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Adult Neurology Residency

Are you considering applying to the SSM Health/Saint Louis University Adult Neurology Residency Program? To help you take the next step and enter your neurology training, take a look at the information we’ve laid out for you below:

A group photo of the Neurology Residents and faculty standing outside in front of a campus building.
Neurology residents and faculty of 2023

Mission Statement

The tripartite mission of the Department of Adult Neurology is to provide exemplary care to the patients and their families, train the next generation of leading neurologists and neuroscientists and be a national leader in both clinical and basic science research on nervous system disorders. 

Letter from the Program Director

Welcome to SSM Health Saint Louis University's Neurology Residency Program! On behalf of the neurology department, I'm excited to share with you the unique opportunities our program offers. Established in 1836, SLU is one of the oldest medical schools in the nation, and our residency program has contributed to neurologists' education, research, and training for over five decades. We take pride in providing individualized professional development plans for each resident throughout their training.

Our program fosters a friendly environment where residents are considered the team's main cornerstones, providing exceptional care for our patients. We embrace diversity and wellness and offer a mentorship program that supports residents of different backgrounds to generate new ideas and widen their interpersonal skills. Our diverse training sites, including SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, and John Cochran VA Medical Center, provide a unique educational and clinical experience.

Our competency-based schedule allows residents to learn the basics of inpatient and outpatient neurology during their first two years and gain progressive supervisory and leadership responsibilities during their third and fourth years. The PGY-1 residents integrate into the neurology department during their internship with the Department of Internal Medicine, with rotations in general neurology, vascular neurology, neuroradiology, and neuropathology, helping to make the transition from PGY-1 to PGY-2 smoother. During their final year, residents are considered "faculty-in-training," teaching junior residents and preparing them for tasks after graduation.

Our program offers outstanding opportunities for development in research and education. The residents enjoy our active clinical research unit and work on multiple research topics throughout their residency. Residents actively engage in departmental activities, including the Graduate Medical Education Committee, Institute of Translational Neuroscience, Annual Program Evaluation, and medical student teaching. A QI project is required from all residents to help improve education by providing excellent care. In our program, we believe in shared governance to promote inclusive and shared decision-making based on principles of partnership, equity, accountability, and service ownership through the residents' monthly Resident's Only meeting to discuss clinical services and upcoming events and provide peer support. This meeting is followed by a monthly PD-Resident Meeting to review concerns and discuss improvement suggestions. Residents can contact the PD/PM anytime with suggestions or concerns.  

We highly value wellness and professionalism in our program and recognize our residents in various ways, such as a peer-selected resident of the month, resident scholar awards, and resident professional recognition. We also encourage residents to prioritize a work-life balance, rest well, eat well, and maximize time off with enjoyable extracurriculars.  

Our graduates are well-prepared for their next chapter in life, whether joining a fellowship program, starting an academic neurology career, or taking care of patients in private practice. We are delighted that a few of our previous graduates have joined our faculty!

If you have any questions, please check our website or send them our way. We're excited to hear from you.

Headshot of Dr. Kafaie
Jafar Kafaie, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Neurology Residency Program
Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Letter from the Chiefs

Dear prospective neurology applicants,

Welcome to the Department of Neurology at SSM Health Saint Louis University School of Medicine and thank you for your interest in our program! 

The training curriculum at Saint Louis University provides an outstanding base for the future general neurologist and an excellent platform for further subspecialty training. As a categorical program, our residents begin their training with an internship based in the Saint Louis University Internal Medicine Department. This allows our residents to develop a strong foundation in medicine and become familiar with their associates in other specialties. From PGY-2 onwards, residents are dedicated to neurology full time and rotate through a variety of core and elective rotations. We offer multiple neurological subspecialties, including but not limited to stroke/endovascular, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, and sleep. Our residents rotate at three sites, which allows them to see a very diverse patient population and a wide variety of neurological conditions. While most of our resident’s time is spent at our newly constructed main University Hospital, they also rotate through the John Cochran VA Medical Center, and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Because Saint Louis University is a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the largest hospital in the SSM health system, our residents can see some otherwise very rare cases and conditions. 

