Letter From the Chief Child Resident

Greetings! Welcome to the Department of Child Neurology. 

Greetings! Welcome to the Department of Child Neurology. 

 

This is my fifth year of training as a child neurologist at the University of Kentucky. Here, each day presents a new learning opportunity. Unique to UK is the patient population we serve which is very diverse. Visiting and treating children with special health care needs who do not have adequate access to appropriate facilities is by far one of the most rewarding experiences here. We have bi-monthly regional clinics where we visit historically underrepresented populations in Eastern Kentucky to provide fundamental clinical services. This commitment to the community is difficult to find anywhere else. Due to the diversity of our population, during residency I have been able to see patients with neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders, ataxia, headache, neuro-immune diseases and different types of epilepsy. 

One of the strengths of the program is the broad backgrounds and interests of each of the faculty members. They are all passionate teachers and I value everything I have learned from them. The mentor program has helped me set goals and appreciate the improvements that I have made throughout the years. My mentor has encouraged and supported me to expand my mind, social skills, knowledge and confidence. Additionally, there are numerous research opportunities for residents. Each year, the department has an annual research day where residents present institution-wide. We are also encouraged and supported to present at both national and international meetings and conferences including CNS, AAN and AES. During residency I have been able to go to 3 brigades in my home country of Ecuador which have been wonderful experiences. While I was a resident in Pediatrics I went to the Shoulder to Shoulder brigade in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. As a Child Neurology resident I went to 2 brigades organized by the International Neurology Foundation in Tena, Ecuador. 

In addition to the dynamic nature of our program, residents receive elective time to gain exposure to subspecialties of neurology including headache clinic, electroencephalography lab, electromyography lab, neuroradiology, pathology, pediatric genetics and metabolism clinic. We have excellent didactic lecture series that provide the ultimate preparation for board examinations and strengthen our clinical skills. 

Our year of adult neurology is divided through the 3 years of child neurology. We have a renowned comprehensive stroke program and level IV epilepsy center. The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at UK is internationally-renowned as an elite center for neurocognitive and neurodegenerative disease. Throughout residency, we are frequently working on collaborative and collegial multidisciplinary teams with neurosurgeons, neurointerventionists, neuroradiologists, psychiatrists and physiatrists as well as with variety of other ancillary staff.  

Our residency program also has regular social events including an annual welcome party for incoming residents and faculty, quarterly dinners and even a Thanksgiving get-together with one of our beloved faculty members. Our department has also placed emphasis on resident wellness with quarterly get-togethers and/or events, for instance we get 2 free massages each year. I can say that during residency I have not only learned a lot but also became part of a new family formed by my co-residents and faculty. All the people in the program are wonderful and only want the best for you.  

Thanks to strengths of our program, we now have 2 residents a year for 2 consecutive years. Our goal is to continue this trend and increase the number child neurologists the university trains. This attitude is a real testament to the educational mission and vision envisaged by our department chair.

If all of this excites you as a future child neurologist, I strongly encourage you to visit our program. The patient care, the robust learning environment and the support of faculty and the education office, are evident as soon as you step foot into our doors.

Best,

Ana Albuja, MD

 

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