Child Neurology Fellowship

The Neurology Department at Children’s National Health System is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world and is dedicated to the training and education of child neurologists that will become leaders within the field.  It is staffed by more than 30 clinical neurologists, neuro-intensivists, and epileptologists, many of them world-renowned. The staff leads national and international research projects, and brings that expertise to the comprehensive care of patients and their families. Trainees are exposed to a wide range of disorders in both the inpatient and outpatient settings including expertise in brain tumors, critical care, epilepsy, headache, movement disorders, developmental disorders, genetic disorders, neuromuscular disorders, and white matter disorders.

Each year, more than 23,000 pediatric patients benefit from the Neurology Department’s multidisciplinary care, from around the Washington DC area and the world.  Children's National is a 303 bed free-standing children’s hospital with a dedicated 25 bed neurology floor including 14 video EEG beds, along with a 54 bed NICU and 35 bed PICU.

Inpatient care addresses a variety of conditions that require hospitalization, including epilepsy, brain tumors, metabolic and genetic disorders, infectious and inflammatory conditions of the central and peripheral nervous system, along with other neurologic conditions. Our inpatient services are divided into three teams:  a Child Neurology Ward Team, a Neuro-Critical (PICU) Care Team, and a Neonatal (NICU) Critical Care Team, each with unique attending physicians that are devoted to complex care and research pursuits within their area of interest.

In addition to its team of more than 30 neurologists, the division collaborates with colleagues in related divisions throughout Children’s National for a fully-integrated approach to care.  For example, the multidisciplinary Epilepsy Surgery Program evaluates innovative drugs and offers the finest in neuro-monitoring and neurosurgical treatment of epilepsy. The team includes designated epileptologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, and a variety of other members to coordinate complex care.

The Neuroscience Center for Excellence has numerous programs with dedicated medical staff providing care to a variety of disorders in children, including:

Research

Research

The Center for Neuroscience Research at Children's National is focused on determining the molecular underpinnings of childhood neurologic diseases, and many opportunities for trainees exist to participate with this center. Residents are partnered with mentors early in training to develop research projects, ensuring long term success at the highest levels. The division works closely with the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. The division focuses on translational research and offers patients in the region access to a number of clinical trials with an emphasis on innovative biologic-based therapy. These divisions collaborate with multiple laboratories investigating the neurobiologic basis of childhood illness and lead national and international clinical trials, giving patients access to the newest therapies through:

  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium
  • Epilepsy Trials in Neuroimaging, Cognition, Medications, and Basic and Translational Research
  • Childhood Stroke Network
  • Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trial Consortium
  • CINRG network for treatment of Muscular Dystrophy
  • White matter diseases
  • Neurometabolic diseases (including mitochondrial diseases and urea cycle diseases)
  • Neurocognitive conditions (including Autism Spectrum Disorders)
  • Fetal Neonatal Neurology
  • Neonatal Neurology
  • Concussion
  • Migraine
Education

Education

This is a highly competitive fellowship with three positions per year. There are multiple opportunities for fellows to develop research expertise both in the subspecialty programs in the Department of Neurology at Children’s National and in programs at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute which have working relationships with the Department of Neurology. Neurology fellows have elected to extend their fellowship for one to two years to take advantage of the programs available at the National Institute of Health.

Recent Graduates of the Child Neurology Program have pursued diverse clinical and research careers including:

  • Neurophysiology Fellowship - University of Michigan; National Institute of Health; University of Colorado; Northwestern University
  • Neurological Sciences Academic Developmental (NSADA) - National Institute Of Neurological Disorders And Stroke K12 Grant yielding three years of protected time for basic or clinical research in child neurology
  • Public Health Policy - Viste Neurology Public Policy Fellowship, Capitol Hill
  • Neuromuscular Fellowship - Children’s National Health System; John Hopkins University
  • Neuro-oncology Fellowship - Children’s National Health System; Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Neuro-epidemiology - National Institute of Mental Health
  • General Child Neurology - Children’s National Health System; Georgetown University Hospital; Kennedy Krieger
  • Neurointensive Care - Children’s National Health System; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; Northwestern University Hospital
  • Research in Basic Science of Neurology – several recent K08 Awards within the department

If you have any questions, please contact our fellowship coordinator, Lindsay Perlman at 202-476-2652 or lperlman@cnmc.org, or the program director, Marc DiSabella, DO, at mdisabel@cnmc.org.

Neurology fellowship team

Training Time Line

The Child Neurology fellowship is an ACGME-accredited categorical residency position offering a two year pediatric and a three year neurology training program to achieve board eligibility and full qualification for a career in child neurology including board eligibility in pediatrics.

