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Resident Eligibility and Selection Process


The residency program at the University of Wisconsin Department of Neurology seeks well-rounded candidates with a history of academic success and the potential for future growth. Desirable attributes include strong intellectual abilities, sincere interest in neurology, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

UW Health Eligibility Requirements

All candidates must meet the UW Health requirements for appointment as per the UW Health Graduate Medical Education Departmental Policies, Recruitment and Selection of Residents and Fellows, and Appointment Information for Residents and Fellows in Graduate Medical Education Programs. The latter document is provided to all applicants on the interview day. In accordance with these policies, the neurology department does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or any other applicable legally protected status in appointments to, or the conduct of, our residency and fellowship programs.

Applicants must have graduated or be graduating from U.S. or Canadian allopathic medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), U.S. osteopathic medical schools accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or non-U.S. or Canadian schools accredited by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

International medical graduates must have one of the following:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Permanent legal residency status (i.e., a green card)
  • A J-1 visa sponsored by the ECFMG
  • An Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Note that UW Health does not sponsor temporary worker (H-1) visas and will not accept the Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa, which does not relate to graduate medical training.

Department of Neurology Eligibility Requirements

  • USMLE steps must be passed on the first attempt, with a step 1 score > 215.
  • Applicants should have completed their medical education without major difficulty; Evidence of such academic difficulties includes:
    • Repetition or remediation of coursework, clerkships, or professional competencies
    • Multiple negative comments in the MSPE (Dean’s letter) or letters of recommendation
    • Interrupted or extended program of medical study (unless related to completion of a combined degree or similar educational program)
    • Class rank in the lowest quantile
  • There should be no more than three years’ hiatus (e.g. for research activities) between the applicant’s last hands-on clinical experience and the start of training at UW Health. Clinical training or work subsequent to medical school graduation should be clearly documented in the applicant’s ERAS application.
  • Osteopathic applicants:
    • Must have passed USMLE step 1 at the time of application and step 2 by the time of appointment
    • Should be ranked in the upper half of their class
  • International medical graduates:
    • Must be proficient in spoken and written English—advanced level or higher documented in ERAS and university-level proficiency as ascertained during the on-site interview
    • Preferably are proficient in the use of electronic medical record systems
    • Must have at least two months of hands-on U.S. experience; observerships and research experiences do not qualify. Details regarding the hands-on U.S. experience should be clearly documented in the applicant’s ERAS application.

Compelling justifications for exceptions to the above criteria (e.g. medical education interrupted by illness) will be considered by the Neurology department and UW Health GME office on a case-by-case basis.

Application and Interview Process

Applications are accepted solely via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Our ACGME ID# is 1805621119. Our National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) code is 177918C0.

All applications are reviewed by the Neurology Residency Recruitment Committee and the most highly-rated applicants are invited for in-person interviews. The candidates are invited for a dinner on the night before the interview to meet the residents and learn about the program. On the following day, candidates join us for morning report to gain a first-hand look at how we conduct our teaching conferences. Following this is a short introduction to the program by the program director, and then a series of interviews with our faculty and a tour of our facilities. Following the interviews and tours, applicants, residents, and faculty gather for an informal lunch, providing an opportunity to meet additional members of our department, ask follow-up questions, etc.

Post-Interview Communications

It is axiomatic that applicants and programs need complete and reliable information about each other in order to best determine the ordering of their respective rank lists. Regrettably, there is ample literature showing that both applicants and residency programs often exaggerate their interest in one another. In order to promote the most fair and transparent matching process possible, our program has chosen to adopt the suggestions of Grimm, et al.:

  • We request that post-interview communications be limited to requests for objective information.
  • Our faculty and staff will not personally respond to correspondence expressing thanks or volunteering ranking preferences. This is not to be taken to mean that our program lacks appreciation for our applicants’ interest generally or that a particular candidate is disfavored! Rather, we seek to minimize the possibility of misleading communication by limiting our correspondence to the exchange of objective information.
  • If post-interview communication is required, it should occur via the program coordinator; the faculty have been requested not to directly respond to post-interview communications from applicants.
  • To further safeguard our ethical standards, the program coordinator will log all post-interview communications.

Lars J. Grimm, Carolyn S. Avery, and Charles M. Maxfield (2016) Residency Postinterview Communications: More Harm Than Good?. Journal of Graduate Medical Education: February 2016, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 7-9.

Latest revision: 12-3-2019