Welcome to the University of Saskatchewan's Division of Neurology!
If you’re reading this, you are likely one of the lucky people who have considered pursuing Neurology as a career – one of the most interesting, gratifying and diverse specialties available. Our program provides excellent support and opportunities for the residents through academic, research and clinical experiences. You will find some of the more pertinent information below.
The Neurology program values education and learning opportunities for all residents, and ensures that Academic Time is protected, regardless of the rotation you may be on.
During an average week, the program has 7 hours of protected Academic Time for residents to attend, learn and teach.
Bedside teaching is done on Tuesdays (11:00-Noon), consisting of a team of residents and Staff members that discuss interesting cases, including finer points of the history and opportunity for residents to hone their neurologic exam.
Academic Half-day is on Wednesday for three hours (Noon-15:00), consisting of readings based on Royal College Syllabi. These sessions typically consist of 1-2 hours of Faculty-led teaching and the remainder of the time assigned to residents to prepare teaching and present the topic to their peers. We ensure that the readings and teachings span the knowledge levels appropriate from PGY1-PGY5. Once a month, a dedicated Junior Half-day occurs with more basic topics, and focus on the appropriate clinical exams.
Neuroscience Grand Rounds (shared with the Neurosurgery Department, and attended by members of PM&R and non-clinical Neuroscience members) run for two hours on Friday morning (10:00-Noon). Generally, each resident will present twice a year for one hour. The presentation parameters are left open for residents to choose any topic or case to the entire department that they feel is interesting.
Additionally, on Friday, there is an hour reserved (Noon-13:00) that provides teaching for residents on Neuroradiology.
In addition to the above described protected Academic Time, there are several scheduled teaching opportunities. These are not mandatory for residents to attend; however, they are actively encouraged. EEG rounds (Thursdays 15:30-16:30) are an opportunity to discuss interesting epilepsy cases with Epileptologists and members of the Electrophysiology team. Approximately once a month, Movement Disorders teaching is made available for residents, where videos spanning the entire array of movement disorders are viewed with teaching from experts. Journal Club takes place once a month, where residents can meet for dinner to present and discuss recently published papers.
In first year, approximately a third of clinical time is spent rotating through the general Neurology ward and other Neurology rotations. The remainder of the rotations are within the Department of Medicine fleshing out competency and ensuring residents are comfortable with the appropriate services, including but not limited to General Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases and Haematology. Second year focuses residents on satisfying the remaining medicine requirements, including a mandatory two-month ICU rotation. Residents also gain further experience on the Neurology ward and in clinics, including an experience to introducing the basics of NCS/EMG to the residents. Third and fourth year really focus the resident on all the subspecialties within Neurology, including NCS/EMG, EEG, Neuroradiology, Neuropathology, Pediatric Neurology, with considerable time for electives both at home and away. The fifth year of the residency is meant to help residents solidify their previous training, experience the role of a Junior Attending and complete their final rotations while preparing for the Royal College Exam.
Currently the call for Neurology is designated as ‘Home Heavy Call’, during which residents are on call for consults as well as any issues that arise for the patients on the Neurology ward. Once all active issues and consults are resolved the resident is allowed to go home with their pager on. Residents are expected to be able to return to the hospital in a timely fashion, should any urgent issues or consults arise. Neurology is indeed a busy service in the hospital, but each call shift provides residents with important learning opportunities. The ward typically has anywhere between 20-40 patients who are receiving care. For the first 6-7 blocks all PGY1 will be considered Junior Residents and will be placed on call with Senior Residents, to provide them with teaching, support and helpful hints to manage the call shifts effectively.
Typically, the PGY1 will be considered both confident and skilled enough to handle intermittent solo call shifts in the later part of PGY1. PGY1 and PGY2 will participate in Neurology call shifts with on Neurology rotations and rotations that do not have associated call shifts. When on other rotations, such as CCU, ICU, CTU (Internal Medicine Clinical Teaching Unit), the residents will be on In-House call as per the needs/regulations for that particular service. Residents in PGY2 and above are added to the Senior Resident Call pool, where they will participate in supervising and assisting Junior Residents on call, with intermittent solo call shifts. An average block will consist of somewhere between 4-7 call shifts spaced throughout the 28-day blocks. All consults are accepted through and reviewed by staff who provide exceptional support for residents while on call.
The U of S Neurology program is very supportive of all residents continuing to improve their education with research and attending conferences. There are 12 conference days available, and most residents are able to attend 1-2 conferences each year. During PGY1 and PGY2 residents are encouraged to attend the Rocky Mountain Basic Sciences Symposium, where they will join their colleagues from the U of C and U of A for a weekend of learning, competition and camaraderie in Banff. Common conferences attended include the CNSF and AAN conferences, however residents are encouraged to submit research and attend any conference of their interest. The program is able to provide a base sum as well as a yearly stipend to help cover the resident cost of travel and accommodation to the conferences. Additional funding is available for any resident who has an abstract or other publication accepted for presentation. Additional funding may be present for those with research involving select Researchers and subspecialties.
The program hosts a yearly Research Day at which the residents will present research of their own doing. The expectations are graded appropriately for the varying levels of experience within the program. All research interests are thoroughly encouraged and supported. Dinner and awards follow the presentations.
Welcome to the Resident’s page!
The Neurology program at U of S currently has eleven residents. Being part of a smaller program comes with several advantages. A low staff to resident ratio of approximately 1:1, provides residents with excellent opportunities for teaching. As well, residents have guidance for research and mentorship around career planning from staff with a range of subspecialties and research interests. Residents are exposed to a high number of cases from consults through to discharge, which affords residents the chance to become experts in all aspects of CanMEDS roles. Finally, the small program creates a unique environment for residents to share experiences and create lasting relationships with one another.
As the largest centre for Neurology in the province, the catchment area provides the volume and breadth of presentations to ensure numerous and diverse rotational experiences throughout their residency.
We are lucky enough to have a full complement of Neurology subspecialties at hand to ensure resident exposure to all areas within the discipline. The program promotes a positive and well-supported learning environment where residents are encouraged to grow in their learning and research interests.
We would welcome any questions about the program, resident life or experiences in Saskatoon. Feel free to email the chief.
Dr. G. Hunter
Program Administrative Assistant