Neurology Residency Program

Welcome to the USC/Los Angeles General Medical Center Neurology Residency! Our residency offers premier training in Neurology by combining the best of two main hospitals in an extraordinary location. The residency is based at Los Angeles General Medical Center, the largest safety net hospital in Los Angeles, which provides medical care to patients with an exceptional range of socioeconomic, cultural and clinical diversity. Keck Hospital of USC is directly adjacent to Los Angeles General Medical Center, and serves as a tertiary and quaternary referral center for complex vascular, critical care, and diagnostically challenging cases. Residents also rotate through Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center and the world-renowned Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) for pediatric neurology training.

While we are a large academic center, the program is able to maintain close communication between faculty, staff and residents, supporting an intimate and collaborative learning environment. We look forward to welcoming you to our USC family and continuing the strong tradition of neurological residency training in Los Angeles!

Our mission is to train compassionate and professional neurologists equipped with the capacity for excellence in the evaluation and management of patients with neurologic symptoms and diseases in both community and academic practice, with an emphasis on reducing healthcare disparities.

Jennifer Hui, MD
Program Director, Neurology Residency
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology
Jennifer Hui, MD

Residency Training

The USC/Los Angeles General Medical Center Neurology Residency is based at Los Angeles General Medical Center and Keck Hospital of USC. We offer a fully Integrated 4 year program, starting in PGY1 year for our entire matching class. All PGY1 residents rotate equally through Keck Hospital of USC and Los Angeles General Medical Center. PGY1 residents will also rotate through Neurology services at both sites, and participate in weekly Neurology didactics. PGY1-4 Residents are exposed to a tremendous range of clinical opportunities, taking advantage of the relative strengths at both Keck Hospital and Los Angeles General Medical Center. The residency combines excellence in didactic teaching with incredible clinical exposure serving a diverse patient population living in the greater Los Angeles area. Six candidates for the residency program in adult neurology are accepted each year.

Current Residents

  • Jovy Rex-Al Orbon
    Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences
    Prelim Year: Los Angeles General Medical Center/USC Keck Hospital
    Katie Sinchek
    Medical School: Rush Medical College
    Prelim Year: Los Angeles General Medical Center/USC Keck Hospital
    Fernando Ibanhes
    Medical School: Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
    Prelim Year: Los Angeles General Medical Center/USC Keck Hospital
    Cassidy Bender
    Medical School: St. George’s University
    Prelim Year: Los Angeles General Medical Center/USC Keck Hospital
    Albert Chen
    Medical School: University of South Florida MCOM
    Prelim Year: Los Angeles General Medical Center/USC Keck Hospital
    Nilsha Khurana
    Medical School: Touro University Nevada
    Prelim Year: Los Angeles General Medical Center/USC Keck Hospital
  • Cindy Wong
    Medical School: Touro University Nevada
    Prelim Year: Saint Agnes Medical Center
    Sokena Zaidi
    Medical School: University of Arizona, Phoenix
    Prelim Year: Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA
    Rachel Eisenbarth
    Medical School: USC
    Prelim Year: Huntington Hospital Pasadena
    Ryan Zhang
    Medical School: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
    Prelim Year: North Shore University Hospital/Long Island Jewish Medical Center
    Arturo Montes Jr.
    Medical School: Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV
    Prelim Year: Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV
    Kendra Lian
    Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine & Life Sciences
    Prelim Year: Kaweah Delta
  • Anup Sonti, MD
    Medical School: Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
    Prelim Year: Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Visalia, CA
    Raya Aliakbar, DO
    Medical School: Touro University Nevada
    Prelim Year: Adventist Health White Memorial
    Jen Jung, MD
    Medical School: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University
    Prelim Year: Huntington Hospital
    Alex Hurtado, DO
    Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
    Prelim Year: Highland Hospital
    Pravesh Saini, MD
    Medical school: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
    Prelim Year: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
    Olga Manouvakhova, MD
    Medical School: UAB
    Prelim Year: UC Irvine
  • Timothy Jiang, MD
    Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, Charleston, SC
    Prelim year: University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, LV
    Pegah Kahali, MD
    Medical School: Tehran University of Medical Sciences
    Prelim Year: Mount Sinai Hospitals, Bronx, NY
    Pardis Pooshpas, MD
    Medical School: Penn State College of Medicine
    Prelim Year: Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
    Stephanie Liang, MD
    Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
    Prelim year: California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
    Jorge Matta, MD
    Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada
    Prelim Year: Albert Einstein Montefiore-Wakefield, Bronx, NY
    Sanaz Monjazeb, MD
    Medical School: Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, VA
    Prelim Year: St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach, CA

Application Process

Applicants to the neurology residency program must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Please see ERAS website for application requirements and details.