The first two years of training are spent in Pediatric Residency and include a variety of clinical rotations preparing you for your career in pediatrics and child neurology. This is followed by the child neurology residency which includes twelve months of adult neurology and two years of child neurology. Training is coordinated with the adult neurology programs at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Rotations in adult neurology include six months of inpatient training on general neurology, stroke, and epilepsy services in addition to four months of outpatient and elective training in a variety of subspecialty clinics. Two months of child neurology rotations occur during the third year of training to develop subspecialty interests and return to Children’s National. Adult neurology trainees from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Georgetown University School of Medicine, along with those at the Armed Forces Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital complete their child neurology training at Children’s National.

The second year of the neurology program focuses on clinical child neurology, and primarily occurs in the inpatient setting rotating between the Child Neurology Ward Team, Consult Team, Neuro-Critical Care Team, and Neonatal Critical Care Teams in addition to two months of electives. The final year of training is primarily electives in child neurology, including neuropathology at the AFIP (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology), neuroradiology, neurophysiology, epilepsy, and neurooncology. Most fellows complete research projects during the final year as well, including abstracts and publications, participate in national neurology meetings and seminars, and finalize plans for future academic pursuits. All fellows participate in a half-day per week continuity clinic in child neurology throughout the entire three year program. The clinic is held in the neurology outpatient clinic at Children’s National.

Regular conferences during the child neurology training include the following weekly lectures:

  • Sunrise Lecture Series - subspecialty conference by all staff members within their area of expertise
  • Electroencephalography/clinical neurophysiology conference
  • Epilepsy surgery conference
  • Localization and neuroanatomy conference
  • Intake rounds – fellow led conference to critically analyze interesting and difficult cases
  • Neurology Board and RITE Review – annually in January and February in preparation for in-service exam
  • Monthly journal club
How to Apply

How to Apply

Child Neurology Match

We plan to match three fellows for the pediatrics and child neurology residency. The position is categorical, meaning that all candidates will match to both the pediatric residency and child neurology residency at Children’s National Health System. Coordination of interviews will be possible with the pediatric residency program and take place over two consecutive days in most cases. Please submit your pediatrics and child neurology application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) designating both programs.

Candidates must also plan to take steps I and II of the USMLE before beginning their residency. International Medical Graduates must have completed USMLE steps I and II prior to applying and must demonstrate that they have had significant exposure to medicine in the United States.

Eligible candidates will be invited for interviews by the departments of Pediatrics and Neurology. You will receive more information about our interviews if invited.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is the neurology team arranged at Children’s National Health System?

We have three services at Children’s National – a ward service, a PICU service, and a NICU service. Each team has their own set of fellows and resident taking care of patients. All services have attendings that are specifically involved in the clinical care of these patients along with research in these areas. Adult neurology rotators from the George Washington University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital help cover all of these services along with other local training programs including Walter Reed Medical Center and Howard University Hospital.

2. How busy is the inpatient ward service?

We have a busy inpatient ward service with a maximum census of 25 patients, however on average you should expect 8-15 patients on the neurology service each day.

3. What is the board pass rate for graduates from Children’s National Health System?

We have a 100% board pass rate for more than nine years. To help continue this trend, in addition to strong clinical rotations and didactics, there is a two month neurology board review course given each year to trainees.

4. How many neurology beds are there?

Children’s National is a 303-bed free-standing Children’s Hospital with a dedicated 25-bed neurology floor including 14 video EEG beds, along with a 54-bed NICU and 35-bed PICU.

5. How many elective months are given to trainees in child neurology?

There are 12 months of electives for trainees. Two months are used during the PGY-3 year, one to be the co-fellow on the Ward Service, and the other to do an outpatient month on Neuromuscular, Neurogenetics, and White Matter clinic. Two months are used in the PGY-4 year for further development of interests with a focus on research when applicable, and the remaining eight months are during the PGY-5 year. Required electives include pathology which is often done through the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Coursework, pediatric neuro-radiology, pediatric psychiatry, and electrophysiology. Other electives may include a variety of outpatient clinics such as those in leukodystrophy, neuromuscular, headache, stroke, neurofibromatosis, brain tumors, neonatal brain injury, neurogenetics, and neuro-ophthalmology.

6. Where is the adult neurology portion of the training completed?

Residents complete their adult neurology year at either The George Washington University Medical Center or the Georgetown University Hospital, both of which have excellent reputations and provide strong training in basics of neuroanatomy and adult neurologic disorders.

7. Where can I find more information on the hospital's history and about Washington, DC?

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