Department of Neurology

Letter from the Program Director


Within the field of Child Neurology, some elements are constant while other evolve. History-taking, physical examination and localization have long been its core. Yet new tools continually emerge to improve diagnostic accuracy and clarify underlying disease mechanisms.  Conditionspreviously considered terminal have become treatable.   

Our goal as a training program is to prepare you for a career within Child Neurology as it is now — and as it will become. During your time with us, you will care for children with every conceivable type of neurological disorder. You will be guided by faculty as renowned for their approachability and interest in teaching as they are for their clinical expertise and research achievements. Your knowledge will deepen and your skills will sharpen. But we also strive to give you a flexible set of tools to investigate the conditions you encounter, since our conception of them will inevitably change over time.

Just as the field of Child Neurology has elements that are static and others that shift, so does the practice of medicine in general. Physicians have always been motivated by their desire to help people, but we are now more aware of disparities in the care we provide. Despite that awareness, our efforts to do what is best for all our patients faces increasing financial and regulatory constraints.

Therefore, another goal of our program is to support what drew you to medicine in the first place while helping you respond to the ways it is changing. Our patients and families come from a huge geographic area – one that encompasses a range of cultures, attitudes to medicine, and discrepancies in access to care. As your knowledge and skills grow, your ability to deliver care within the clinical contexts you encounter will become increasingly refined. Beyond that, we want to equip you with the skills to advocate for your patients – and yourself.

If remaining constant while changing is a theme within child neurology and medicine in general, it applies to many child neurology trainees as well. You may already have a clinical niche in mind, or your future may feel undefined.  We hope that our program introduces you to career possibilities you have not yet considered or even heard of — but we recognize that while expansile horizons are thrilling, they can also be disorienting.

And so another program goal is to introduce you to careers within neurology – established or unprecedented.  Our residency program is known for its rigor and breadth of experience it offers, but also for its flexibility. You and your mentors will identify recurring motifs within your training to date: persistent interests, consistent values; what you loved, what you didn’t. These motifs can be configured into possible career options, which you can further explore through ready-made or custom-built electives.  We want our training program to suit the person you are now — and to help shape and strengthen the child neurologist you will become.

Thank you for your interest in our program!


Hannah Tully, M.D., M.Sc.

Director, Pediatric Neurology Residency Program
Assistant Professor of Neurology
University of Washington