Inpatient General Neurology

Elective Title: Inpatient General Neurology 185.1
Department of Neurology
Boston University School of Medicine

Goal and Summary: This elective is for the BUSM student to gain experience evaluating, diagnosing and treating hospitalized patients with neurologic disease. After completion of this elective, the student will gain an understanding of common neurologic disease and the general approach to those patients.

Description of Elective: The student will join the general neurology inpatient and consultation service at Boston Medical Center, Menino Pavilion. The student will work as a member of the team with junior and senior Neurology residents, and staff attending neurologists. The student will spend his/her time performing supervised consultation or evaluation of existing inpatients with general neurologic disease, as well as presenting these patients on daily rounds to the resident and attending physicans on the general neurology team. A thorough written summary of these cases will also be performed. The student will also attend various conferences focused on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with general neurologic disease. Emphasis is placed on developing skill in performance of the neurological examination, acquiring familiarity with neurophysiologic testing (EMG, EEG monitoring), with Neuroradiologic testing (CT Scan, MRI, Cerebral Arteriography), and the lumbar puncture. This will be obtained by evaluating patients with altered mental status, vertigo, seizure, weakness, and paresthesias, among others. Students are expected to participate in all service activites Monday through Friday and will perform a total of eight late stay shifts during their electives. Patient care and teaching rounds take place daily for at least 8 hours.

Objectives: By the end of this elective, the BUSM student will be able to:

  • Gain an indepth understanding of the history, physical examination and laboratory results that are important in the evaluation of the patient with general neurologic disease.
  • Demonstrate the ability to choose appropriate neurologic imaging and/or electrodiagnostic studies based on clinical presentation and laboratory data. Create differential diagnoses for the patient based on history and physical examination.

Curriculum:  Educational activities include evaluating patients for which neurologic disease consultation is sought, teaching and bedside rounds with the attending physician, and review of relevant literature for discussion. Conferences/ other teaching activities include: daily morning report, regularly scheduled conferences – Neuroscience Grand Rounds and core resident lectures. Students will also assist with the orientation of third year medical students taking the required Neurology clerkship, as well as assistance with Lumbar Puncture simulation.


  • The student will be evaluated based on their level of active participation in the activities of the general neurology inpatient and consultation service. Specifically, the student will be evaluated on his/ her individual patient work-ups – the oral presentation, the written consultation, the approach to review of relevant literature – and availability for participating in the work of the general neurology service. The attending physician, with feedback from the resident, will evaluate the student’s performance.
  • Grades (H/HP/P/F) will be used. The course director, Anna Hohler, MD, will be responsible for providing feedback mid-clerkship and upon completion, based on feedback from general attending and resident physicians. If problems are identified, the attending physician or the student should contact the Course Director. Grades will be submitted to the Registrar in accord with BUSM policies for grading.


  • General Neurology Faculty at Boston Medical Center

Contact and Course Orientation Information:

  • Course Director: Shuhan Zhu, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Location: Boston Medical Center, Menino Pavilion 5W
  • Contact: Joseph Russo
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 617-638-5348
  • Fax: 617-638-5354
  • Students are to report to Fink Library, Collamore D-310, at 7:30am on the first day of the rotation.

Number of Students: Up to a total of two fourth year students per block
Length of Elective: Four weeks
Available Blocks: Offered year-round