, and curriculum. All these factors can significantly impact the training you receive and should be carefully evaluated before making your decision.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a neurology residency program is the patient population you will be working with. Some programs may have a more diverse patient population, while others may focus on specific neurological conditions. It is important to choose a program that aligns with your interests and career goals.

In addition, it is important to consider the program's support for resident wellness. Residency can be a stressful and demanding time, and programs that prioritize resident wellness through mentorship, counseling services, and work-life balance initiatives can greatly benefit your overall experience and well-being.

Top 10 Neurology Residency Programs in the US

Without further ado, here are the top 10 neurology residency programs in the US:

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education
  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Note that these programs are presented in no particular order, as they all offer exceptional training opportunities.

Neurology is a highly specialized field of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. Neurologists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, including stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Neurology residency programs are highly competitive, and admission is based on a variety of factors, including academic performance, research experience, and clinical skills. In addition to providing rigorous training in neurology, these programs also offer opportunities for research and collaboration with other healthcare professionals.

What Makes a Top-Notch Neurology Residency Program?

A top-notch neurology residency program should have an exceptional faculty with world-renowned experts in various aspects of neurology. These experts should provide a robust and well-rounded curriculum. Interns and residents should receive ample preparation for board certification and be exposed to various subspecialties. The program should also provide residents exposure to clinical and translational research. Additionally, a top-notch program should have adequate funding and provide a supportive environment for residents and staff.

Furthermore, a top-notch neurology residency program should offer opportunities for residents to engage in community outreach and advocacy. This can include participating in health fairs, providing education to the public about neurological disorders, and advocating for policies that improve access to care for underserved populations. By engaging in these activities, residents can develop a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health and the impact of neurological disorders on individuals and communities.

The Application Process for Neurology Residency Programs

The application process for neurology residency programs typically involves submitting a completed application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Additionally, you'll need to provide transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and your USMLE or COMLEX scores. Once your application is complete, you'll be invited for an interview, which is a crucial part of the application process.

During the interview, you'll have the opportunity to meet with faculty members and current residents, tour the facilities, and learn more about the program. It's important to come prepared with questions and to be able to articulate why you're interested in neurology and the specific program you're interviewing for. After the interview, the program will make their final decision and you'll be notified of your acceptance status.

How to Prepare for Your Neurology Residency Interview

Preparing for your neurology residency interview should involve researching the program, its faculty, and its curriculum. You should also anticipate common interview questions and prepare your responses in advance. Finally, you should take time to reflect on your experiences and passions to present a clear picture of why neurology is the right specialty for you.

Another important aspect of preparing for your neurology residency interview is to dress professionally and arrive on time. You want to make a good first impression and show that you take the interview seriously. Additionally, it can be helpful to practice your body language and communication skills, such as maintaining eye contact and speaking clearly and confidently. Remember, the interview is not only an opportunity for the program to learn about you, but also for you to learn about the program and determine if it is a good fit for your career goals.

Tips for Navigating the Match Process for Neurology Residency Programs

The match process can be stressful and confusing. However, some tips that can help you navigate the process include being strategic with your applications, being prepared for the interview and rank order lists, and keeping in mind that the ultimate goal is to find the right program for you.

How to Stand Out as a Candidate for Neurology Residency Programs

To stand out as a candidate for neurology residency programs, you should cultivate good study habits and academic performance, seek research opportunities, volunteer in healthcare settings or communities, and develop good communication and interpersonal skills.

The Benefits of Completing Your Neurology Residency at a Teaching Hospital

Completing a neurology residency at a teaching hospital provides you with numerous benefits. These include exposure to the latest scientific and medical advances, opportunities for research and mentorship from experienced physicians, and access to a wider range of cases and subspecialties.

The Role of Mentorship in Neurology Residency Programs

Mentorship can be a key factor in your success as a neurologist. It provides guidance, support, and networking opportunities. Therefore, having a strong mentorship program is essential in any neurology residency program.

What to Expect During Your Neurology Residency Training

During your neurology residency training, you can expect to rotate through various clinical services related to neurology, like the stroke service, consult service, epilepsy service, and clinical neurophysiology. You'll also take part in didactic coursework. Additionally, you'll be expected to gain exposure to research and present your findings at scientific meetings.

Different Types of Fellowship Opportunities After Completing a Neurology Residency

After completing a neurology residency, there are several fellowship opportunities available in advanced areas of study. These include epilepsy, movement disorders, neuromuscular disease, neuroimmunology, neuro-oncology, and cerebrovascular disease, among others.

Life After Completing a Neurology Residency: Career Paths and Opportunities

After completing a neurology residency, you can explore several career paths, including academic medicine, private practice, industry, and public health. Additionally, you can pursue further subspecialty training and certification. With the right training and guidance, you can have a fulfilling and rewarding career in neurology.


Neurology is a vast and rewarding specialty, and choosing the right neurology residency program is crucial to your career as a neurologist. With this guide, we hope you've gained insights into the best neurology residency programs in the US, what to look for when selecting a program, and the benefits of completing a neurology residency. By choosing the right program and putting in the hard work, you can build a successful and fulfilling career in neurology.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles