Neurology Residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Mount Sinai West/Mount Sinai Union Square)

Our program provides an intimate training environment within a large academic university system that employs continuous mentorship in research and personal development. We aim to graduate accomplished neurologists who are prepared to work independently and in team settings. We offer early exposure to outpatient sub-specialties and a well-rounded curriculum. Our residents have dedicated research time. Residents receive medical education training to hone their skills as educators. Our residents are encouraged to be active participants in committees within and outside of the department. We are a family whose relationships extend well beyond your three years of training.


Our story begins in 2006 with a vision to develop a program that reflects the needs of the next generation of physicians. Our faculty were immediately enthusiastic and devoted to the educational process of developing a program that spoke to the needs of current trainees. We believe the process for improvement never ends and we continue to work with faculty and residents to challenge us to offer neurology education in new and innovative ways. While we started with three residents/year we expanded to five residents/year in 2018 to allow our residents to experience all of the offerings in the Mount Sinai system.

Our current program director, Vicki Shanker, MD began as an Associate Program Director in 2007. She is the 2017 recipient of the American Academy of Neurology Program Director Recognition Award. She also received the 2017 ACGME Parker Palmer Courage to Teach Award, the highest award offered nationally to Program Directors. We are thrilled that Dr. Shanker has received national recognition for her tireless dedication and commitment to the growth and well-being of our program.

Blocked Educational Time

We recognize that 12 noon conference is often challenging for trainees as it is situated in the middle of a busy work day. While we continue to offer some conferences at this time, our residents are provided protected educational time on Friday afternoons from 1-5 PM. During this time, we offer Grand Grounds and a wide range of educational programming including in-person workshops for skills training.


In the very first month of training, each resident is provided a mentor for academic and emotional support throughout the three years. The mentor also attends the resident’s mid-year and end-of-year feedback sessions to provide support and guidance. Each resident chooses a clinical research mentor in the PGY2 year to guide them in the development of an independent clinical research project. All residents meet with the program director regularly throughout training to provide guidance for their development as trainees within the program and to assist with career development for their time post-graduation. PGY3 and PGY4 schedules are done in collaboration with the resident and the program director to personalize the resident’s training based on needs and interest. However, mentorship goes well beyond dedicated mentors. Our alumni and faculty are available to provide guidance for fellowship and beyond.

Medical Education Training

We are one of the primary sites for the Mount Sinai MS3 Neurology rotation, and we believe that all of our residents should receive dedicated training in the skills needed to become outstanding educators. Throughout their training, residents receive workshops and lectures on skills such as the one-minute preceptor, improving feedback and evaluations, and strategies to assess the abilities of student learners. Residents receive feedback from the medical students during the mid and end-of-year evaluations. Guidance is provided for public speaking and presentations at the beginning of PGY2 year. Many residents are active in medical education committees, and some have chosen to pursue research in the field. Through Mount Sinai, interested residents have applied and been accepted to the Harvard Macy Institute’s Program for Post-Graduate Trainees which provides guidance to those interested in pursuing a career in Medical Education. Some of our graduates have gone on to become involved in Medical Student clerkships as well as to become Fellowship and Associate Fellowship Directors.


It is critical that all of our residents learn skills to interpret and understand medical literature. We offer a regular journal club and call upon members of the IRB, library staff, and other departments to offer their expertise to our residents. While some residents begin research in their PGY1 year, all residents are provided dedicated research time in their PGY3 year and many choose to continue to participate in research in the PGY4 year. Residents frequently publish and present at local and national meetings.


Under the guidance of our Wellness Champion, Matthew Swan, MD we have an active committee dedicated to addressing internal and external issues that can affect our residents’ well-being. Mount Sinai offers a range of opportunities for our trainees including narrative writing and guided meditation. Our residents participate in regular wellness events that have included petting time with the Sinai therapy dogs, painting, and holiday cookie decorating. Outside the program, the wellness committee has also organized group activities such as hiking trips, mini-golf, escape rooms, and volunteering events with local charities. The Office of Wellbeing and Resilience provides outstanding support and is a resource for our residents including several mental health initiatives to provide support for all Mount Sinai trainees. Residents receive Wellness days every quarter that they can use for their general health and well-being.

Academic Track- Overview

Training takes place throughout the Sinai system and is based in Manhattan. This includes Mount Sinai West (MSW), Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH), and Mount Sinai Union Square. We treat a diverse socioeconomic population and receive referrals from across the country, guaranteeing you a wide variety of clinical experiences. Residents participate in in-person and telemedicine visits. In continuity clinic, residents have the opportunity to participate in occipital nerve blocks and botulin toxin injections.

PGY2 YEAR: We welcome our new PGY2s with celebratory events and a dedicated lecture series to provide them with the foundations of Neurology. Skills training and simulated stroke codes are included in this early training as well as “teaching to teach” programming. Over the first six weeks, PGY2s have “buddy” calls where they spend a few evening hours or a weekend day with the on-call resident who mentors the PGY2 during consultations. Residents are assigned medical students to work 1:1 in the inpatient rotations.

  • Inpatient floor time: General Neurology/Vascular Neurology (MSW) - Residents divide 4.5-5 months split divided into time spent on each individual service. Bedside teaching is the standard.
  • Neuro-critical care (MSW) - Residents have one month devoted to the assessment and management of the neuro-critical care patients. Residents do not participate in overnight call in the NCC unit.
  • Consult service (MSW) - Residents spend two months dedicated to consultations throughout the hospital.
  • Psychiatry (MSW) - Residents complete one month on the Psychiatry Consultation service. Psychiatry is an ACGME requirement.
  • Neuromuscular/EMG (MS Union Square/MSW) - Residents have one month of dedicated outpatient time working to develop skills in EMG interpretation and neuromuscular examination. Residents participate in our nationally recognized ALSA-certified ALS multi-disciplinary center of excellence.
  • Epilepsy/EEG (MS Union Square/MSW/Telemedicine) - Residents have one month dedicated to training in the outpatient care of Epilepsy patients and EEG interpretation.

