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Meet our Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the Neurology Residency Program at Duke. Selecting a residency program can be a daunting task. In addition to training you to be a neurologist, our residency program will give you more and better options toward reaching the career of your choice. We are able to offer this training in a vibrant and progressive environment of at Duke University and in the rapidly growing city of Durham and the Triangle area. The Department of Neurology, Duke University, and the surrounding community are committed to providing and environment where people are judged only on the quality of their work and the strength of their character.

At Duke, our first goal is to help you become an excellent neurologist, someone who is well-trained in all aspects of general and sub-specialty neurology. In addition to being a tertiary care center where interesting cases are sent from around the state and country, Duke University Hospital serves as a community hospital for Durham and the surrounding region.

Along with the Durham VA Medical Center, this provides us with a great mix of bread-and-butter neurology and unusual or unexplained cases that arrive with stacks of medical records. The volume and diversity of the patients that come through our inpatient wards and outpatient clinics insure that every resident has ample opportunity to gain expertise in all aspects of neurology. While we feel that our clinical program is already outstanding, we are always looking for ways to improve. For example, we are in the process of reformulating the makeup of our inpatient teams to improve coverage for patients and support for the junior residents and interns. We are also starting tracks within the program to provide additional resources and guidance for trainees interested in careers in research or education/administration.

Our faculty is made of general neurologists and subspecialists in all areas of neurology, including strong programs in dementia, epilepsy, movement disorders, neuromuscular disease, neurointensive care, neuro-oncology, and vascular neurology. In addition, our faculty’s interests range from clinical neurology and patient care to those whose focus is clinical or laboratory research. The consistent thread that ties the faculty together is a strong interest in teaching and training residents, medical students, graduate students, and fellows. Many members of the faculty, including myself, have left successful careers to return to the academic realm mainly out of a desire to teach and work with trainees and students.

In addition to providing excellent clinical training, our residency program offers opportunities for residents to become involved in other academic pursuits, including clinical research, teaching, and administration. All residents are required to participate in an academic project (research or performance/quality improvement). Duke offers many chances to learn about research methods and to participate in research projects. There are also formal and informal opportunities to teach, including participation as teaching assistants for the medical student neuroscience/neuroanatomy course. Due to the many opportunities available to them during training, our residents are able to not only make an informed decision among general neurology and different subspecialties, but also among different career paths including private practice, academic clinical pathways, or academic research pathways.

That is what we offer. What are we looking for in a resident? We consider our residents to be partners in our program. While their primary focus should be their own training, we aim to recruit residents who will become truly involved with the program -- in aspects of administration, teaching, recruiting future residents, and improving the program. We want people who will take what is already a very good program and make it better, both while they are here and after they have moved on.

If this sounds like the kind of program that you would be interested in, I hope you will take a closer look at the Duke Neurology Residency Program.

Christopher Eckstein, MD

Director, Residency Program
Assistant Professor of Neurology