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Department of Neurology Related Programs & Courses

Drexel University College of Medicine: Neurology Medical Student

Neurology for Medical Students

The major objective of the curriculum of the Department of Neurology is to provide a basic background in clinical neuroscience for the majority of medical students who will enter careers outside of this field, while also offering an opportunity for those who wish to pursue careers in neurology or interrelated fields to test their interest and expand their exposure.

All students are taught the skills needed to obtain a neurological history and to perform and interpret a complete and reliable neurological examination, with an understanding of localization within the neuraxis. They become familiar with pathogenetic and pathophysiological mechanisms, the diagnostic evaluation and the management of the most common neurological clinical problems, those disorders that are illustrative of important concepts and those disorders that require rapid intervention. A smaller group of students, often with an identified interest in pursuing a career in neurology or a related field, schedule elective rotations and/or participate in departmental research projects.

The Department of Neurology consists of affiliated programs in the Department of Neurology at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Allegheny General Hospital. All of these are important resources for patient care, student training and research.

There are many opportunities to see and examine patients with a variety of neurological disorders. Specialized facilities for monitoring behavior and brain function are available. Students at all sites will see patients with cerebral infarction, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, movement disorders, epilepsy and a broad range of common and rare disorders.

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First Year

Neurology faculty provide clinical correlation on selected topics in the various basic science courses.

Second Year

The department conducts the neurological section of the course in Introduction to Clinical Medicine. The complete neurological examination is reviewed through lectures, demonstrations and self-examination techniques. Patients with neurological disorders are examined in small groups under the supervision of an instructor.

Fourth Year

Neurology is one of three required fourth-year clerkships. This clerkship is available at all sites. Students attend teaching rounds and conferences, may be assigned to evaluate patients on the consultation service or in clinics, and gain exposure to such specialized areas as electroencephalography, electromyography, neuroradiology and neuropathology.

In addition, there are electives (2-4 weeks) in neuromuscular, epilepsy and outpatient.


Research electives also are available. Frequent opportunities are available, through work-study programs or otherwise, to participate in research projects with department faculty. Student research has been presented at local and national meetings. The Leopoldo Canales Award is given annually to a senior student for accomplishment in Neurology.

Extracurricular Activity

The Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) gives first- and second-year students the chance to study neurology, shadow members of the department, attend seminars and more.

Neurosurgery for Medical Students

In the third year, medical students have the option of choosing neurosurgery as their three-week elective during their required surgery clerkship. The neurosurgery elective expands student skills through exposure to the outpatient office setting, as well as the acute-care hospital setting. This includes operating room essentials of neurosurgery.

The goal of the program is to familiarize students with the diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system and spine disease or trauma, which includes the interpretation of diagnostic imaging studies. The student will gain further understanding of neurosurgical diagnosis by performing neurological exams from the standpoint of neurosurgery.

Meet a Student

MD Program Alumnus Rohini Samudralwar, MD

Rohini Samudralwar, MD, Class of 2013

I chose Drexel because of its Philadelphia location and its culture of strong teaching and promoting interests alongside medicine.
Read her story.

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