Interview Season

  • Interview invitations are sent out via email through ERAS on a rolling basis, with our interview season starting in November and extending through mid- January.
  • All interviews this year will be held on Tuesday mornings and conducted virtually, in accordance with local GMEC guidelines. We are also offering several virtual open houses to explore our program further, where you will have an opportunity to meet the Program Director, Associate Program Directors, and Department Chair, as well as ask questions of our current residents.
    • There will be no formal on-campus tours this year due to local and governing body guidelines.  However, if you are in the Los Angeles area, please feel free to swing by and drive through the campus.
    • Introductory Videos
      • Enjoy a brief welcome from the Program Director and Associate Program Directors, and an overview of training at USC/Los Angeles General Medical Center, below:

Program Director Welcome

Interview Day

  • The evening prior to your interview day, we will be hosting virtual “happy hours” in which applicants will have the opportunity to interact informally with our residents and fellows.
  • During your interview day, you will meet virtually with the Program Director, Assistant Program Directors, and several faculty members and residents.
  • We realize you have many choices for training, and appreciate your interest in applying to our residency. Please reach out with any questions. Our goal is to make it an informative and enjoyable process!

Requirements

  • We are accepting applications for the 2024-2025 academic year, starting as PGY1 trainees. All applications should be submitted through ERAS and will undergo holistic review by program leadership.  Required documents from the ERAS portal include:  USMLE Transcripts, Medical School Transcripts, Curriculum Vitae, Personal Statement, Letters of Recommendation (3 minimum), and Dean’s Letter/MSPE.
  • We welcome international trainees with J1 visa only.

Schedule Overview

Curriculum

  • 2 months Elective, 1 month outpatient (IM and Neurology), 4 months Internal Medicine, 1 month MICU, 1 month CCU, 1 month Emergency Medicine, 1 month Cardiology, 2 months Neurology, 1 month Vacation

  • 3 months elective, 1 month EEG/EMG, 3 month Los Angeles General Medical Center stroke service, 3 months Los Angeles General Medical Center general neurology service, 2 months Keck, 1 month Rancho Los Amigos, 1 month vacation

  • 3 months elective, 1 month EEG/EMG, 1 month Los Angeles General Medical Center general neurology service (senior), 1 month Los Angeles General Medical Center night float (Senior), 3 months Keck, 2 months CHLA, 1 month Rancho Los Amigos, 1 month vacation

  • 4 months elective, 2 months Los Angeles General Medical Center stroke service (senior), 1 month Los Angeles General Medical Center neurology service (senior), 2 months Rancho Los Amigos, 1 month Keck, 1 month Los Angeles General Medical Center night float (Senior), 1 month Los Angeles General Medical Center pediatric neurology, 1 month psychiatry, 1 month vacation

    The program is highly responsive to resident feedback, curriculum distribution is discussed and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure educational value to the residents involved

Education

Teaching faculty are all approachable, and enjoy patient care as well as teaching residents and medical students, and serve multiple service weeks per year.

Residents learn directly through patient care responsibilities from the moment they set foot in the hospital. Keck Hospital of USC is a tertiary/quaternary medical center caring for highly complex patients with neuro-critical care, neuro-vascular, diagnostic and treatment needs.  Los Angeles General Medical Center Medical Center is the largest safety-net hospital in Los Angeles with culturally, socio-economically, and medically diverse patients who face problems with health literacy, access to care, transportation, and finances. In addition to the incredible clinical exposure, residents participate in the following regular didactics sessions:

