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Career Development

Build a successful  career in neurology with unparalleled resources available exclusively from the AAN.

Find a Fellowship

Find a Job

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Transitioning to Practice
  • Find Career Transitions resources at the Neurology Career Center.
  • It's never too early to start looking for a job. Some places will hire you two years out and pay a stipend.
  • Keep your Curriculum Vitae (CV) updated at all times.
  • Neurologists are needed everywhere. Find the areas of the country you want to live, then search for the job.
  • Don't ask about finances during the first interview.
  • Don't sign a contract unless you are happy with it.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
  • Licenses take months to get approval. Apply early.
  • Watch the webinar: Timeline for Transitioning to Practice.
Build your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Find CV and Interview resources at the Neurology Career Center.
  • Keep your CV short and succinct, yet show your residency and medical school accomplishments.
  • Create a short cover letter to go with your CV. The cover letter should describe who you are and what you are looking for in a career. 
  • Proofread your CV. Have someone else proofread your CV.
  • Use a consistent font and style throughout.
  • Use black font and white paper only. Use basic fonts.
  • Use your university email address, not your personal email address. 

Cover Letter and CV Templates:

Employment Contracts
  • Find Employment Contracts resources at the Neurology Career Center.
  • Read the contract. Have your spouse, friends, or parents read the contract. Have a medical contract lawyer read the contract.
  • Contracts are legally binding and there must be compromise on both sides.
  • If it is not in the contract, it doesn't exist. Verbal understandings do not count.
  • If you don't ask for it, you won't get it. Make a list of what you need and what you want. Ask for it all at one time. You won't get everything.
  • Know what you can expect to make in three to five years. Know how you get promoted, get bonuses, or become partner.
  • Do not overlook call schedule, vacation time, CME time, insurance, CME stipend, bonuses, moving expenses.
  • Do not sign the contract if you do not like it.
Use a Recruiter
View the webinar: Working Successfully With a Recruiter.
Practice Management

FREE for residents! Practice Management webinars help you gain valuable insight and tools to help navigate through the changes that lay ahead in the new health care landscape. 

Research Grants

Where to Find Grants

  • Many early-career grants will required a funded mentor.
  • Compile a list of grants for all stages in your career (see above).
  • Start with the NIH in not only your field, but related fields NCI and NINDS for Neuro-oncology for example.
  • Find any other big institutes that support research: NSF, AHRQ, (DoD, VA, etc.)
  • Look also to organizations that are general (AAN, ANA/American Brain Foundation, SfN, etc.) and specific (AHA, AASM, etc.)
  • Look to foundations ( ALSA, NMSS, SRS, etc.)
  • Look intramurally (standard intramural funding, career-promotion awards, etc.)

How to Write a Grant

  • The NINDS offers a good overview of grant preparation:
    • Figure out the grant's purpose: K awards are to develop independent research careers, R25 is for developing a technique and priming a research career (preliminary data for K awards), etc.
    • Detail and transparent organization with a clear plan (month-by-month even) helps to reassure the granting organization of your future success.
  • Have your internal group and mentor review your application before submission.
  • Consider IRB/IACUC submission in advance.
  • Continually be writing and submitting grants (about 10-15 per year).
  • Stagger funding/application in order to ensure continual flow of funds.
  • Add electronic reminders of grant deadlines to your calendar.

Career timeline for researchers

  • A good consideration for what to expect from the NINDK website.
  • Consider your trajectory: basic vs clinical research:
    • Basic science research is often favored by major academic institutions.
    • If hoping to make clinical trials a career, you must be involved in Class I or II trials only, and must be very proactive about recruiting in order to be on the paper.
    • You must clearly define your role through being an active participant in order to establish credibility and publication.
Board Exams

Considerations in Applying for Boards 

  • Apply for boards starting in January or February.
  • The test is typically in September each year.
  • The cost is around $3,000.
  • You need a full unrestricted license prior to taking the boards.
  • Visit the ABPN for more information.

Board Study Tips 

  • Study for the RITE® exam each year, and use the RITE to identify weaker areas.
  • Study throughout residency with a reference text or board review book.
  • Dedicate two to three months prior to the boards for more intensive review.
  • Make flashcards of information for easy memorization.
  • Relax two to three days before the test. Take the day off before the test.
  • Do not schedule calls the week of the test.

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