Welcome to the Neurology Clerkship!

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Welcome to the Neurology Clerkship!

The purpose of this clerkship is to give you a firm grounding in fundamental neurologic concepts, and in the recognition and initial management of emergent and common neurological problems. The clerkship relies on the idea that you will carry out self-directed learning that builds from the on-line teaching and clinical experiences that we provide.

This syllabus establishes the rules and responsibilities of both the student and the clerkship, and functions as the de facto contract between us.


Please note that the learning objectives for the clerkship are a continuation of the learning objectives from the Neuroscience course given to the Class of 2014. You are expected to have reviewed the Neuroscience objectives in preparation for starting the Neurology clerkship.

Global Goals:

  1. Perform an accurate and appropriate neurological examination.
  2. Identify and describe the significance of key neurologic findings on an examination.
  3. Describe the pathophysiology, clinical course, and management of patients with common neurologic conditions and key neurologic emergencies.
  4. Communicate effectively about neurologic patients in order to summarize a case to consult a neurologist or sign out to a colleague.


Cognitive learning objectives:

Describe the pathophysiology, clinical course, and management of patients with common neurologic conditions noted as general (specific disease process):

  1. Dizziness.
  2. Intermittent headaches
  3. Neck and arm pain
  4. Low back pain and leg pain
  5. Dementia
  6. Epilepsy
  7. Sleep disorders
  8. Movement disorders
  9. Demyelinating disease
  10. Neuropathic pain


Describe the pathophysiology, clinical course, and management of patients with emergent neurologic conditions:

  1. Acute ischemic stroke.
  2. Subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  3. Status epilepticus
  4. Spinal cord compression
  5. Guillain Barre Syndrome
  6. Myasthenic crisis.
  7. Bacterial meningitis
  8. Toxic metabolic encephalopathy and coma.
  9. Subdural hematoma and head trauma
  10. Intracranial hypertension and herniation


The core philosophy of this clerkship is that people learn best when they actively participate in their own learning. As an adult learner, we consider it your job to learn while you are with us, and take a responsible and professional approach to the experience.

We will teach you, spend time with you, encourage you, give you resources and experiences, and frame a structure and context within which your learning can grow.  Ultimately, though, you are the single most important engine driving the type and amount of learning you get from this clerkship.  We expect you to take that responsibility seriously and “go after” learning experiences.

We try to balance patient care assignments.  Since we must use multiple services, and the patient mix within a service can change unpredictably, clinical experiences may vary.  In order to attempt to standardize the information you all receive on the clerkship, each of you is expected to review the assigned material and complete the case based teaching sessions as well as the assigned reading.  That being said, the clinical management of your patients is an invaluable piece of the clerkship.

We look forward to working with you.  If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Guillermo Solorzano, M.D., Clerkship Director  ges3b@Virginia.edu

Karen Marie Smith, Clerkship Coordinator, karenmarie@Virginia.edu


McKim Hall, Room 2131