University of Pittsburgh


Combined Clinical Years

Neurology Clerkship

3 weeks

Clerkship Director
Laurie Knepper, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Neurology

Clerkship Co-Director
Claire Yanta, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Neurology



Course Description

The Neurology Clerkship (3 weeks) integrates experience in neurology, neurosurgery, neuropathology, and neuroradiology. Clinical teaching with attendings and residents takes place in inpatient and ambulatory settings.

The objectives of the course are for students to be able to:

  1. perform a detailed and focused neurologic history and physical exam.
  2. describe the presentations, course, and treatment of common neurologic disorders.
  3. understand and use tests to localize and diagnose neurologic diseases.
  4. recognize and understand how to manage neurlogic emergencies.

Clinical sites include Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, UPMC Montefiore, UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, Shadyside Neurology Center, and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Clinical experiences are augmented by a focused classroom curriculum that includes lectures, small group discussions, and case presentations. During the formative standardized patient encounters students refine their skills in neurologic assessment and patient management. Students also attend neuropathology workshops, and have the option of attending neurosurgery operating-room sessions.


Educational Methods


Inpatient patient–care activities Ambulatory patient–care activities Workshops Medical record review
Structured readings Standardized patient encounters Lectures Diagnostic imaging workshops



The Neurology clerkship grade is based on clerkship-preceptor evaluation (50% of the Neurology final grade), the National Board of Medical Examiners web-based subject exam score (30%), the Neurology Patient Exam (10%), the Medical Record Review (5%), and professionalism (5%).

Grading: The clerkship is graded Honors, High Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Low Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Clerkship Director Laurie Knepper, MD, is a recipient of the Clerkship preceptor of the Year Award. Joseph Yanta, MD received the Outstanding Early Career Educator Award. Clerkship faculty Drs. Paula Clemens, John Doyle, Robert Kaniecki, and Angela Lu are also recipients of the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award.