A dozen years of evolution of neurology clerkships in the United States: Looking up

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ObjectiveTo report a 2017 survey of all US medical school neurology clerkship directors (CDs) and to compare the results to similar surveys conducted in 2005 and 2012.MethodsAn American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Consortium of Neurology Clerkship Directors (CNCD) workgroup developed the survey that was sent to all neurology CDs listed in the AAN CNCD database. Comparisons were made to similar 2005 and 2012 surveys.ResultsThe response rate was 92 of 146 programs (63%). Among the responding institutions, neurology is required in 94% of schools and is 4 weeks in length in 75%. From 2005 to 2017, clerkships shifted out of a fourth-year-only rotation (p = 0.035) to earlier curricular time points. CD protected time averages 0.24 full-time equivalent (FTE), with 31% of CDs reporting 0.26 to 0.50 FTE support, a >4-fold increase from prior surveys (p < 0.001). CD service of >12 years increased from 9% in 2005 to 23% in 2017. Twenty-seven percent also serve as division chief/director, and 22% direct a preclinical neuroscience course. Forty-nine percent of CDs are very satisfied in their role, increased from 34% in 2012 (p = 0.046). The majority of CDs identify as white and male, with none identifying as black/African American.ConclusionChanges since 2005 and 2012 include shifting of the neurology clerkship to earlier in the medical school curriculum and an increase in CD salary support. CDs are more satisfied than reflected in previous surveys and stay in the role longer. There is a lack of racial diversity among neurology CDs.

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