Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Neurology Fellowship

The child neurology residency at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (Lurie Children's) and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has a long history of excellence in education. The Division Head, Dr. Leon Epstein, has been in his current role since 1999. Dr. Joanna Blackburn is the residency program director.  She previously served as assistant residency program director.

Two to three residents are accepted annually in a program lasting the standard three years, following two years of pediatrics residency training. Program graduates have moved on to begin academic subspecialty careers at top institutions and current trainees come to us from esteemed medical schools and residency programs across the country.

Block Rotation Schedule

Integration of the required 12 months of adult neurology component throughout the three years of training is a distinctive feature of this program. Approximately one half of the adult neurology training occurs during the first year and one quarter during the second and third years, respectively. A sample block schedule is accessible for reference. This allows for a greater proportion of "senior" adult neurology rotations and outpatient experiences rather than the standard inpatient general neurology and stroke service. This provides a broader and more comprehensive education in adult neurology for trainees.

There are two inpatient child neurology clinical services at Lurie Children's. The trainee on the general service is responsible for all neurology admissions, floor consults, and the emergency room. A separate neurocritical care service is responsible for neurologic consultations in the PICU. Each service functions autonomously and has a separate resident / attending team so as to maximize efficiency and learning opportunities.

There are number of "specialty" rotations. A month of training scheduled in neuromuscular neurology for the second and third years under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Kuntz. Similarly all trainees spend a month during the second and third years in Neonatal Neurology.  All trainees spend the month of September during their first year in a formal introduction to neurophysiology/EEG/EMG. All trainees take pediatric psychiatry during either their second or third year as well as pathology their third year.  

Extensive opportunities for elective rotations are offered thorough the three years of training. Electives comprise more than eight months of the 36 months of training. The electives are selected based on the trainee's interests and career goals. Established electives which are popular with our trainees include:

•          Genetics

•          Movement disorders

•          Neuro-oncology

•          Neuroradiology

•          Neurosurgery

•          Ophthalmology

•          Rehabilitation medicine / Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

•          Research electives (bench or clinical)

•          Sleep medicine


Resident continuity clinic takes place every Wednesday afternoon. There are at least two full time faculty attendings who attend each clinic and are there solely for education (they do not have their own patients on those days). The first Wednesday of each month is scheduled as epilepsy clinic and is attending by the epileptologists while the third Wednesday is PICU follow up clinic and is staffed by the neurocritical care attendings Drs. Goldstein and Wainwright. The second, fourth, and fifth weeks are general neurology. Patients are assigned to individual residents rather than being "pooled" and residents have primarily responsively for their care and see them in follow up. Residents see patients from all socio-economic backgrounds, with a wide variety of presenting complaints and levels of complexity.

Subspecialty Services

The Division of Neurology has a wide variety of subspecialty centers. All of these centers, listed below, are extensively involved in resident education; trainees will accordingly gain great exposure to all areas

•          Epilepsy

•          Neuromuscular disorders

•          Neuroimmunology / Demyelinating Disease

•          Neurocritical care

•          Neuro-oncology

•          Behavioral neurology

•          Neurogenetics


A wide variety of scheduled lectures and experiences are offered. Some conferences are considered multidisciplinary and include a variety of levels of training and specialties while others are focused solely on child neurology residents. The core lectures are protected and coverage is arranged for beeper call when on service.

Subspecialty Fellowships & Other Information

We currently offer subspecialty fellowships in Pediatric Neurocritical Care, Clinical Neurophysiology, and Neuromuscular Medicine.

Please see the adult neurology website for details regarding adult neurology training as well as McGaw Medical Center GME website for details of salary, benefits, and other institutional issues. A sample of fellow publications can be viewed here.

Housestaff Research Portal

Feinberg has the infrastructure and resources to assist McGaw trainees interested in conducting scientific research. Visit our Housestaff Research Portal to learn more.