Letter from the Chiefs

 

On behalf of the neurology residents, welcome to the UNMC Neurology residency! 

Here in Omaha, you will find a group of residents with highly diverse educational and personal backgrounds and a deep passion for neurology, patient care, dedication to hard work and a desire for learning. Our program is continuously evolving and growing, and there is not a better time to join us in our department.  

Although our class sizes continue to increase and our faculty numbers are ever-expanding, we remain a close-knit operation where all residents know that they can approach their colleagues and faculty without hesitation. Our wonderful program coordinator is always there for support, reminding us of upcoming deadlines, and does everything within her power to make resident life better. 

The life of a neurology resident varies from year to year. As an intern (PGY-1), you will primarily be rotating with our internal medicine colleagues but will also get the opportunity to spend three months with us on neurology rotations. This is unique amongst most neurology programs and is an opportunity to hit the ground running as a PGY-2. PGY-2s spend most of their year on the inpatient neurology wards (either on the General Neurology or Stroke teams), but there is still ample elective time. PGY-3s enjoy a less inpatient-heavy schedule with three months of Pediatric Neurology as well as more in-depth exposure to neurophysiology with EEGs and EMGs. PGY-3 year is also when you start supervising the inpatient services. PGY-4s serve as supervising resident on the inpatient service but they also have the most elective time as they prepare for the next step in their professional career, whether they pursue fellowship training or choose to embark on a practice in general neurology. We are happy to have transitioned to a pure night float system with no traditional 28-hour calls. Our primary sites are UNMC and the VA Medical Center, though we also rotate through the Children’s Hospital and Methodist, a local community hospital. 

Education is a top priority at UNMC. The design of our program is that of an apprenticeship, and our faculty are composed of highly enthusiastic educators. Our core curriculum is presented during weekly protected 3-hour didactic sessions comprised of Grand Rounds and lecture series that rotate on an 18-month basis, including an emergency lecture series to kick off each academic year focused toward incoming PGY-2s. We also have several supplemental monthly sessions including resident-led journal clubs, morning reports, patient safety/quality improvement conferences and faculty-led procedural review sessions focused on EEG, EMG/NCS and neuroradiology. All residents are expected to participate in quality improvement projects and at least some form of scholarly activity, anything from case reports to prospective/retrospective reviews to basic science research and have many opportunities to present their work at conferences on the departmental, institutional and national levels. 

Health and well-being are considered not only important but imperative. In order to help facilitate this, we have made numerous recent improvements including: The addition of a new junior chief resident position focusing on wellness and quality improvement, did away with traditional 28 hour call and added a peer mentorship program. On a day-to-day level, you will spend time amongst your fellow residents in our dedicated workrooms complete with ample computers, a large-screen TV used for academic (and non-academic) purposes, a couch, mini-fridge and an ever-expanding coffee bar(lately we added an espresso machine!). We have also have a very comfortable private on call room for night-float. For days off, our department takes work hour regulations and vacation rules by GME very seriously. 

Besides departmental resources we have a beautifully designed wellness lounge in the hospital, that has a yoga room, fitness room,  massage chairs and a nursing room available for house officers. There are workstations and a large food/coffee bar. The house officer association has dedicated team that organizes games and get togethers for all house officers where we participate.  For outings we have an annual departmental picnic and while maintaining covid precautions we recently started monthly get togethers for residents. We also have biannual retreats starting this year. We prioritize our residents’ mental health and hence we have dedicated counseling and therapy resources that are fully sponsored. 

Omaha is a medium-sized Midwest metropolis in eastern Nebraska that has something to offer for everyone. Here, you will find a breadth of opportunities for outdoor recreation with many parks and trails, area lakes and the Missouri River. There are several distinct neighborhoods with unique selections of entertainment, dining, bars, nightlife and shopping. Omaha is host to the NCAA College World Series and home to the world-famous Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. The Omaha metro area offers an affordable cost of living on a resident salary and is a wonderful place to raise a family, with excellent schools and child-friendly attractions. 

Our residency program offers exposure to a wide range of neurological pathology and a robust potential for research opportunities. Under the guidance of our dedicated faculty and hard-working residents, UNMC has shown time and time again that every graduating resident will feel well-rounded and prepared to independently practice in the field of neurology. 

We are proud of our department and cannot wait to meet and get to know you! 

Kiley Cameron, MD, Chief Resident of Operations 
Erin Dennis, MD, Chief Resident of Academics 
Isha Snehal, MD, Junior Chief Resident of VA, Quality Improvement and Wellness 

Kiley Cameron
Kiley Cameron, MD 
Chief Resident of Operations

Erin Dennis, MD
Erin Dennis, MD
Chief Resident of Academics

 

Isha Snehal, MBBS
Isha Snehal, MD 
Junior Chief Resident of VA, QI and Wellness