Medical Students

The UCLA Department of Neurology third year required neurology clerkship is part of an eight-week combined experience with the psychiatry clerkship, designed to enrich students? knowledge of the fundamentals of the neurologic examination and localization, illustrate approaches to presentation of common neurologic disorders and neurologic emergencies, and foster interests in further training in clinical neurology. In addition, the rotation aims to promote physicianship and professionalism in all interactions with patients and all members of the medical team and ancillary services.

Primary Rotation Goals

  • Improve ability to use neurologic history and examination to aid in localization and diagnosis of neurologic disease
  • Develop knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to assess, diagnose, and refer patients presenting in the primary care setting with neurologic complaints
  • Improve impressions of the field of neurology in general and the clerkship in specific, increasing interest in neurology residency training


Students spend three weeks on their clinical neurology rotation at once of four sites: CHS (UCLA Medical Center), West Los Angeles VA, Olive View-UCLA, or Harbor-UCLA. During that time, they are expected to participate fully as a member of their assigned team, performing neurologic examinations and assessments on patients, presenting them to their residents and attendings, discussing diagnosis and management principles, and writing daily progress notes.

In addition, students enrich their participation in other aspects of clinical neurology by attending an outpatient clinic at least one half-day per week (more at some sites) and taking one night of call with the on-call resident at their assigned site.


Clinical teaching occurs in many ways during the three-week rotation. At the bedside, students are observed performing neurologic exams and given constructive feedback on how to better elicit signs and localize disease. During work rounds, they are given the opporturnity to present patients' histories and neurologic exam findings, as well as a chance to propose localization, differential diagnosis, and general priciples of management, again with feedback from residents and the attending to help shape their clinical reasoning in neurology. Students also have a chance to observe each other and their residents examine and present patients on rounds. Finally, throughout their three weeks, attendings and residents are expected to provide additional teaching to students outside of the constraints of ward and patient demands to help further the overall educational goals of the rotation.

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