How long is child neurology residency?

Are you thinking of choosing a medical specialty but can’t decide? Have you been told that child neurology is difficult?

In this brief guide we are going to answer the question ‘’How long is child neurology residency?’’ We will present you the details that you will find on your way as a resident of child neurology, the main activities and we will give you some tips to survive your first year of residence.

How long is child neurology residency?

Medical education in the United States begins in colleges. In these centers, students must carry out for 4 years a series of studies minimally related to the career of Medicine: biology, chemistry, mathematics…

Once this stage is finished, the student proceeds to university training at the Faculty of Medicine (Medical School). The duration of this stage is another 4 years, after which the title of Doctor of Medicine is obtained. However, to be able to practice as doctors, they must pass any of these requirements:

  1. Carry out a period of residence.
  2.  Pass the corresponding state exams.

The period of specialized training (Residency) has a variable duration of between 3 and 7 years and can be carried out in a hospital or outpatient setting. 

Now, Pediatric Neurology is a specialty that is responsible for diagnosing and treating diseases that affect the normal functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system (brain, nerves and muscles), from pregnancy to adolescence.

Students who are interested in the knowledge, management and learning of diseases related to traumatic, degenerative, tumorous pathologies and malformations and innate errors of metabolism with neurological manifestations that affect children and adolescents.

Neurology, and more specifically Pediatric Neurology, is currently going through one of its best moments. Thanks to the quality of the training in this specialty and the latest scientific and technological advances, great advances have been made in health care, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases around the world.

Child neurology program

The program intends not only to prepare a qualified and trained human resource in the most frequent health problems in our population, to carry out assistance-type activities in the institutions of the system, but also seeks the development of different areas of knowledge within neurology children, which requires trained personnel to facilitate integration with other disciplines such as psychology, pedagogy, sociology, anthropology, biology and genetics.

In the same way, research would be encouraged with the expansion and deepening of knowledge in different areas such as infantile epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, infantile electroencephalography, infantile neuropsychology, language pathology, metabolic and degenerative, neuroinfectious diseases, neonatal neurology, neuroepidemiology, neurosychiatry children, neurorehabilitation, neuromuscular diseases, neuroimmunology, neonatal neurology and neurogenetics, among others.

The child neurology residency is a three-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited training program in Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology.

Each University has a different program, some begin the first year in General Neurology, others focus on Pediatric Neurology, but in general, they share similar courses and activities, all in order to train excellent professionals.

In your third year of postgraduate studies, begin training in pediatric neurology (residency). The program is divided as follows:

  • First-year: Adult neurology.
  • Second-year: Pediatric Neurology.
  • Third-year: Opportunity to choose electives.

We remember that in every period of residence you will have rotations in various areas, in those three years the rotations include:

  • Child psychiatry
  • Pediatric rehabilitation
  • Nueropathology
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Pediatric neuromuscular disorders

During the Adult Neurology year, you will have to consult inpatients and outpatients. Also, during this time period, residents attend weekly Pediatric Neurology clinics. You should gain basic knowledge of the use and interpretation of neuroimaging studies, use of electroencephalography and  neurodiagnostic and laboratory studies

Now, during your year in Pediatric Neurology your role will be primarily as a pediatric medical consultant. In the second year, residents start with the diagnosis and treatment of childhood neurological problems and appropriate use and interpretation of neurodiagnostic studies in children.

It’s in the last year that you will have the opportunity to supervise in the hospital during a rotation. For the first time, you can be the boss! Or something like that…

Electives generally cover topics such as psychiatry, oncology, genetics, epilepsy, movement disorders, radiology, neurobehavior, sleep disorders, etc. 

Child Neurology program objective

Acquire knowledge and skills in:

  • Neuro-behavioral development and specific clinical semiology: neonatal neurology, early detection of cerebromotor and neurocognitive disorders, developmental neuropsychology, learning disorders.
  • Acute and chronic clinical neuropediatrics: Epilepsies and other episodic disorders of the child, status. Movement disorders in the child. Dysplastic, neurovascular, acute infectious, degenerative, traumatic, oncological, neuromuscular, inflammatory pathologies.
  • Diagnostic technologies: Indication and interpretation of biological, neurophysiological and neuroimaging tests.
  • Therapeutic resources: Neuropharmacology, physiotherapy, psychopedagogy, neurosurgery, professional relations with institutions and intervention structures.
  • Research: Foundations in Neurosciences, learning methodologies for experimental design, writing articles and scientific communications.

