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Neurology!?

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hi, this thread seemed to have been inactive for 2 years.

 

Just wondering how competitive neurology is as a specialty and if things have changed. In terms of resident's life, remuneration as a neurologist.

 

Which programmes across continue to have the best neurology program?

 

Thanks,

 

AN

 

I matched to neurology this year so I might be able to shed a bit of light. 

 

A current neurology resident is probably better to ask about the resident lifestyle/remuneration. I do know that sr. neurology call itself is usually home-call (I think the exception is Calgary) but you do a lot of off-service internal call early on which is usually in-house. The only salary stat I have is from a Canadian physicians magazine (cannot recall which one, I just snapped a photo of it while reading in a Doc's lounge). This source cited the national specialists average gross FFS per FTE as $320,339. 

 

The 2016 first choice discipline to availability ratio was 0.84 which seems to be the trend the last few years (2014 - 0.89, 2013 - 0.76, 2012 - 1.00, 2011 - 0.83). There were two left over seats at Manitoba, one got picked up in the second round. I don't have 2015's stats in front of me but believe it was similar. So it's not overly competitive. A lot of people I spoke with on the tour had also applied to other disciplines. For instance I heard of all of the following combos: internal, peds neuro, psych, PMR, anesthesia, medical genetics, family, neurosurgery. I've met two ophthalmology residents who said they backed up with neurology during their CaRMs year. Basically, the tour seemed a lot bigger than a 1:1 ratio but not everyone was "all in" neurology applicants. That said, I met a few neurology applicants who had graduate degrees in neurosciences or had been involved in research during medical school so there were "neuro-gunners" too. But in the end, the stats tell the story. If you decide its for you, do a few electives, pick up a short research project/case study and write a good personal letter, I'm sure it will work out. 

 

With respect to the "best" neurology programs that's always hard to say. When that question is asked of any speciality you always get the response "you will get good training wherever you go" and its true.

 

My personal impression was that Calgary, Toronto, and Western seemed to have very strong programs with a lot of research. UBC, Toronto, and Calgary had a lot of subspecialty exposure (neuro-inflammatory/neuro-vestibular). McGill has a solid (historical) reputation for being innovators in neuroscience. That said, a lot of the smaller programs seemed to offer more early hands-on training that seemed appealing. For instance Calgary doesn't have residents do stroke call until they are an R3 if I recall correctly. Although smaller programs have draw backs. You can loose some subspecialty exposure (Mac didn't have neuroonc, MUN didn't have cognitive neuro or an EEG rotation, Queen's doesn't have peds neuro or an IR suite, although apparently they were attempting to create a suite). But those programs often had elective time or had deals with other programs (peds neuro for Queen's is done at Sick Kids). Edmonton boasted a lot of interesting pathology as they cover the territories as well. UBC has some cool outreach clinics in Haifa Gwaii and Kitimat. 

 

Check out the CaRMs descriptions and you can get a flavour of each program. Also don't discount asking about each school's internal program because all neurology programs have about a year of off-service internal rotations. 

 

I personally think its the coolest field - I love the exam, I love the imaging and I love the puzzles. I think neuro has become even more exciting with the surge in neuroscience research and I think the future is even brighter.

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I really appreciate the response.

If you don't mind me asking, where did you match to, and where did you find the 2016 carms stats. I can't seem to find it where on the internet.

 

I matched to neurology this year so I might be able to shed a bit of light. 

 

A current neurology resident is probably better to ask about the resident lifestyle/remuneration. I do know that sr. neurology call itself is usually home-call (I think the exception is Calgary) but you do a lot of off-service internal call early on which is usually in-house. The only salary stat I have is from a Canadian physicians magazine (cannot recall which one, I just snapped a photo of it while reading in a Doc's lounge). This source cited the national specialists average gross FFS per FTE as $320,339. 

