Child Neurology Residency

Child Neurology Residency Header

The Spectrum Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Child Neurology Residency program at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital offers training dedicated to all aspects of child neurology, including a rich clinical and research experience. Upon completion of the program, residents will be well prepared to be in clinical practice, an educator, or a clinical researcher. Two residents are accepted each year into the five-year categorical program. The program includes the standard three years of adult and child neurology training followed by two years of pediatrics residency training.

The goal for our inaugural class, beginning in 2021, and for future classes is to prepare resident physicians for both clinical and academic careers at top institutions or demanding clinical practices. The program will be a dynamic experience, challenging you through complex clinical care, learning and teaching didactics and involvement in basic science or clinical research endeavors. It includes the standard two years of pediatrics residency training followed by one year of adult neurology and two years of child neurology training.

Thank you for your interest in the child neurology residency program. We think you will be attracted to our program for several reasons. First, our clinicians love to teach and share a passion for learning collaboratively. Second, we have a great depth of subspecialty expertise and our backgrounds are very diverse. Third, your education and development is our main goal. We will invest the time and resources to maximize your skills in clinical care, research, education and administrative roles. Read our program aims.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Spectrum Health Pediatric Neurosciences Center cares for children and adolescents experiencing symptoms related to the brain, spine muscle or nerves, to help identify what’s happening and create a personalized plan for treatment. Our highly specialized team of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery experts treat a variety of neurological disorders with inpatient and outpatient care, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disorders, stroke, autoimmune neurological diseases, as well as other conditions such as brain and spinal cord tumors, movement disorders, congenital neurological conditions and traumatic injury or illness.  In addition to neurology and neurosurgery, the team includes neurodevelopmental pediatricians, biochemical genetics, pediatric neuropsychology and neurocritical care specialists, which allows us to offer distinctive services, including the first in the state to offer pediatric neurocritical services and a variety of multidisciplinary clinics to help children and their families.

Programs of Excellence

Epilepsy
We have one of the most comprehensive pediatric epilepsy programs in Michigan and are the only designated Level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers in West Michigan. Our care for patients with complex epilepsy and seizure disorders includes an eight-bed pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit for the evaluation of uncontrolled seizures, a dietary therapy clinic, genetic epilepsy clinic and extensive inpatient and outpatient imaging procedures to help understand what is happening in a child’s brain. In addition, the Jack H. Miller Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Center will be opening its doors in September 2020. Our pediatric neurosurgeons are skilled in surgical techniques that can successfully and safely eliminate or reduce seizures, if medication, dietary changes and neurostimulation are unsuccessful.
 
Movement Disorders
Our team has the only fellowship trained pediatric movement disorder specialist in Michigan. We offer clinics that specialize in several common movement disorders, including tics, Tourette syndrome, dystonia, ataxia and cerebral palsy (spasticity). These clinics bring professionals from many areas together to work with children in a coordinated treatment program. Our neuroscience center team will first identify a diagnosis utilizing brain imaging, genetics and other advanced procedures like deep brain stimulation, baclofen pump, botulinum toxin and dorsal root rhizotomy. Then they will recommend a treatment plan to help reduce symptoms. Although there are no treatments that cure or modify the progression of neurological diseases, we can help improve quality of life.
 
Neuromuscular Disorders
Our pediatric neuroscience center physicians are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of neuromuscular disorders, including muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. Extensive diagnostic testing and a team of treatment professionals combine to help children improve muscle and joint function, while slowing muscle deterioration so individuals can live as actively and independently as possible. Our clinic is aligned with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and offers early diagnosis, specialized care and access to promising clinical trials to bring the best possible outcomes.
 
Neurocritical Care
We are proud to be the first in Michigan to offer pediatric neurocritical care services. These services are provided by a specialized team led by fellowship-trained neuro pediatric intensive care and neurology physicians. Our neurocritical care team works to identify patients in the neuro pediatric intensive care unit who are at risk of new or ongoing neurologic injury, then monitors and applies neuroprotective therapies. The goal is to improve outcomes and decrease hospital stay, as neurologic outcomes have the largest impact on quality of life in patients after leaving the pediatric intensive care unit.
 
West Michigan Cerebral Palsy Program
In partnership, Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital run a multidisciplinary cerebral palsy program. The program is a multidisciplinary, weekly outpatient clinic that provides comprehensive care for children from birth to 21 years with cerebral palsy and related conditions. We will offer many therapies and interventions like medications, Botox injections, baclofen pumps, selective dorsal root rhizotomies and Deep Brain Stimulation that can improve the function of children with this condition.
 
