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September 2013

Dear Neurology Residency Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in our neurology residency here at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Here is some basic information about our program:


Our residency uses only one hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. It is located in the commercial center of town, adjacent to the main campus of Rutgers University. We are the onlyhospital among the top 10 in New Jersey (as ranked by New Jersey Monthly magazine) with a neurology residency.

In July 2013, our medical school became part of Rutgers University. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, of which we had been a part, no longer exists. The merger with Rutgers, the state’s flagship research university, has opened up new opportunities for research and teaching and will not affect our residency adversely in any way.

New Brunswick is a vibrant college town with ample entertainment options less than one hour from New York City by train or car. The train station is adjacent to the hospital and the medical school’s clinical academic campus. Plenty of housing  is available within walking distance of the hospital and in surrounding towns a few minutes’ drive away.  This ranges from apartments in modest clapboard houses to luxury apartments in doorman high-rises with every amenity to suburban condos.  The hospital’s Wellness Center, with pool and gym, is a block from the hospital and is available at very affordable cost (

Our Faculty:

Our department’s clinical neurology faculty comprises 19 clinical adult neurologists in 8 subspecialties. Our teaching effort is supplemented by 3 NIH-supported basic science faculty in our department and by clinical faculty in pediatric neurology, psychiatry, neuroradiology, neuropathology, neurosurgery, sleep medicine and pain medicine.  Our 5 nurse practitioners also work closely with our residents.

Our Residents:

Of the 22 residents who will have started our residency by July 2014, 8 are graduates of US MD-granting schools, 2 are from US osteopathic schools, 6 from of Caribbean schools and 6 from other international schools.  Seven are women.  After graduation, one has entered private practice and the rest have entered academic fellowships. 

All 6 of our graduates who have been eligible to take the Neurology Boards so far have passed them on the first attempt.


Ours is a 3-year (“advanced”) program, which means that applicants must arrange a PGY-1 year in internal medicine separately. In early 2013 we received permission to expand our residency class from 3 to 4 residents. We implemented this by adding one resident to the class that had matched in March 2013. Going forward, each Match will choose 4 people. A PGY1 year is in the planning stages.

The 36 months of the program will be distributed approximately as follows:

15 adult inpatients (Stroke and General Neurology)

10 electives

3 pediatric neurology

3 epilepsy service including video EEG

1 psychiatry (on the Consultation Liaison service in our own hospital)

1 research

3 vacation

Research Requirement:

Each resident is expected to start planning a research project in the PGY2 year and to complete it early in the PGY4 year.  There must be a faculty mentor, but the idea and planning should be the resident’s.  We hope that an abstract will be submitted to a national conference.  The Program will sponsor travel to the meeting during the PGY4 year for the resident if the abstract is accepted for presentation. 

Night Call:

In-house call is shared mostly by the PGY2 and PGY3 residents, with approximately one night every 3 months by each PGY4. On weekend days and holidays, we have a “short call” resident in the hospital until 3 PM in addition to the “long call” resident who remains overnight.  This results in typically 4, sometimes 5, overnight calls and 1, sometimes 2, short calls each month.

Residents listed by expected graduation dates with college, medical school and post-residency position:

Grad. Date



Medical School






Haroon Ahmad, MD

U of Maryland Baltimore County

University of Virginia

Serge Khelemsky, DO

Rutgers University

UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Med.

Chris Renner, MD

Loyola Univ. of Baltimore

Drexel University


Yeva Fernandez, MD

SUNY Stony Brook

Ross University School of Medicine

Yulia Orlova, MD

Siberian State Medical University, Russia

Juan Ramos, MD

Florida Int’l University

Ross University School of Medicine

Vimala Vaggala, MD

Kakatiya Medical College, India


Mohamed Elsharif, MD

University of Minnesota

Pennsylvania State Univ.

Erin Feinstein, DO

Scripps College

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Med

Alma Yum, MD

University of Georgia

Medical College of Georgia


Thomas Leahy, MD

Queens College, NY, NY

American Univ. of the Caribbean



Kannan Narayana, MD

JSS Medical College, India



Husain Rizvi, MD

Emory University

Medical College of Georgia

Vascular neurology

North Shore/Long Island Jewish


Omar Ahmed, MD

University of Pennsylvania

Medical College of Ohio



Mahmoud Obideen, MD

University of Aleppo, Syria

Clinical Neurophysiology

Vanderbilt University

Arnaldo Velez, MD

Univ. of Michigan

Univ. Central del Caribe, Puerto Rico

Vascular Neurology

University of Florida


Klara Briskin, MD

SUNY Binghamton

Ross University

Private Practice

Steven Kanarek, MD

University of Kansas

St. George’s

Clinical Neurophysiology

SUNY Upstate, Syracuse, NY

Krishna Mylavarapu, MD

Kempegowda Institute, India

Vascular Neurology

Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison


Ahmad Nizam, MD

University of Damascus, Syria

Clinical Neurophysiology

Vanderbilt University

Peter Struck, MD

Univ of Washington

Chicago Medical School

Clinical Neurophysiology

SUNY Upstate, Syracuse, NY

Jeri Williams, MD

Williams College

American Univ of the Caribbean

Movement Disorders

U of Alabama, Birmingham

General Advice:

We have no maximum interval since medical school graduation.

We have no minimum USMLE scores.

We do consider IMGs and DOs.

We support only J1 visas.

US clinical experience in addition to the PGY-1 year is recommended but not required.

We do not have a pre-match.

We accept applications only via the Match.

Do not confuse our program with those at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (formerly UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School), which is in Newark, or at Cooper-Camden Medical Center (formerly UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), which is in Camden, NJ and is now part of Rowan University.

For questions on administrative aspects of the program, please contact our residency coordinator, Janet Ryan, at (732) 235-6017.

For more information on Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, please visit and

We look forward to hearing from you as you begin this exciting phase of your medical career.


Lawrence I. Golbe, MD

Professor of Neurology and Residency Program Director