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Year by year

C Ekstein residency program

PGY-1 Internal Medicine Residency

Neurology Residents spend their PGY-1 year in either a preliminary internal medicine program or a transitional year. We highly encourage them to join the Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program, which offers a guaranteed internship slot to all trainees accepted for Duke Neurology. This program, one of the top residency programs in the country, provides a solid foundation in the essentials of general medicine. During this period, residents will participate in inpatient and outpatient general medicine, including critical care. PGY-1 residents in the neurology program also spend two months rounding in neurology. They are assigned a faculty advisor from within the Neurology Department to plan for their second year.

"All of the residents were been incredibly helpful and have given me feedback about my notes and presentations. My fellow interns demonstrated great teamwork, resourcefulness, and a good sense of humor." - Lina Barker, MD, PGY-3 Resident

PGY-2 Junior Assistant Residency

Following completion of an internship, second-year Duke Neurology residents (also known as "JARs", or Junior Assistant Residents) start their formal training in neurology. Residents spend time on the four inpatient services (General, Stroke, Consults, and neuro-ICU) at Duke University Hospital. They also work in outpatient clinics at Duke Clinic and the Durham VA Medical Center. Inpatient time constitutes about 55% of the first year. The seven Neurology residents from the Neurology Department are joined by two Child Neurology residents for the PGY-2 year.

"The nice thing about the PGY-2 year is that you become comfortable calling and staffing your patients with a wide host of attendings. Going into the PGY-3/SAR year, this allows for a less formal and more familiar atmosphere with the attendings."

- Suma Das, MD, Resident 2014-2017


PGY-2 Rotation Schedule

  • General Inpatient - 6 weeks
  • Stroke Inpatient - 6 weeks
  • Consult Inpatient - 6 weeks
  • Neuro-ICU - 6 weeks
  • Night float - 4-6 weeks
  • Outpatient clinics - 14 weeks
  • EEG - 4 weeks
  • Elective - 4 weeks
  • Vacation - 3 weeks

PGY-3 Senior Assistant Residency

During their PGY-3 year, Senior Assistant Residents (or "SARs") focus on subspecialty areas of neurology and gain additional experience leading the consult team. Residents spend about three months each learning to perform and interpret EEGs and EMGs. They also spend about six weeks on the inpatient pediatric neurology ward. During this year, the residents are also encouraged to start their research/academic projects. About 40% of the year is spent inpatient.

PGY-3 Rotation Schedule


  • EEG - 8 weeks
  • EMG - 12 weeks
  • Pediatric Neurology Inpatient  - 6 weeks
  • Consult Inpatient - 8 weeks
  • Night float - 6 weeks
  • Neuro-oncology - 2 weeks
  • Elective - 8 weeks
  • Vacation - 3 weeks

"The faculty at Duke are incredible. I’m always amazed at how brilliant yet approachable everyone is. Everyone has been incredibly helpful, even at 2 in the morning. Even though it’s been very challenging, residency has been a lot of fun so far. The other neurology residents are fantastic people and have become some of my closest friends." - Casey Farin, 2015-2018 resident, current multiple scleorisis and neuroimmunology fellow

PGY-4 Chief Residency Year

In the final, or Chief Residency year, our residents graduate to further independence, taking on administrative responsibilities for making schedules, leading conferences, and supervising junior assistant residents, interns and medical students. They also triage new neurology patients and accept outside transfers. This graduated responsibility increases in the second half of the year, when chief residents function like junior attendings with an attending supervising them. Approximately 60% of the year is spent inpatient. Given the recent expansion of our program to include a seventh resident, the elective time in the Chief year is expected to increase.

PGY-4 Rotation Schedule

  • General Inpatient - 8-10 weeks
  • Consult Inpatient - 8-10 weeks
  • Pediatric Neurology Outpatient - 6 weeks
  • VA Medical Center Inpatient - 8-10 weeks
  • VA Medical Center Outpatient - 10 weeks
  • Night float - 4 weeks
  • Elective - 2 weeks
  • Vacation - 3 weeks

"The faculty at Duke treat the residents like colleagues. They are fun, approachable, knowledgeable, and teach us the necessary skills that we need to become excellent clinical neurologists." - Aaron Loochtan, DO, Resident 2014-2017