  • Thursday didactics: Reserved block from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, which is protected time for resident learning. Our didactic curriculum includes traditional faculty lectures, simulations, and workshops, as well as the following:
  • Monthly journal club: Two residents lead a PowerPoint discussion with faculty moderator
  • Morning report: Neurology consult service presents an interesting case from patients currently on service with faculty/senior resident leading the discussion
  • Monthly Morbidity/Mortality/Vitality conference: Discussion regarding a case that occurred on service which could have been managed differently, with input from faculty/other senior residents, Also includes a positive Vitality case from the month.
  • Tuesday Neurology Grand Rounds: Guest lecturers from other institutions who are experts in the field, as well as from within USC , are invited to share their expertise on current topics in neurology with the neurology department staff and residents, as well as medical students. Residents are also assigned to present cases during Grand Rounds.
  • Epilepsy pre-clinic didactics: Before weekly Friday morning epilepsy clinic, residents are assigned to read and present chapter from epilepsy text with input from a faculty moderator. On the last Friday of the month, the neurophysiology fellow gives EEG conference, reviewing recent interesting EEGs
  • Neuro-immunology pre-clinic didactics: Neuro-immunology journal club, during which the fellow presents a pre-assigned paper to residents with input from a faculty moderator
  • Friday Neuro-radiology rounds: Inpatient teams at Los Angeles General Medical Center review interesting imaging studies with our neuroradiologists, providing clinical information for a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis
  • Interesting EEG and EMG rounds: A monthly review of interesting EMG, EEG, EMU monitoring cases from both Keck and Los Angeles General Medical Center
  • Many subspecialties also hold weekly specialty conferences which welcome resident attendance, including but not limited to: Neuro-vascular conference, Epilepsy consensus conference, Movement disorders journal club and video rounds, DBS academic and consensus conferences, Neurobehavioral journal club, Neurophysiology didactics.

Rotation Facilities

Keck Hospital

3 neurology residents ranging from PGY-2 to PGY-3, Neurocritical Care Fellow, and NPs. There are two teams at Keck: a Neuro-critical care team, and a Floor/consult team. Keck is a high volume transfer center, and the neurology service cares for critically ill patients with subarachnoid hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages, ischemic strokes, status epilepticus, organ transplants, etc. We work in conjunction with neurosurgery to best manage many of these patients. Keck is also an active center for interventional neuroradiology, with patients transferred from across Southern California for advanced neurological care.

Los Angeles General Medical Center General Neurology Service

1 neurology senior (PGY-3 or 4), 3 neurology juniors (PGY2), and interns from psychiatry and ophthalmology. This team serves as the Primary Service for general neurology patients and as the Consult Service for general neurology concerns across the hospital. The neurology junior resident sees emergent consults in the Los Angeles General Medical Center ED and helps to manage general neurology consults. Residents rotate 1 week at a time as night float to cover consults, primaries, and stroke codes overnight.

Los Angeles General Medical Center Stroke Service

1 neurology senior (PGY-3 or 4), 1 neurology junior (PGY2), and a psychiatry and ophthalmology intern. This is a primary service for patients who have had ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes without critical care needs, and consult service for stroke/ICU consults in the hospital. The neurology junior resident runs stroke codes in Los Angeles General Medical Center ED (a certified primary stroke center).

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Pediatric Neurology

1-2 adult neurology PGY-3 along with 2 pediatric neurology fellows and pediatric psychiatry fellows, overseeing a team of pediatric residents and interns. CHLA offers comprehensive training in pediatric neurology within one of the premier children’s hospitals in the nation, in the heart of Los Angeles. On the CHLA rotation, residents work with pediatric neurology fellows and attendings with experience across the full spectrum of pediatric neurology subspecialties. The unique experience provides a new perspective on many diseases that extend into adulthood, and is an integral part of the training program.

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLA)

The RLA neurology service efficiently evaluates and treats patients for a variety of neurological conditions including subacute stroke, demyelinating disease, and epilepsy. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the role physical, occupational, and speech therapists play in the recovery of those with neurologic conditions. Residents participate in interdisciplinary rounds to address patient needs holistically, and attend a variety of sub-specialty clinics, including dementia, DBS, and neuro-immunology clinic. RLA is also home to the LAC EMU, where patients with refractory epilepsy undergo long term EEG monitoring, and work up for possible surgical intervention.

Weekly Continuity Clinic

One half-day of clinic a week based at Los Angeles General Medical Center, where residents have continuity of care and manage their own patients throughout the duration of residency. Residents learn to manage chronic neurologic conditions, are active in designing treatment plans, and get to follow patients’ response to treatment. Attending physicians in clinic include headache, neuromuscular, neuro-immunology, and movement disorder specialists, among others.

Ambulatory Experiences

Epilepsy Clinic: Provide care for patients with intractable epilepsy and refer patients for epilepsy surgery with Epilepsy Monitoring Unit as part of presurgical work up.

Neuro-immunology Clinic: Learn how to manage patients with MS/NMO, as well as other neuro-immunologic diseases.

