Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

Neurology Clerkship

The goal of the Third Year Neurology clerkship is to prepare the student to identify diseases and situations in which neurological evaluation is appropriate so that the student understands as a practitioner when neurological consultation is appropriate and when emergent neurological intervention is needed. Each student will have two-week inpatient and outpatient rotations.

Outpatient rotations will take place in Galter subspecialty clinics or with selected private adjunctive faculty, and hours vary based on where you are placed. In some Galter clinics, this will be an observership. Use this as an opportunity to watch how an experience physician examines, interviews and interacts with patients. You will go through a variety of subspecialties while still having continuity with a few doctors. In the private clinics, you’ll work with one to two physicians and see a variety of diagnoses.

Inpatient rotations vary based on where you are placed. You will typically come in between 6:30 and 7 a.m. in order to get sign-out and pre-round on your patients. You leave when the work is done at the end of the day, around 5 p.m. There is a short call and one weekend day rounding requirement during your inpatient weeks. On ER service, you will work 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 Goals & Objectives

Detailed Goals and Objectives

Find comprehensive Neurology Clerkship Goals and Objectives.

 Grading & Evaluation

The breakdown of grading is:

Clinical evaluation50%
Objective Structured Clinical Exam35%
Shelf exam20%

Equal weight is placed on evaluations by the residents and faculty members. We have a meeting at the end of each month in order to get meaningful feedback from every person who has worked with you during the course of the rotation.

The grading system is objective. You will find that the neurology faculty is very dedicated to teaching, and all students will be taught equally. The grading will be strictly based on the above guidelines.

If you have problems or concerns with your learning experience during your rotation, please approach the clerkship director as soon as possible (preferably before the rotation is over).

 Tools and Readings

Download the Clerkship Clerklog


Gelb, Douglas James. Introduction to Clinical Neurology. New York: Oxford UP, 2016.

  • Teaches you the approach to neurological disorders.

Gould, Douglas J., Jennifer K. Brueckner-Collins, and James D. Fix. High Yield Neuroanatomy. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2016.

  • Reviews neuroanatomy very well. 

 Frequently Asked Questions

What are the daily expectations for a M3 on this clerkship?

During the inpatient blocks students are expected to pre-round on their patients (this does not apply to ER), round with their team, write daily notes, and order/ follow up on tests etc as appropriate. You are expected to take ownership of your patients and do the tasks necessary for patient care.

During outpatient you will see patients and write notes as per your preceptor.

What is the typical schedule (number of days worked/hours per day) for this clerkship?

During inpatient (except ER) you typically come in by 6:30 or 7 a.m., depending on which service you are on, to get sign out and pre round on your patients. You leave when the work is done at the end of the day, around 5 p.m. There is a short call and one weekend day rounding requirement during your inpatient weeks.

On ER, you work noon to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Outpatient – you work your preceptor’s clinic hours

What is pre-rounding? Rounding? Note writing expectations for this particular clerkship?

Pre rounding is going to see your patients before you round with your team to:

  1. Check on how they are doing
  2. Do the relevant parts of the neuro exam
  3. Check on their vitals.

It is also important to go through the chart to determine if there were any results that came back or consult recommendations that were not previously reported. It is making sure you have all the relevant information to present to your attending on rounds.

Rounds with the team means presenting the patient (new and follow up) to the attending (knowing all the relevant information about your patient) and then going to see the patients as a team. 

You should be writing notes every day.

What does “Call” mean on this particular clerkship?

One short call day is assigned during your inpatient block. It is seeing new patients, admissions as appropriate and doing cross coverage with your resident as appropriate.

What do I do if I have a question about my clerkship grade?

If you have a question about your clerkships grade you should discuss this directly with the clerkship director.  

What do I do if I have experienced or witnessed Student Mistreatment during this clerkship?

If you have experienced or witnessed student mistreatment, there are many avenues to report this.  You can discuss this with the clerkships director, mentor, any of the deans or Lisa Rone, MD, the ombudsperson

What do I do if I feel burnt out or overwhelmed during this clerkship?

If you feel burnt out or overwhelmed during a clerkship there are a number of people you can speak with.  The clerkship director, your mentor or anyone in the dean’s office are available to talk.   CAPS can also be extremely helpful in this situation.  You can contact CAPS at 847-491-2151.

Who do I contact if I am sick or have a personal appointment?

Your clerkship director, your clerkship coordinator, and a member of the team whom you were supposed to work with that day.

Any required equipment?

Neurology tools including reflex hammer and tuning fork. You also need a stethoscope.


Cindy Zadikoff
For immediate attention: 312-503-1514

Sean Lynge