Program Overview

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is an academic institution of international reputation and the only children’s hospital in the western Pennsylvania region, serving a population of several million in western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, and western New York.

The Division of Child Neurology at Children's Hospital accepts up to one Neurodevelopmental Disabilities resident each year for a combined 6-year training program with Pediatrics that leads to board eligibility in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and in Neurology with Special Certification in Child Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Clinical Training Overview

Our 6-year combined training program is designed to fulfill ACGME requirements in order to ensure our residents a well-rounded training experience and ABPN board eligibility.

Child Neurology (18 months)

  • 12 months Inpatient Service Rotations
    • Inpatient Ward Service
    • Inpatient Consult Service (includes NICU, PICU, CICU, and floor consultations)
    • Outpatient Urgent/ER Consults
    • Night Float (Hybrid of home call and in-house responsibilities)
  • 6 months Outpatient/Electives*

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Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (18 months)

  • 14 months Clinical or Basic Science Research Experience
    • 8 week block in PGY3 and remainder 12 months in PGY5
  • 4 months Additional Research and Outpatient/Electives*

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*Required electives for NDD:

  • Neonatal neurology (4 weeks)
  • Neurosurgery (4 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • PM&R (4 weeks)

Additional NDD & CN electives:

  • Away rotations (US or International)
  • EEG
  • EMG
  • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and Epilepsy Surgery
  • Genetics/Metabolism
  • Headache
  • Neuro-critical care
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Neuropathology
  • Neuroradiology
  • Palliative Care and Pain Medicine
  • Research
  • Sleep
  • Subspecialty Clinics

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Pediatrics (24 months)

  • Emergency Medicine and Acute Illness – 3 months
  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics – 1 month
  • Adolescent Medicine – 1 month
  • Newborn – 1 month
  • Inpatient Pediatrics (non-ICU) – 5+ months
  • Other Ambulatory Experiences – 2 months
  • NICU – 2 months
  • PICU – 2 months
  • Additional Subspecialty – 4+ months

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Adult Neurology (12 months)
  • 6 months Inpatient (includes: Stroke, Neurology Ward Service, Inpatient/ER Consult Service, Night Float)
    • Inpatient adult neurology rotations completed during PGY-3 year
  • 6 months Outpatient/Electives:
    • 3-week Neurology "Boot Camp" in July of PGY3
    • VA Hospital Clinic
    • Neuro-oncology
    • EEG
    • EMG
    • Headache
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Movement Disorders
    • Cognitive
    • Concussion
    • Neuromuscular Clinic
    • Neuro-ophthalmology
    • Neuro-otology
    • Neuropathology
    • Neuroradiology
    • Sleep

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Continuity Clinic + Clinical Concentrations

Continuity Clinic

  • Dual continuity clinic experiences during PGY3-6 in both NDD and Child Neurology
  • Residents take responsibility as primary physician for management
  • Attending support for all patient care experiences

Clinical Concentrations

  • During Research Year, residents allocate 6 continuity clinics to NDD-relevant subspecialty concentration of choice (e.g., Neurogenetics, Movement Disorders/Tourette Syndrome)
  • Primary responsibility for managing patient concerns with close mentorship from subspecialty faculty
  • Complementary elective rotations recommended
  • During PGY6, lead relevant didactics sessions for peers and facilitate subspecialty multidisciplinary conferences

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Subspecialty Clinics

Subspecialty Clinics

  • Epilepsy
  • Epilepsy Surgery and 8-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
  • Fragile X
  • Headache
  • Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
  • Infantile Spasms and Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy
  • Intensive Treatment Epilepsy Clinic
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Movement Disorders
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Neonatal Neurology
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neurogenetics and Neurodevelopment/Neurogenetics
  • Neuro-Immunology
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuromuscular Disease and EMG
  • Spasticity Clinic
  • Stroke
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis

Additional Affiliated Programs


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Call Schedule


  • Adult neurology night float (4 weeks)
  • No 24-hour calls
  • Weekend day coverage on Ward, VA, Stroke
  • Infrequent Saturday night coverage on elective


  • Night Call Rotation (Sun-Fri)
  • Hybrid home call and in-hospital
  • In-house urgent neurologic consultation requiring neurologic examination to guide management (e.g. stroke, demyelination, spinal cord syndrome, etc.)
  • Dedicated attending supervision on call for week-long block
  • Manage: urgent consults from ER, ICU's, and floors at Children's, calls from community hospitals, review incoming MRIs, monitor continuous EEGs, provide guidance to pediatric residents managing neurology floor team
  • Weekends
  • 24-hour coverage on Saturday (Inpatient Consult Fellow)
  • 12-hour coverage on Sunday (Outpatient Urgent/ER Fellow)
  • Call-Free Electives and Ward Rotations


  • Call-Free Research Year

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Mentored research experiences are integral to our NDD program, and are tailored to the interests of each resident.  Projects can be clinical or laboratory based. Residents are paired with mentors during the first year of the program to assist with project development, and advance through our Research Development Curriculum to enhance research skills and project development.  There are numerous academic and research opportunities available at the University of Pittsburgh, including clinical research activities within the division and at the University of Pittsburgh academic community that are rich and diverse. 

