In recent years, the Department of Neurology has focused on providing personalized care of all patients with neurological disease, using the most advanced technologies and practice models available. Neurology faculty members represent every subspecialty in neurology, providing expert care for patients throughout Middle Tennessee and beyond. By incorporating technological advances like online scheduling and telehealth, access to these physicians has been greatly expanded, especially in rural areas. The department also recently initiated its neurohospitalist service, significantly streamlining inpatient consults. By making changes to increase volume and innovation of clinical care and hiring additional providers, the department has been able to address growing demand.
The Department of Neurology boasts a strong research portfolio across its subspecialties. Faculty members are regular contributors to scientific journals and receive generous funding from public, private, and government institutions. In 2017, the Department’s NIH funding was $5.3M and contract revenue was $9M. Since that time, NIH funding has almost tripled to $14.3M and contract funding to $14.7M in 2020. Our total research portfolio exceeded $27M in 2020 and allowed us to be Blue Ridge Ranking of 24th in the nation. Grants and contracts are growing, and faculty members are focused on recruiting and supporting clinical and translational research programs focused on precision in diagnosis and treatment. These research activities provide patients with hosts of opportunities to participate in clinical trials and other investigations aimed at improving quality of life and ultimately changing the course of neurological disease. Total sponsored research in the department has doubled since 2016, and there has been a three-fold increase in clinical trials in recent years.
Vanderbilt is an academic institution, and the Department of Neurology is dedicated to training the future leaders of neurology, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. The neurology clerkship program is one of the highest ranked in the nation. The residency program is expanding, and several initiatives are in place to promote diversity, inclusion, and wellness for residents. The didactic program meets practical training and one-on-one mentoring, preparing residents to meet the ever-evolving challenges and discoveries in neuroscience while exploring individual interests. Graduates of the Vanderbilt Neurology residency program consistently obtain the fellowship or employment position of their choosing. More importantly, they become leaders in their respective fields, making great strides in patient care and research. The department currently offers fellowships in nine subspecialties, which attract physicians from across the country seeking to pursue further training. The Department of Neurology fosters a culture of lifelong learning, and opportunities for trainees, faculty, and staff to continue their education are offered around every corner.