Brain Tumors
We are actively involved in research to further understand brain tumors in children and are proud to be at the forefront of advanced personalized medicine, with national collaborations moving this research forward. We offer a multidisciplinary, weekly pediatric brain tumor conference, which includes pediatric oncologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists, radiology and other pediatric medical specialists. To provide guidance during surgery and work towards the best possible treatment results, our pediatric neurosurgeons use state-of-the-art techniques and tools like:
  • Neuro-navigation, which is computer-assisted technology to guide the surgeon
  • Intraoperative MRI to check if the entire tumor has been removed during surgery
  • Intraoperative neuromonitoring for real-time feedback of the function of nerves, muscle, brain and spinal cord
 
Neuropsychology Clinic
Our neuropsychologists have completed extensive training and are specialized in pediatric psychology, brain-behavior relationships, specialized neuropsychological assessment, intervention techniques and the practical implications of neuropsychological conditions. They work in collaboration with subspecialists in neuroscience, cardiology and hematology/oncology, among others, to diagnose and treat conditions such as ADHD, concussion and traumatic brain injury, neurological or neurodevelopmental issues such as stroke, epilepsy, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc.

Multidisciplinary Clinics

Neurofibromatosis Clinic
Our team of specialists includes doctors, geneticists, psychologists and others provide comprehensive care from diagnosis to medical care and even working with schools to support students with learning disabilities. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic mutation that can be an inherited condition. Our clinic has experts for both children and adults, allowing us to see a family together, making complete care even easier.
 
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Clinic
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic condition and we offer treatment through a clinic managed by our neurologists, neurosurgeons, nephrologists and urologists. Together, we help children with this condition grow and thrive.
 
Comprehensive Epilepsy Clinic
Our team of neurologists, specialized and board certified in epilepsy, in conjunction with neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists, provide comprehensive assessments and treatments to children with complex forms of epilepsy that have not responded to medication.
 
Neuromuscular Clinic
Our team of neurologists, pulmonologists, physiatrists, cardiologists, physical therapists and orthotic specialists provide comprehensive assessments and treatments to children with neuromuscular conditions like muscular dystrophy spinal muscular atrophy amongst others.
 
Surgical Dystonia Clinic
Our team of neurologists with special training in movement disorders, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists provide comprehensive assessments and treatments to children with complex movement disorders including spasticity and dystonia.
 
Cerebral Palsy Clinic
Our cerebral palsy clinic is the most comprehensive in Michigan and includes a unique group of specialists which include neurology, physiatry, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, orthotic, physical/occupational and speech therapists, dietician, social worker, amongst others.
 
Advanced Diagnostics
We perform electroencephalogram, video EEG, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, single photon emission computerized tomography, electromyography and evoked potentials. In addition, the Jack H. Miller Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Center will be opening its doors in September 2020.
The child neurology residency is a five-year program. The first two years of training are completed alongside the pediatrics residency program at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. After this, residents join the pediatric neurosciences department at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The 12 months of adult neurology training are divided between the third, fourth and fifth years of training (six months in the third year, four months in the fourth year and two months in the fifth year).

The education of our residents is our priority. This is done through our didactic lessons, bedside teaching, independent learning and exposure to a broad range of patient pathology. Our residents work alongside fellowship-trained experts in multiple neurological subspecialties including pediatric epilepsy, pediatric movement disorders, pediatric neuroimmunology, pediatric neuromuscular disorders, stroke, neurodevelopmental disabilities and neurogenetics. Our faculty are committed to providing residents with a rich experience of training, education and research opportunities.

Our didactic schedule includes ample opportunities throughout the week for learning and is partnered with colleagues across Spectrum Health. Lectures and conferences include neurology grand rounds, pediatric grand rounds, pediatric neuroradiology conference, EEG case conference, neurology case conference, neurogenetics conference, resident journal club, graduate medical education core curriculum lectures, neuropathology lectures, and chief rounds.

As a child neurology resident, you will have the opportunity to be involved with teaching medical students and residents from multiple regional medical schools and residencies. This provides rich interactions and leadership opportunities.

We are involved with multiple multicenter research studies and are members of the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium. Additionally, we are partners with basic science researchers at Michigan State University.
Applications and the following documents are accepted only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We require:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • MD applicants should have scores of 205 or higher on both Step 1 and Step 2 of the USMLE
  • DO applicants should have scores of 550 of higher on both COMLEX 1 and 2
  • Must pass the CS exam on the first attempt
  • Recent clinical experience within the United States
  • Applicants must have graduated medical school within the last three years
  • All candidates must possess U.S. work authorization or be eligible for J-1 status
  • Step 2 exam results are encouraged, but not required prior to your interview.  Results for Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS exam must be available to be considered for ranking.

For more information, contact Jennifer Bruno, program coordinator, at jennifer.bruno@spectrumhealth.org
Spectrum Health provides a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package for our residents, staff and their families. In addition, our program provides educational monies to support your ongoing education. Download our salary and benefits document to learn more.

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    Our residents are a diverse group from a variety of backgrounds with unique experiences and interests. We look forward to getting to know you as well!