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May 1997

To Be or Not to Be? That Is the Question Facing Many Neurology Residency Programs

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 26506-9180

Arch Neurol. 1997;54(5):516-517. doi:10.1001/archneur.1997.00550170006003

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Less than half of neurology residency positions are currently filled by graduates of US medical schools. The clinical emphasis in neurology has switched from the inpatient to the outpatient arena. Most hospitals are experiencing strong financial pressures to reduce residency positions. Recent changes in federal health care requirements for payments to teaching physicians have decreased the advantage of seeing patients with residents. These factors may evoke a sense of pessimism regarding the future of academic neurology and should make many neurology residency programs question the necessity for and viability of their existence.

Indeed, many graduate medical education programs in neurology are unlikely to survive long into the 21st century unless some change occurs. The magnitude of change necessary to allow the survival of many of these programs may be smaller than expected. First, any notion regarding a critical mass of neurology residents should be discarded. Quality, not quantity, should be

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