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Neurology Residency Program at Cedars-Sinai Wins Accreditation: Recruiting Underway for Inaugural Residents in Three Year Program

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has approved a neurology residency training program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Recruitment of the first group of three residents is under way through the 2012 “match,” a process in which an independent organization pairs applicants with programs to meet the preferences of each.

“With Cedars-Sinai’s large and diverse patient population, our residents will have a chance to see a wide array of neurological disorders, including rare conditions. Their training will take place at a dynamic, growing campus that emphasizes efficient translation of research into clinical applications,” said Nancy L. Sicotte, MD, director of the Neurology Residency Program and the Multiple Sclerosis Center in the Department of Neurology.

Residents in the three-year program, in inpatient and outpatient settings, will study with research and treatment experts in stroke; critical care; movement disorders; epilepsy; multiple sclerosis; headache; and neuromuscular disease. They will gain proficiency in electroencephalography, electromyography and other sophisticated techniques to study neurological conditions.

The program was designed to give residents increasing independence; elective time is built into the third year for focused research or more clinical expertise.

Sicotte said new programs and collaborations that will enhance residents’ opportunities and learning experiences include:

  • The Biomedical Imaging Research Institute, an interdisciplinary program that addresses basic and clinical research questions, provides high-quality services and offers educational and training opportunities.
  • The Clinical and Translational Science Institute, in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles. CTSI is an academic-clinical-community partnership to speed scientific discoveries and clinical breakthroughs to improve health in the most populous and diverse county in the United States.
  • Cedars-Sinai’s Regenerative Medicine Institute, a stem cell program bringing together researchers and clinicians to develop treatments for brain, eye, pancreas and liver, blood, and skeletal disorders.

The residency program accreditation is the latest achievement in the Department of Neurology since Patrick D. Lyden, MD, joined Cedars-Sinai in 2009 as chair and the Carmen and Louis Warschaw Chair in Neurology. He is an internationally known researcher who is leading clinical trials of hypothermia to prevent brain injury following stroke. He was one of the key researchers in the major clinical trial leading to Food and Drug Administration approval in 1996 of tPA – tissue plasminogen activator – still the only proven, approved drug for stroke treatment.

On arrival, Lyden, an American Academy of Neurology fellow, bolstered the Movement Disorders Program by recruiting a world-renowned specialist, reinforced key existing programs and set the department on a course to expand its research, educational and clinical offerings. The department will relocate to the 450,000-square-foot Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion when it opens in 2013.

Sicotte, an American Academy of Neurology fellow, earned her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, and completed an internship in medicine, a residency in neurology and a fellowship in neuroimaging at UCLA. She has been active in educating residents, medical students and fellows and has directed courses at the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting. She has received the Harry Weaver Junior Faculty Award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is researching multimodal imaging approaches to study multiple sclerosis.

Medical degree graduates must serve a one-year internship before their neurology residency. If Cedars-Sinai accepts applicants “outside of the match” who have already completed their internships, the first residents will begin training in July 2012. Otherwise, the inaugural group will start a year later, following the spring 2012 match and internships.