In addition to clinical experiences, our program offers a strong academic foundation. Residents participate in daily didactic sessions presented by both local faculty and nationally recognized experts, learn about advanced practice techniques and research topics at our weekly grand round presentations, and develop procedural skills in our growing simulation lab. In addition to formal education, many residents participate in independent research. We have residents present at national conferences each year, including the AAN and ANA annual meetings. The combination of clinical experience and educational opportunities leaves our residents well-prepared to begin independent practice as they complete their residency.

The city of St. Louis is another asset to our program. Despite having one of the lowest costs of living in any major city in the Midwest, there are tons of things to do and places to see. St. Louis is known for its excellent music venues. The Fabulous Fox Theater and Powell Orchestra Hall host many notable performances every year, and you can catch even more concerts at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, Delmar Hall, and The Pageant, among other places. St. Louis is also a major sports town. Catching a Cardinals baseball game or a Blues hockey game are some of the city’s favorite activities. In 2022, St. Louis City SC became the newest soccer team in the MLS. The city also has excellent food and many options. Finally, there are many urban parks to enjoy throughout the city, including Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the nation and is frequently named one of the best city parks in the U.S. Other notable places to visit include the Missouri Botanical Garden, numerous museums, and the world-famous Gateway Arch.

Again, we truly appreciate your interest in our program and the difficulty of making such an important choice. We have created multiple platforms to become more familiar with our program, which includes our official website and a resident-run Instagram account. If you would like any additional information, either on the program or life in St. Louis, please feel free to reach out to us via our program manager. We are happy to help!

Headshot of Beatriz Maliszewski
Beatriz Maliszewski, M.D.
Clinical Chief

Headshot of Ulviyya Gasimova
Ulviyya Gasimova, M.D., Ph.D.
Administrative Chief

Headshot of Elvin Mirzazada
Elvin Mirzazada, M.D. 
Wellness Chief

Adult Neurology Training

The Adult Neurology Residency program at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is one of the oldest training programs in the United States. We offer a four-year categorical program, beginning as a medical internship in PGY1 and extending through PGY4. We have 24 positions (six per year). We are accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and comply fully with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) requirements.

Our residents are exposed to diverse pathologies as we accept patients from Missouri and Illinois. Our attendings are approachable, and highly specialized and encourage our trainees to think critically and form accurate medical decisions. They teach graded responsibility. Our alumni have carved a niche for themselves as highly skilled neurologists throughout the country, and most of them enter top-ranked fellowship programs after graduation.

The paramount objective of our program is to provide our residents with up-to-date and evidence-based educational resources through our daily didactic sessions. These include morning case reports, noon conferences, journal clubs, grand rounds, M&M's and interactive online subspecialty conferences. Our residents also have free access to the American Academy of Neurology's online learning -programs.

Unique facts about our ACGME-accredited neurology residency:

  • Based on ACGME’s endorsement, our residents must develop general competencies in patient care and procedural skills, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. The Neurology Residency Handbook comprehensively collects ACGME’s information and program requirements, University and Department policies, goals and objectives, rotation schedules, and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology requirements.
  • We harbor a friendly learning environment, with professional and considerate interactions with all hospital staff, patients and their families.
  • We have more than 20 subspecialized and dedicated faculty members. They also provide one-to-one mentorship to our residents during each academic year.
  • Monthly resident meetings in which issues related to inpatient and outpatient services, and new ideas are openly discussed. These suggestions are then discussed at the monthly meetings with the program director in an open manner.
  • PGY-4s leading the General Neurology team staff patients overnight with the on-call resident for four days a week. This opportunity provides them the confidence to practice as a general neurologist immediately after graduation.
  • We offer accredited fellowships in clinical neurophysiology and vascular neurology. Unaccredited fellowships are offered in interventional neurology and movement disorders.