PGY3 YEAR: Personalized schedules are developed with the resident to ensure early exposure to areas of potential interest for fellowship. All PGY3s rotate through a half-day MS/Neuro-immunology clinic on Friday mornings in addition to their continuity clinic.

  • Consult service (MSW) - Residents have three months dedicated to consultations throughout the hospital.
  • Pediatric Neurology (MS Union Square/MSH) - Month one is devoted to the outpatient management of general pediatric Neurology and the basics of pediatric assessment. Month two is concentrated on inpatient Pediatric Neurologic consultations and clinics at MSH.
  • EMU/EEG (MSW) - Residents have one month dedicated to training in the inpatient care of Epilepsy patients and EEG interpretation, building upon previously gained knowledge in the first year.
  • Movement Disorders (MS Union Square) - Residents have the opportunity to participate in the care of patients with a wide range of movement disorders and participate in sessions of deep brain stimulation programming and botulinum toxin injections. Our center is a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence.
  • Research - Residents typically complete the IRB process in the PGY2 year and have a dedicated month to focus on their research project. These are clinical research projects and may include use of databases, retrospective chart reviews, and surveys. Small interventional medical educational and QI projects are also encouraged.
  • Electives - Residents have three months of electives which can include anything within the entire Sinai system. Internal offerings are numerous including Behavioral Neurology, Endovascular Neurology, and Neuro-infectious disease. Residents may also participate in rotations outside of the department such as Neuro-rehabilitation, Neuro-radiology, Sports Neurology, and Pain.

PGY4 YEAR: Personalized schedules are developed with the resident to ensure early exposure to areas of potential interest for fellowship. All PGY4s rotated through a half-day Neuro-ophthalmology clinic on Monday mornings in addition to their continuity clinic.

  • Chief Consult service (MSW) - The resident has two months serving as the lead educator for the consult service, overseeing the management of cases by all the residents on the team.
  • Chief Inpatient service-Vascular (MSW) - The resident spends one month as the lead educator for the inpatient service.
  • Chief Inpatient service- General Neurology (MSW)- The resident spends two weeks as the lead educator for the inpatient service.
  • Pediatric Neurology (MSH, MS Union Square) - Residents participate in a range of Pediatric Subspecialty clinics including Pediatric Movement disorders, Pediatric Neuro-oncology, Pediatric Neuro-immunology, and Pediatric Headache.
  • Headache (MS Union Square/MSW/telemedicine) - Residents build skills in comprehensive headache care.
  • Neuromuscular/EMG (MS Union Square/MSW) - Residents have one month of dedicated outpatient time working to develop skills in EMG interpretation and neuromuscular examination. Residents build on previously obtained skills to develop skills to interpret abnormal EMGs and assess more complex neuromuscular cases.
  • Electives- Residents have approximately four and a half months of electives which can include anything within the entire Sinai system. Internal offerings are numerous including Behavioral Neurology, Endovascular Neurology, and Neuro-infectious disease. Residents may also participate in rotations outside of the department such as Neuro-rehabilitation, Sports Neurology, and Pain.

Our Residents

Our residents come from varied backgrounds and have diverse interests that have included careers in Global Neurology, Intraoperative Monitoring, Neuro-ophthalmology and Neuro-rehabilitation. Residents have served on the editorial board of the Resident and Fellow section of Neurology, as chairs in hospital committees, and have written grants while in training. All of our recent graduates have presented at national or international conferences. Our residents have received scholarships including the AAN Enhanced Resident Leadership Program, AAN Leadership for Women Program, AAN Neurology on the Hill, AAN Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Scholarship, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine Junior Member Leadership Liaison Program, and the Harvard Macy Program for Post-Graduate Trainees: Future Academic Clinician-Educators.

Every resident is unique in their interests and we seek individuals who are comfortable in an environment where they cannot hide in a crowd. We seek residents who want to provide meaningful contributions to our community and who are looking to develop long-lasting professional and personal relationships.

Ultimately, 100% of our residents complete a fellowship. Previous residents have gone on to train at Harvard, Yale, Mayo Clinic, Stanford, NIH and many other outstanding institutions.

Preliminary Medicine

We have a close relationship with the Internal Medicine (IM) program at Mount Sinai West. The majority of our residents choose to complete their PGY1 year in the Mount Sinai System. Matching preliminary year at Mount Sinai allows our residents time to settle in to their new NYC home and work environment and also allows for opportunities to work with our current residents and participate in rotations in our program. Residents interested in the IM program should apply separately to the Preliminary Medicine/Neurology program. Our lists are linked with the Prelim/Neuro list in the Match. You do not need to interview separately with the IM program if you are applying only for our linked list. This system allows applicants to attend alternative preliminary year programs if they choose.

How to Apply

The Department of Neurology accepts applicants through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Applications are accepted between October - January. Only applications that contain the following will be reviewed: curriculum vitae, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, medical school transcript, MSPE, and USMLE/COMLEX scores. We desire diversity in our trainees and applications are viewed with a holistic approach. The Department will consider applicants seeking H1B or J1 visas. ECFMG certificate must be obtained prior to the rank list deadline.

Offers to interview will continue throughout the interview season. Interviews take place from October - January. Applicants and programs submit their rankings to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) in mid-February. Applicants and programs are notified of the match results on Match Day in mid-March.