[This section is described by the current residents, for our future residents. It has been edited only for clarity, not content. We encourage you to discuss this section with the current neurology residents if you have any questions.]

The NM2 year is the year to investigate various career paths. This is the year to decide if you want to pursue critical care or outpatient clinical neurology, travel the world studying neuroinfectious disease with “Partners in Health”, or go into cognitive neurology research at the bench.  One of the advantages of the Partners program is the limitless opportunities. Whatever your career goals - clinical, academic, research, industry, or anything else – the chances are good that former graduates have already forged the road and that faculty can advise and guide you.

The NM2 schedule has fewer structured clinical responsibilities than the NM1 schedule, with 3 blocks of consults (including night duty at BWH), one month of pediatrics at the world-renowned Boston Children’s Hospital (Q4 call), one block of EMG training, one block of neurology subspecialty clinics, one block of stroke/ICU consults at MGH, one block of ICU ward senior (call free), and two blocks of neuropathology. Aside from the night senior duties, there are approximately 10-12 call days in the entire year (with no Saturday or Sunday night calls). This allows numerous elective opportunities (approximately 5 blocks, each of which is slightly less than one month), which are unstructured and can be utilized for any academic, research, or clinical interest. 

Sample Schedule for NM2 (PGY-3) Year

7/1 -
7/25 -
8/20 -
9/15 -
10/10 -
11/5 -
12/1 -
VA EMG Elective Path BWH Jeopardy MAS Away Elec
Vac 11/10-11/24

12/27 -
1/21 -
2/16 -
3/13 -
4/8 -
5/4 -
5/29 -
MGH Stroke EBB MAS Childrens Subs Jr Elective Elective
Vac 6/1-6/14

While the inpatient setting continues to be a rich source of experience during the second year, the focus shifts to include more outpatient experience.  Second year residents see patients with world renowned specialists in the MS clinic, neurobehavioral clinics, neuromuscular clinics, otoneurologic clinics, epilepsy clinics, and in the neuro-ophthalmologic clinics at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary adjoining MGH.  And, there’s plenty to see. The MGH has 44,000 outpatient neurology visits / year, and BWH handles over 15,000 (half in general neurology and half in subspecialty visits).

Our view of the workload:

This year is a stark contrast to the NM1 year. Suddenly, we have a lot more freedom and autonomy. With around 16 full calls in the entire year, there’s a lot more time to explore and develop our own interests (both academic and personal). This is the year where we really begin to see outpatient neurology, and anything we feel that we’ve missed can be captured during the ample elective time. We rarely work 80 hours in a week, although the consult services and night senior months can be taxing (for example, there are over 1200 neurology consults / year from other inpatient services). Moreover, there is the new stress of being “a senior resident”, with its responsibilities as a supervisor. We find ourselves starting to become the boss. But it quickly becomes apparent that we have been well trained for this role. Also, the attending physicians always provide supervision. The attendings work closely with us to help us develop our neurological skills while allowing us tremendous leeway in directing patient care, so long as it is safe and appropriate.