Pediatric Neurology Residency Program

Elective Rotations for Medical Students

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan Medical School will not be allowing students from other medical students to do elective rotations here this year.  However, an exception has been made for Child Neurology for students at schools that do not offer rotations in this field and have no local options.  If this applies to you and you are interested in doing an elective rotation, please see the Michigan Medicine Visiting Students webpage  and contact both Nani Sypher Hunter, UMMS Visiting Student Program coordinator and Dr. Rachel Gottlieb-Smith from Pediatric Neurology.

Mission and Overview

The University of Michigan Health System provides funding for an integrated five-year training program in Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology that leads to eligibility for board certification in Pediatrics and Child Neurology. We offer four positions each year.

For the five-year program, the first two years are devoted to Pediatric residency training; the curriculum is designed to meet American Board of Pediatrics requirements and will lead to eligibility for Pediatric certification at the end of the final (fifth) year of training.

Candidates for the five-year program must apply both to the Pediatric residency program and the Pediatric Neurology residency training program through NRMP (ERAS application). (Note that although the NRMP ranking for Pediatrics Residency is for a Preliminary position, the ERAS application for the University of Michigan Pediatrics position should be marked as Categorical. The applicant's personal statement should indicate that the application is for the combined five-year Pediatrics-Child Neurology program.)

Training in Pediatric Neurology begins in the third post-graduate year. The three-year Pediatric Neurology training program (which is considered a “residency,” according to ACGME guidelines) includes one year of Adult Neurology, one year of clinical Pediatric Neurology, and one year of additional specialized training. The third year of training is designed to meet ACMGE requirements and to provide residents with opportunities for a broad range of electives. 

Required third-year rotations include Child Psychiatry (one month), Pediatric Rehabilitation (one month), Neuropathology (one month), and EEG (two months) as well as clinic rotations in Pediatric Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neuromuscular Disorders.

The University of Michigan offers a broad and diverse academic environment. There are many teaching conferences in the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics. There are excellent established training programs for physicians interested in clinical and basic research.

The three-year program is under the guidance of Steven Leber, M.D., Ph.D., Program Director and Division Director. Dr. Leber was honored with the Blue Bird Circle Training Awardfrom the Child Neurology Society and Professors of Child Neurology, recognizing outstanding performance by a child neurology training director.

The University of Michigan offers highly competitive salaries and tremendous benefits to our residents/fellows. An overview of salary, benefits and employment eligibility is available on the GME Office website, under “Prospective Residents/Fellows.”

Clinical Training

Clinical responsibilities during the Adult Neurology year typically include a combination of inpatient consultation and outpatient responsibilities. Residents attend their own weekly Pediatric Neurology continuity clinics during parts of the 2nd year of pediatric training and during their year of Adult Neurology training.

During the clinical Pediatric Neurology year, on the inpatient service, Pediatric Neurology residents function primarily as consultants for pediatric medical and surgical services. There are typically about 20 consults per week. The inpatient Pediatric Neurology service is integrated into the general Pediatric service, and includes a Pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit; there are currently about 600 admissions per year. In their senior year, Pediatric Neurology residents are assigned to a formal supervisory role on the inpatient service for at least one rotation.

A major focus of clinical activities and training is in the out-patient setting. We have an active general Pediatric Neurology out-patient clinic with about 7,500 patient visits yearly (2,000 new consultations and 5,500 return visits). Members of our faculty also participate in a broad range of Pediatric Multi-disciplinary Programs and Clinics, including Neuro-oncology, Sleep Disorders, Neuromuscular Disease, Refractory Epilepsy, Autism/Developmental Assessment, High Risk Neonatal follow-up, Childhood Movement Disorders, Fetal Neurology, and Neurocutaneous Disorders Specialty Clinics.

During the third year of the training program, obligatory clinical responsibilities include 1/2 day Pediatric Neurology Continuity clinic per week and full participation in the night and weekend call schedule. More detailed curriculum information is available.

Research Opportunities

The faculty in the Division of Pediatric Neurology - with their areas of special interest and expertise - include:

  • Martha Carlson, M.D., Ph.D. Developmental disorders and neurogenetics
  • Vivian Cheung, M.D. Gene regulation and human genetics
  • Louis Dang, M.D., Ph.D. Pediatric epilepsy, epileptogenesis, stem cells
  • Erin Fedak Romanowksi, D.O. Pediatric epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, global health
  • Rachel Gottlieb-Smith, MD, General child neurology, medical education
  • Timothy Hoban, M.D. Pediatric sleep disorders
  • Sucheta Joshi, M.D., M.B.B.S. Pediatric epilepsy, telemedicine, transition of care
  • Erin Neil Knierbein, D.O. Pediatric neuromuscular disorders
  • Steven Leber, M.D., Ph.D. Pediatric headache; medical informatics
  • Ava Lin, M.D, ., Ph.D., Pediatric neuromuscular disorders
  • Lisa Matlen, MD, Pediatric sleep disorders
  • Kerri Neville, M.D., epilepsy
  • Patricia Robertson, M.D. Pediatric neuro-oncology program
  • Renée Shellhaas, M.D., M.S. Pediatric epilepsy, neonatal neurology
  • Faye Silverstein, M.D. Neonatal brain injury; pediatric neuropharmacology
  • Garnett Smith, MD, Pediatric epilepsy, epileptogenesis/EEG analysis, epilepsy surgery
  • Nancy McNamara, M.D. Pediatric epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, medical education
  • Julie Ziobro, MD, Genetic epilepsy, epileptogenesis, epilepsy surgery

In addition, numerous opportunities for research collaboration exist within the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, as well as with members of other departments in the University.

Current Residents

Residents currently doing their Pediatrics training:

  • Neha Agarwal, MD, HO I
  • Alexandra Gamber, M.D., HO I
  • Daniel Kashima M.D., PhD HO II
  • Jonathan Gaillard, M.D., MSH SC HO II
  • Megan Kechner, M.D., HO I
  • Erika Steensma, M.D., HO I

Eligibility and Selection

All candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation from referees who are familiar with the candidate’s qualifications, in addition to the MSPE Dean’s letter.  At least one of the three letters should be from a pediatrician or neurologist (ideally at least one from each or from a pediatric neurologist).  We also prefer but do not require that one of the three letters is from the chair of Pediatrics or Neurology (the same letter can serve both roles).
  • Applicants must be able to provide official transcripts from their medical school.

Our program participates in the National Residency Match Program for Pediatric Neurology positions. We provide a combined five-year training program, two years of Pediatric training followed by three years of Child Neurology training. Applicants should apply to both, Pediatric Neurology categorical and to the Pediatric categorical through ERAS. Only one match list (the Child Neurology list) needs to be submitted for our joint program.

All interviews in 2020 will be done via video.  We will coordinate Pediatric and Pediatric Neurology interview schedules of qualified applicants..  The specifics in terms of scheduling are still being worked out.  Please check back here again!

See our detailed Selection Policy. In addition, please view the Graduate Medical Education policy on trainee selection at University of Michigan Graduate Medical Education: Prospective Residents & Fellows, and University of Michigan GME Policy on House Officer Selection.

For more information about the application process please click here. 

For any questions about the residency, please contact Dr. Steven Leber. The best way to reach him is via e-mail at For questions about the application procedure, contact Teri Behnke:

Phone 734-763-4097
Fax 734-615-5888
Mailing address for Dr. Leber and Teri Behnke:
Division of Pediatric Neurology
1150 W. Medical Center Drive
University of Michigan Health System
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5646

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