Congratulations for having chosen neurology, a field of medicine you will find both challenging and thoroughly rewarding in its many clinical, translational and basic science guises and permutations.
Dramatic changes in the practice of neurology have occurred within the past decade The most striking change has been the shift in neurology from a diagnostic and descriptive specialty to one marked by intensive investigations into the causes and therapeutic remediation of a spectrum of pervasive, complex and previously poorly understood genetic and acquired neurological disorders, culminating in a new armamentarium of advanced pharmacological, gene and cell based treatment options. Skillful deployment of these remedies will likely constitute one of the most important and valued activities of the clinical and academic neurologist in the future. Anatomical localization and diagnosis, previously a primary mission of the clinical neurologist, have been vastly simplified by advances in clinical neurophysiology and in non-invasive imaging procedures. Numerous innovative discoveries in the basic and clinical neurosciences are now rapidly finding their way into all areas of the therapeutic arena, emphasizing the value of training in an academic medical center with an especially strong tradition of research in neurology and psychiatry as well as in neuroscience, molecular genetics, stem cell biology, molecular pharmacology and therapeutics and bioinformatics.
The past decade has also been a critical period in health care reform. Reports have indicated that academic medical centers will have difficulty surviving these changes. I am pleased to report that our clinical care programs as well as our basic science translational and clinical research programs continue to expand and to lead the field in breadth, innovation and in interdisciplinary cooperation. All of these attributes of our post-graduate training program enables us to provide an outstanding educational experience and preparation for a career in any area of academic neurology, biopharmaceutical research, governmental and international service and clinical practice.
Dr. Mark Mehler