 

The 2016 first choice discipline to availability ratio was 0.84 which seems to be the trend the last few years (2014 - 0.89, 2013 - 0.76, 2012 - 1.00, 2011 - 0.83). There were two left over seats at Manitoba, one got picked up in the second round. I don't have 2015's stats in front of me but believe it was similar. So it's not overly competitive. A lot of people I spoke with on the tour had also applied to other disciplines. For instance I heard of all of the following combos: internal, peds neuro, psych, PMR, anesthesia, medical genetics, family, neurosurgery. I've met two ophthalmology residents who said they backed up with neurology during their CaRMs year. Basically, the tour seemed a lot bigger than a 1:1 ratio but not everyone was "all in" neurology applicants. That said, I met a few neurology applicants who had graduate degrees in neurosciences or had been involved in research during medical school so there were "neuro-gunners" too. But in the end, the stats tell the story. If you decide its for you, do a few electives, pick up a short research project/case study and write a good personal letter, I'm sure it will work out. 

 

With respect to the "best" neurology programs that's always hard to say. When that question is asked of any speciality you always get the response "you will get good training wherever you go" and its true.

 

My personal impression was that Calgary, Toronto, and Western seemed to have very strong programs with a lot of research. UBC, Toronto, and Calgary had a lot of subspecialty exposure (neuro-inflammatory/neuro-vestibular). McGill has a solid (historical) reputation for being innovators in neuroscience. That said, a lot of the smaller programs seemed to offer more early hands-on training that seemed appealing. For instance Calgary doesn't have residents do stroke call until they are an R3 if I recall correctly. Although smaller programs have draw backs. You can loose some subspecialty exposure (Mac didn't have neuroonc, MUN didn't have cognitive neuro or an EEG rotation, Queen's doesn't have peds neuro or an IR suite, although apparently they were attempting to create a suite). But those programs often had elective time or had deals with other programs (peds neuro for Queen's is done at Sick Kids). Edmonton boasted a lot of interesting pathology as they cover the territories as well. UBC has some cool outreach clinics in Haifa Gwaii and Kitimat. 

 

Check out the CaRMs descriptions and you can get a flavour of each program. Also don't discount asking about each school's internal program because all neurology programs have about a year of off-service internal rotations. 

 

I personally think its the coolest field - I love the exam, I love the imaging and I love the puzzles. I think neuro has become even more exciting with the surge in neuroscience research and I think the future is even brighter.

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On 2016-07-12 at 11:27 AM, btdubs said:

The second link is broken, is there a newer one?

All you need to know is that it's about as competitive as ophthalmology, ENT and Anesthesia last year. This year might be even more competitive than last year. There are quite a few applicants with Science papers.

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Hi everyone - I recently returned to the Premed 101 forums, and I can't believe the thread that I started in 2011 is still going strong.   I have now been a neurology attending for 6 months (private practice), so I thought I'd share some light.

 

Neurology residency can be BUSY.  It all depends on your program.  At mine, the residents took stroke call and were the main tPaers.  Thus when you were on call, you would likely be up all night (especially now as there is no stroke window).  But I know that at a lot of other programs, stroke call is mostly done by fellows.

 

Neurology is somewhat unique in the sense that depending on what field you subspecialize in (and there is no pressure to), you can have a very different career and do work that in no way resembles another neurologist (i.e. movement disorders bears very little resemblance to neuromuscular).  I'm an MS specialist and really enjoy it and most of my colleagues would say the same - neurology is a fun field.  If you don't work in a hospital it's all 9 - 5.  Either in an academic or community hospital setting it can be very busy.  In general, one's billing will range from $300,000 - $650,000 depending (for example some people choose to do all EMG all the time.  Of course, that's near the 650k mark.  Conversely if you are a cognitive neurologist, you'll be lucky if you clear 300k).  And after expenses and income tax your take home will be about 60% of your gross billings.

 

I hope that's helpful!  As an aside, a VERY VERY long time ago here, I posted about the terrible selection of neurology/neuroanatomy books available.  This frustration only grew as I went along in my career, and so I decided to write my own.  You can find it here - I would really, really value anyone's/everyone's feedback if they happen to pick it up.

 

https://www.amazon.ca/Case-Closed-Neuroanatomy-Warren-Berger/dp/1498728529/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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