Education

The Paediatric Neurology Residency and Fellowship Training Program at The Hospital For Sick Children (SickKids), University of Toronto is a fully accredited program with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. To date, training is also recognized by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry for training in Child Neurology.

There are two training tracks - a three-year program with the entrance requirements being two or three years of accredited paediatrics training or a five-year training program with entrance directly from medical school. 

There is a Paediatric Neurology Training Committee responsible for supervision of all educational and training activities. The committee meets monthly throughout the academic year and is responsible for resident and fellow selection with the final deadline for the following academic year being September 30. Candidates however are encouraged to approach the Training Director, Dr. Teesta Soman, well before this deadline such that interviews can be arranged. The most preferred point would be approximately 18 months prior to the requested onset of training. Highly qualified candidates will be judged for appointments based on review of curriculum vitae, personal letter with comment on career goals and plans, review of letters from referees and interviews. The five-year training program is accessed through CaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service).

The program is committed to excellence in training individuals for careers in academic and research-based child neurology. The hospital is enriched by an association with the Hospital For Sick Children Research Institute and activities with the basic neuroscientists include regular combined rounds and seminars. There is also activity with the other clinical neurology groups at the hospital including the neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists with weekly rounds.

Residents are responsible for a research project in each of their training years and there is a research day held in February of each academic year. Residents are encouraged to attend scientific meetings, including the Canadian Congress of Neurological Sciences, the Child Neurology Society and the American Academyof Neurology. Funding is available to assist with travel. Residents are also encouraged throughout their training to begin to learn the process of writing research grants and there is assistance for this activity through the Research Institute. Small amounts of money can be made available through the hospital for pilot project funding.

For further information regarding the Neurology training programs, contact us at neurology.training@sickkids.ca.

The three-year program (begun after completion of two or three years of appropriate paediatric training) meets the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada requirements for training in Neurology with special competence in Child Neurology. The full details of the necessary elements are found in the Royal Collegetraining booklet. The basic training consists of 18 months of General Paediatric Neurology and six months of Adult Neurology. The remaining period of time can involve varying periods of specific training in the neurology subspecialties or elective work as determined by discussions with the program director. 

At SickKids, there are three months of block rotations in general and subspecialty activities. The general neurology block specifically consists of time on the inpatient neurology service with cross responsibilities for emergency room coverage. There is a second inpatient team which is responsible for the consultation service. The various subspecialty rotations consist of activities in epilepsy, neurorehabilitation/neurodevelopment, neuromuscular and neurometabolic disease and ambulatory/community neurology. There are elective and selective periods offered in Neuroradiology, Neuropathology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. SickKids has an excellent Clinical Genetics and Metabolics Division - residents are encouraged to seek an elective with this group.

The five-year training program is begun after medical school and the full description of this program is found in the CaRMS booklet. There are two core training years in Paediatrics and Adult Neurology with three months of Neuropathology. There are then three years of general child neurology training which includes the possibility of a full research elective year. The rotations offered are similar to those in the three-year program and are of three-month block format.

Epilepsy Fellowship: One- and two-year epilepsy fellowships are offered which are funded through the Division of Neurology. The first year of the fellowship focuses on EEG reading, evaluating and following children with seizure disorders in i) an ambulatory setting, and ii) the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. In addition, fellows assess and follow children who are undergoing evaluation for epilepsy surgery. Fellows are also required to participate in clinical and teaching conferences as well as a journal club

The second year focuses on EEG-video interpretation, evoked potentials, epilepsy surgery and participation in clinical and teaching conferences and in the journal club. A research project, either basic or clinically-based is mandatory for completion of the two-year fellowship.

The division offers state-of-the-art clinical neurophysiology facilities, ambulatory clinics in paediatric epilepsy, an epilepsy surgery program (intraoperative ECoG), invasive monitoring (subdural grids and depth electrodes), neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG, MSI), an epilepsy classroom and an epilepsy research program.

Laboratory-based and clinical research opportunities are available. Interests range from molecular and cellular basis of epileptogenesis to development of animal models of epilepsy, to clinical trials of new antiepileptic drugs, to neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies of epilepsy in children.

Prerequisite: Completion of training in Neurology or Paediatric Neurology.

If interested, apply to: neurology.training@sickkids.ca

Stroke Fellowship: This is a two-year fellowship. Interested applicants should have completed or be completing their paediatric neurology, paediatric hematology or adult neurology training and have a strong interest in a clinical research career specializing in childhood stroke.

Training in a MSc in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto or McMaster Universitywould be supported, and since the clinical service involves one outpatient clinic and three to four ward consultations per week, there is ample time for course work and research projects. The stroke service is supported by one full-time stroke nurse practitioner. Experience in paediatric thrombosis is available as part of this fellowship.

The paediatric stroke fellowship was started in July 1999 and has well-developed objectives, weekly teaching sessions and provides excellent research and clinical training, career mentorship and interface with the Neurology Fellows at SickKids.

For further information contact: gabrielle.deveber@sickkids.ca