Behavioral Neurology Training Program

The UCSF Behavioral Neurology Training Program (BNTP) is a two-year program designed to prepare physicians for a career that focuses on research and care for patients with cognitive and behavioral impairment due to neurological disease. The training is based on the principles of behavioral neurology, particularly brain-behavior relationships, and understanding the use of additional testing to fully characterize a patient’s problem, including many experimental approaches, from experimental cognitive testing to advanced imaging. The BNTP mostly trains neurologists but has trained physicians in other relevant fields such as psychiatry and geriatric medicine and welcomes applications from these disciplines. The program is certified by the United Council on Neurologic Specialties (UCNS). Fellow supervision and evaluation are provided by the Program Director Howard Rosen, MD and Co-Director Bruce Miller, MD (Director of the Memory and Aging Center), in addition to research advisors chosen by the trainee.

Training occurs primarily through the multidisciplinary MAC Clinic and research program dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive and behavioral disorders resulting from neurodegenerative disease. As part of the UCSF Department of Neurology, which has over 100 faculty members, the MAC maintains strong collaborative relationships with other clinical programs and with basic scientists ranging from molecular biologists to cognitive neuroscientists both at UCSF and other Bay Area institutions. Research conducted through the MAC uses many techniques including extensive clinical assessments, experimental paradigms gleaned from neuroscience and psychology, functional and structural neuroimaging, gene expression studies and proteomics. These techniques are applied to many clinical populations including patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonian dementias. This stimulating, diverse clinical and research environment gives trainees a broad exposure to current research relevant to behavioral neurology and access to a wide variety of research mentors. The program actively seeks ethnically and culturally diverse scholars from a variety of medical and scientific fields. See Diversity at the Memory and Aging Center.

The first year focuses on building expertise in three areas:

  1. Principles of brain-behavior correlation
  2. Clinical manifestations of brain disorders affecting cognition and behavior, in particular, neurodegenerative diseases
  3. Development of clinical skills for evaluation of cognitive and behavioral abnormalities, including interpretation of neuropsychological and behavioral data.

This clinical experience is critical for a research career in behavioral neurology, as clinical assessment is at the core of diagnosis for both clinical and research purposes, and clinical problems help set the goals for a research agenda and generate novel research hypotheses. Clinical experience at the MAC is supplemented with weekly didactic conferences and rotations through the major clinical research venues.

During the second year, clinical activities are reduced (about one to two days per week), with the rest of the time being devoted to research.

Through the Research Education Component (REC) of the UCSF Alzheimer’s Disease Center, our program also provides BNTP fellows with exposure to topics such as health economics, policy, and biomarker research while ensuring appropriate grounding in basic science. The REC supports leadership training and balanced multidisciplinary mentoring from both basic science and clinical research faculty.​​​​​

Application Process

Applicants for the Behavioral Neurology Training Program must have completed a residency in neurology, psychiatry, or other relevant specialty and have a license to practice medicine in the United States.

Please send your completed Program Application to [email protected]. Program applications are due by April 30 of each year for applicants intending to start in July of the following year (applications due 14 months before the intended start date), but earlier applications are accepted and encouraged​​​​. After a review of the applications, qualified candidates will be invited to interview with members of the training program and learn more about the clinical and research environment at UCSF.

In recognition of the higher cost of living in San Francisco, a housing stipend is available for Behavioral Neurology Training Program fellows.

For more information, please call 415.476.5591 or email [email protected].