University of Mississippi Medical Center is an exciting place to train in neurology. The faculty is a unique blend of experienced clinicians and basic scientists with varied backgrounds and subspecialty interests. Under the guidance of Dr. Alissa Willis, the department promotes excellence in the care of neurologic patients, the education of students and resident physicians, and the clinical and basic investigation of neurologic disease.
The Department of Neurology at UMMC has a strong clinical program that serves a large and diverse patient population. Members of the department care for patients both at University Hospital and at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital.
Both hospitals have strong referral bases with active inpatient and outpatient services that expose trainees to a broad range of neurologic conditions. It is not unusual for residents to be the first to recognize and diagnose neurologic conditions. The Adult Neurology Residency Program is a four-year categorical program in neurology that includes a preliminary (PGY-1) year of internal medicine training. This preliminary year is supervised by both the neurology and internal medicine program directors.
We hope the outstanding educational opportunities available through the Department of Neurology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center interest you.
As a resident at UMMC, I learned many worthy lessons and the ins and outs of neurology. Residency was quite busy, but the learning curve was steep. The days were long, but the years were short. I made many friendships both with my peers and my attendings. To me, that was the most valuable part of my time in residency. I still talk with and run cases by my classmates and my former attendings. I practice general neurology and I feel my residency prepared me for clinical practice. I knew I wanted to do general neurology. Therefore, I chose my elective rotations to learn what I would need to put into action in my clinic. I felt UMMC was very open to multiple subspecialties and we had great training in many of them. I also appreciated the chance to have elective rotations, including one away rotation and clinic rotations with other hospitals in Jackson so I could see how various hospitals and clinics were operated. I enjoyed my time at UMMC and I cannot thank all the faculty and staff there enough for all they have done for me along my career path.
One might think that residency in a rural state might come with a more narrowed patient exposure during training. Speaking for myself, I feel this was not true regarding my experience at the University Mississippi Medical Center as a neurology resident. UMMC is the only level one trauma center in the state of Mississippi. This means we provide the highest level of care for patients which includes neurological care. AKA, we receive a lot of patient transfers for neurological services. This can translate into arduous days and nights during training, but at the same time, offers an excellent environment for learning opportunities.
From common neurological diseases to the zebras of our field, UMMC provided the training I needed to obtain proficiency in this spectrum. The gauntlet was thrown down during my PGY 2 year as a junior neurology resident. The learning curve was steep in addition to long hours. Yet, when I transitioned to a senior resident, I realized just how much I had grown in my ability to practice neurology in just one year. The latter two years in this program allowed me to tailor my training in pursuit as a general neurologist. I can say with confidence that I feel adequately prepared to be on my own as independent practicing provider.
Looking back at my journey, I can’t thank my peers and especially my mentors enough for the lessons I have learned. Many words were exchanged but it was the actions observed that taught me how to be a good neurologist, a practical physician and ultimately a caring healer. Thanks UMMC neurology for all those endless days and sleepless nights but most importantly the preparation to pursue my dream.