The objective of the residency program in Child Neurology is to train a specialist in pediatric neurology competent in the diagnosis and treatment of children, in all their age periods, from birth to adolescence, with pathologies that compromise the central and peripheral nervous system of different degrees of complexity, in an adequate, timely and comprehensive manner.

A specialist doctor who shows an attitude of permanent improvement through the constant critical evaluation of biomedical information, a deep ethical sense, disciplined in his work, highly reliable, updated in scientific and technological progress.

With humanistic values and with the capacity to develop an optimal doctor-patient-family relationship, as well as with the rest of the health team, which allows them to become a natural leader among their peers.

The program seeks the training of an ideal doctor for clinical practice, teaching and research in the area of child neurology, with leadership in these areas at a national and international level, capable of working at levels of second to fourth degree of complexity, managing to solve individual and community childhood neurological problems as a team.

9 tips to survive your first year of medical residency

After many years of living among hallways and college books, surviving endless nights of vigil and study. You finally believe that you are ready to begin your first year of residency.

However, the truth is that nothing, not the stories, not the anecdotes, not your qualifications or your will, can prepare you for the difficult (sometimes even cruel) experience that is the medical residency. If you want to improve your chances of survival, be sure to follow the following points:

Learn to be a good part of the team

Although many times the experience of a medical student is lonely, during your medical residency you must learn to work with your colleagues.

Be social

One way to be part of the team, in addition to working together, is to go to meetings and make friends. Don’t be afraid to form strong friendships with your colleagues.

Don’t be arrogant

While your goal may not be to get people to like you, not being humble can lead to a lot of trouble in your medical residency. Avoid these attitudes at all costs.

Try to be organized

Managing your time correctly can allow you to spend more time with your family and be able to do other things outside of work and study during the week.

Ask for help if you need it

Part of humility is knowing when you can’t do things alone. Rather than putting yourself in a bad position, you can learn much more from your medical residency.

Patient is first

Although your stay can be exhausting, you can never forget that the person you are caring for is a person with feelings and concerns. Never lose touch with this humanity.

Relax as much as possible before starting your medical residency

You won’t have much fun time once you enter this stage, so enjoy your university as much as possible.

Don’t lose contact with your loved ones

Family and friends, even if you don’t see them very often, are a pillar of support that you cannot lose when you enter this stage of your education.

Stay positive

Medical residency is exhausting, but don’t forget that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, in this case the satisfaction that, in the end, all this hard work will contribute to making you a leader in your favorite specialty.

So, how long is child neurology residency?

As praised as it is feared, as satisfactory as it is arduous, that is the career of Medicine, like many people, doctors and non-doctors, will have already told you, this difficult matter and it is even presumed that of all those who enter there are very few who will actually arrive at the end of the goal, which is quite misleading since it doesn’t really have an endpoint.

The reality is that those possible 15 years of studies will be worth it, and these years will be full of knowledge, experiences that will help you in your work as a doctor. In a residency you will get closer to the experience of being a doctor, you will have a lot of pressure, but in the end, you will have to prepare yourself for any situation.

Also, working with children is an incredible experience. Cheer up! Those crazy years will be worth it.

FAQS: how long is child neurology residency?

How long does it take to be a pediatric neurologist?

Child neurologists have completed training in:

4 years of Med School.
1 – 2 years: General Pediatric Residency.
3 years: Training in child neurology.
In total, you will need about 9 years of postgraduate training, not to mention 4 years of your undergraduate degree.

How long is a neurology residency?

Neurology residency is typically 4 years long: 1 year of internal medicine (internship) and 3 years of neurology (residency).

How competitive is pediatric neurology?

If you want to get into pediatric neurology, you better have good letters of recommendation. Yes, pediatric neurology is competitive, but it is not as competitive as other residency programs.

How many pediatric neurologists are there in the US?

There are approximately 2,000 neurologists in the United States, according to the Child Neurology Society.

How much money do pediatric neurologists make?

Child neurologists earn an average of $ 168,000 a year, the least paid earn $ 122,000, and the best earning more than $ 200,000.

In this brief guide we answered the question ‘’How long is child neurology residency?’’ We presented you the details that you will find on your way as a resident of child neurology, the main activities and we will give you some tips to survive your first year of residence.


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Child Neurology Residency Program | Duke Department of Pediatrics. (2020). Retrieved October 28, 2020, from website:

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