Research Development Curriculum

  • Participate in regular scholarly oversight committee meetings consisting of NDD and Child Neurology Faculty and the NDD Chief Resident 1-2 times per year
  • Practice presentation of research design and progress to group of supportive faculty and peer mentors
  • Gain experience with presenting data and ease of research dissemination
  • Develop scientific writing goals which align with research project to give experience with manuscript and/or grant writing

Research Training Framework

  • 8 weeks in PGY3
  • Intensive experience in PGY5
  • Additional research electives available PGY4 & 6
  • Goal of presentation at national meeting and/or submission of manuscript (Division of Child Neurology will provide monetary support for travel and conference fees)

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NDD Residents are strongly encouraged to complete a longitudinal advocacy project during their Research Year. Our residents have pursued advocacy opportunities through involvement with the LEND Program or CADD, or by partnering with programs, such as CORE, through the Pediatrics Residency program to provide care to underserved populations.  Additional opportunities include national and legislative advocacy through the AAP or AAN.  Residents have also worked with other community-based advocacy organizations in the Pittsburgh area as well as participated in educational sessions and outreach to surrounding communities.

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Education + Conferences

NDD residents participate with Child Neurology residents in joint didactic sessions and core conferences, in addition to NDD-focused didactics.

Regular CN/NDD Didactic Sessions

  • Organized by Education Chief Resident
  • Wednesday AM and Wednesday noon sessions
  • Topic Block-based approach
  • Journal clubs
  • RITE Review

NDD-focused Didactics

  • Tuesday AM hands-on learning sessions with assessment tools or lectures from other specialists
  • Afternoon sessions open to PGY1-6 to cover recent research publications, clinical trials, medical ethics, health disparities, and NDD-relevant issues in society

Core Weekly Conferences

  • Tuesday Patient Case Conference
  • Friday Neuroradiology "Tea" Rounds

Additional Conferences and Educational Sessions

  • Adult Neurology Core Didactics
  • Neuro-Oncology/Tumor Board (includes Neurosurgery, Hematology/Oncology, Neuroradiology)
  • Pediatric Neuroimmunology (includes Pediatric Rheumatology)
  • Combined Neuroimmunology Conference (includes Adult Neuroimmunology)
  • Pediatric Epilepsy and Epilepsy Surgery Cases (includes Neurosurgery)
  • Neurogenetics Conference (includes Genetic Counselors, Medical Geneticists, and members from the Neurodevelopment in Rare Disorders Study Program)
  • Neonatal Neurology Radiology Rounds
  • Adult Neurology Stroke Conference
  • Adult Neuromuscular Conference
  • Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Pediatrics Grand Rounds
  • Unified Fellows Course (Didactics for all pediatric fellows addressing a range of topics from research considerations to physician wellness and burnout)
  • Neuropathology Conference
  • Movement Disorder Conference

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Leadership + Career Development

As a PGY6, our NDD residents have the opportunity to take on a leadership role as NDD Chief Resident with concurrent career development mentorship by NDD program leadership. Due to the small and dynamic nature of our program, exact responsibilities may vary from year-to-year, but generally include:

  • Serve as a resident peer advocate and mentor
  • Lead the NDD Resident Mentorship Pod
  • Attend scholarly oversight committee meetings and provide peer feedback for co-resident on research year
  • Practice facilitating busy outpatient clinic by reviewing preliminary questions and plans with junior residents
  • Give didactics lecture to other residents relevant to clinical concentration
  • Facilitate multidisciplinary conference relevant to clinical concentration

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Wellness and Benefits

Our NDD residents are encouraged to participate in the Wellness Committee for the Division of Child Neurology. This committee is made up of a group of attending physicians, residents, administrative assistants, nurses, and APPs who are committed to developing programming and proposing ideas to enhance the well-being of our colleagues.

Active initiatives include efforts targeted at community building, intellectual wellness, and financial wellness, with some examples of recent initiatives listed below. Our residents are key members of the committee and contribute to design and implementation of our initiatives.

  • Membership at Children's Hospital Gym provided FREE by the CN Division
  • Annual Child Neurology Gala or outdoor Farm Fest
  • "Limbic Lounge" area for CN/NDD Residents stocked with snacks, coffee, tea
  • Meal tickets for weekend and night calls
  • Residency and Program Alumni Social Celebrations - Graduations, Welcome Events, Picnics, Meet-ups at Conferences
  • Division-wide Potlucks and Cookie Bake-Off
  • Developing Alumni Networking through Social Media
  • Debate Brunch - collegial discussions about topics in CN & NDD with opposing sides in the literature

Benefits for NDD residents are provided through UPMC Graduate Medical Education and the Division of Child Neurology. All NDD and Child Neurology residents receive competitive stipends, support, and perks.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program Leadership, we strive to train future physicians who endorse a variety of backgrounds, life experiences, ages, national origins, religions, racial/ethnic backgrounds, abilities, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, languages, and physical attributes. We strongly believe that diversity in thought, experience, and expression enhances our ability to provide equitable care and develop longitudinal and integral relationships with patients and families by validating their own experiences and acknowledging their inherent worth and dignity. We are thus committed to create an environment of inclusivity in which all patients, families, providers, and community members should be welcomed, heard, respected, appreciated, challenged, empowered, and engaged. We are aligned with the principles supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Pediatrics and endorse the Department's Antiracism Statement.

We encourage residents who are interested in advocacy around DEI to join the Pediatric Residency Diversity Committee or look to get involved with one of the many Pitt organizations committed to diversity and inclusion. 

We also welcome interested applicants to attend the Department of Pediatrics URiM Brunches during interview season. Contact our program coordinator Amy Gee for additional information.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status.  Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

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