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​Neurology Residency Program at UPMC Hamot

Jeffrey J. Esper, DO - Director of Neurology Residency Program at UPMC Hamot

This ACGME accredited residency program offers a well-rounded neurological education with experience in a variety of subspecialties. Physicians who choose UPMC Hamot for their neurology residency are exposed to wide variety of pathologies and patients. Our patients come from urban and large surrounding rural areas. They each have their own unique pathologies and socioeconomic dynamics from which a resident can learn. The rotation experience provides access to inpatient and outpatient care for patients of all ages. The residents have five elective rotations from which they could choose from a variety of subspecialties to help supplement their training. During these rotations, the residents don’t have to compete with fellows and they get one on one attention from the experts. These rotations include neurology inpatient service, neurology outpatient continuity clinic, general neurology, movement disorders (with experience in botulinum toxin injections, deep brain stimulation), epilepsy (with EEG interpretation training (3 months), vagal nerve stimulator, and an epilepsy monitoring unit), nerve conduction studies and EMG training (3+months (see Muscle Nerve. 2020;61:751-53)), multiple sclerosis, sleep medicine, neuro rehabilitation, neuro intervention, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, neuro intensive care, and neuromuscular medicine (including an ALS clinic and a muscular dystrophy clinic). We will be adding 3 new staff physicians over the next 2 years to enhance the training experience for the residents.

The internship is neurology tracked to provide the resident the proper foundation to succeed in the neurology residency proper. The internship allows working directly with attending physicians without other competing residencies or fellowships. This includes the required internal medicine training which includes intensive care, internal medicine, cardiology, nephrology, infectious disease, and emergency medicine. Neurosurgery and ophthalmology are also required in order to prepare the resident to be able to examine the patients and understand and appreciate how these services interact with neurology. The internship also has a unique aspect in that the resident candidate is gradually introduced into the process of becoming a neurology resident through a shadowing program with senior residents throughout their internship. This allows the intern a seamless transition to their second year without the stress of a “sink or swim mentality” after completing their internship.

The residents are taught pertinent procedures throughout their training. The residents will have an opportunity to be very comfortable performing lumbar punctures, administrating botulinum toxin injections, interpreting carotid and intracranial Doppler testing, baclofen pump adjustments, vagal nerve stimulator adjustments and deep brain stimulator adjustments. Another key component the resident must learn, is the business aspect of medicine. The residents will learn the business side of medicine through exposure to office management, coding and billing concepts which are taught throughout the program. Our didactic/lecture curriculum is available upon request.

We are the only comprehensive stroke center in the city and region. Although Erie is a small city, UPMC Hamot draws from a population base of close to 1 million patients. The residents become very familiar and at ease treating acute stroke patients administrating TPA or determining whether they need neuro intervention for clot removal. We have a state-of-the-art intensive care unit opening this year where a dedicated neuro intensive care unit will be available for our neurologic patients with a fellowship trained neuro intensivist.

Our residents are prepared, after their training, to go into general neurologic practice with a broad range of skills to be successful, including the ability to perform the above-named procedures, nerve conduction studies, EMG needle exams and interpreting EEGs in their private practice. Broadly trained general neurologists are highly sought out these days and our graduates have no difficulties finding high paying jobs in the areas of the country where they want to be. There is a nationwide shortage of neurologists and our candidates have a large variety of opportunities to choose from. Our graduates have been well prepared for their chosen fellowships. The vast majority of these fellowships are the residents’ first choice. Some of the institutions that the residents have done Fellowships at include: Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University of Rochester, University of Buffalo, University of Pittsburgh, University of Cincinnati, University of Minnesota, Allegheny General Hospital, Michigan State University, University of South Carolina and the National Institute of Health. Our first time ABPN board pass rate is 100 percent.

There is dedicated time in the schedule for the residents to work on research projects and other administrative tasks that are required of them. We have a full-time research director who is eager and willing to assist the residents to complete any type of research project. We also have the capability to collaborate with the larger UPMC system, as well as, several local universities and medical schools. Our residents have published and presented their work in local, national and international venues.

Thank you for considering UPMC Hamot for your residency. If you have any questions that are not answered by this website please contact Angela Mulligan, GME senior department manager at mulligana3@upmc.edu or by calling 814-877-4178.