Neuromuscular Clinic: Manage patients with a wide variety of neuromuscular conditions, ranging from peripheral neuropathy to Myasthenia Gravis to Guillain-Barre, ALS and more.

Neuro-oncology Clinic: Work directly with the neuro-oncology specialist on management of patients with primary neuro-oncological tumors.

Jail Clinic: Provide care to patients from local jails with neurologic conditions, offering a unique experience and perspective of psychosocial issues combined with neurological disease.

Botulinum toxin injection clinic: Work side by side with movement disorders specialists, injecting toxin for medical treatment of hemifacial spasm, dystonia, and spasticity.

Keck Medicine of USC clinics: Attend and see patients with USC faculty in their private sub-specialty clinics, including multidisciplinary ALS clinic, Movement disorders, DBS surgeries and programming sessions, Dementia clinic, and Headache procedure clinic

Rancho Los Amigos Clinics: While on rotation at RLA, rotate through memory clinic and dementia consensus conference, epilepsy clinic and surgical consensus conference, movement disorders DBS clinic, neuro-immunology clinic, rehabilitation medicine clinic, and spasticity clinic.

Benefits and Salary

Residency Benefits

  • Free parking at all sites
  • Meal plan (daily allowances at Los Angeles General Medical Center, Keck, Norris Cancer Hospital; as well as meal reimbursements when at CHLA and RLA)
  • AAN membership and Continuum subscription
  • Stipend to attend AAN and national meetings, with additional funding for presenting research
  • Free Keck electronic library resources: Up to date, pubmed, etc
  • Free white coat and scrubs with laundering service
  • Dedicated neurology resident call rooms with computer, bed, telephone
  • Lactation facilities
  • Neurology residents are also part of the LA County Resident Union: Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), which continually strives to improve the condition of resident treatment, benefit, and reimbursement for residents hospital wide.
    • $10,000 annual housing stipend
    • $1,400 educational fund for books and supplies
    • Annual salary increase guarantee
  • Salaries compare favorably with those of other resident positions in the community. Salaries compare favorably with those of other resident positions in the community.

    PGY Level Salary 10/1/22 Salary 10/1/23 Salary 10/1/24
    PGY1 $67,821 $70,025 $72,301
    PGY2 $69,611 $71,873 $74,209
    PGY3 $73,227 $75,607 $78,064
    PGY4 $78,910 $81,475 $84,123
  • As negotiated through the CIR, Los Angeles General Medical Center resident are entitled to 24 days paid vacation excluding weekend and holidays each year. The department allows residents to take up to four weeks of paid vacation per year.*

  • Sick Leave is accrued to a maximum of eight days per year. Per ACGME guidelines, residents are provided a minimum of six paid weeks of approved medical, parental, or caregiver leave(s) of absence.  In compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, residents may take up to 12 weeks leave of absence without pay.*

    Please note: Per the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry- Leaves of absence and vacation may be granted to residents at the discretion of the Program Director in accordance with local rules. The total of such leaves and vacation may not exceed six weeks in any one year.

Resident Life

Keck Medical Center and Los Angeles General Medical Center are situated within walking distance of each otherin downtown LA, the heart of Southern California. Rancho Los Amigos and CHLA are within 20 minutes driving distance of the main sites. As most the year is spent at the main hospital sites, many residents choose to reside in the surrounding areas, with each neighborhood offering its own unique flavor. Some popular areas to live includedowntown, Koreatown, Silver Lake/Echo Park, Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley. Residents often use their off time to explore trendy restaurants and cafes, sporting events, and outdoors adventures.  The residency also hosts numerous social events for faculty, fellows and residents to foster a sense of community, including a Welcome reception, Alumni reception, Holiday party, and Graduation ceremony.

Post Residency

USC offers a broad range of fellowships in virtually every sub-specialty, welcoming applications from all neurology programs. There are ample opportunities for our residents to interact with fellowship trainees who also provide mentorship for post-residency career development. The program also hosts an annual Alumni reception which provides an informal opportunity for residents to network with alumni graduates. Please see the fellowship section for further information. Graduates from our program receive comprehensive training to continue practice in any setting: Fellowship training, Private Practice, Managed healthcare, Academic medicine, Telemedicine, and Locum tenens.

Need Help Applying?

Contact Our Office

USC GME Office

Neurology Residency Program Coordinator

Susana Astudillo

Fax: 323-441-8063