Adult Neurology Residency Program

photo of Dr. Michelle Bell and Dr. Inna Kleyman
Left: Michelle Bell, MD, Neurology Residency Program Director
Right: Inna Kleyman, MD, Neurology Residency Program Associate Program Director

From the Program Director

Welcome to Columbia's Neurology Residency! Our residency program is a premier neurological education steeped in the academic legacy of the Neurological Institute and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, world-renowned institutions of patient care. 

The Columbia neurology residency program is defined by these qualities: clinical excellence, collegiality, scholarship and innovation. Our faculty is committed to teaching residents, and the academic community provides a supportive environment where residents learn and thrive. Our conferences are a showcase of superb teaching by some of the most prominent educators and researchers in neurology. On our inpatient services and in our clinics, our residents are exposed to a diverse and multicultural patient population with every type of neurological illness.

While the classical methods of neurology—the neurological history and examination, neuroanatomical localization, advanced clinical reasoning—represent the foundation of neurological training at Columbia, our program additionally  offers unparalleled subspecialty depth, state-of-the-art technological resources, evidence-based medicine, exceptionally strong neuroscience, an active neuroethics curriculum, and abundant opportunities for residents as teachers.

An acknowledged leader in resident research, our Department has expanded its research mentorship and resources to ensure that every resident with academic aspirations will make contributions to the field of neurology. Among the highlights of the residency program is Resident Research Day, our annual celebration of our residents' scholarly achievements. Our R25 research track is designed specifically for residents who wish to pursue careers in basic neuroscience.

Formal international electives are available for residents. Residents may rotate with university affiliates in South Africa, Dominican Republic or Malawi. 

Needless to say, a key element in the life of a Columbia neurology resident is the opportunity to experience and explore New York City, a vibrant and cosmopolitan place that is one of the great cities of the world.

The education of young neurologists has long been a core mission of Columbia's Neurological Institute. Our neurology residency program sets a standard in neurological education, scholarly accomplishment, mentorship and career opportunities. I invite you to learn all about our residency program, the Department of Neurology, our educational curriculum and conferences, our campus in northern Manhattan, our residents and faculty, and the many extraordinary opportunities that define Columbia neurology.

Michelle Bell, MD
Neurology Residency Program Director

Do you accept Foreign Medical Graduates? How many foreign medical graduates do you currently have in the program?

The Department of Neurology has a long tradition of welcoming international medical graduates. Columbia's Department of Neurology and the Graduate Medical Education Committee at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital only sponsor J1 visas, all other visas are ineligible for sponsorship.  Beyond this, our requirements for international and domestic applicants are the same. 

Is there a medical school graduation cut off date?


Are there USMLE minimum score requirements for step 1 and 2? How many attempts?

There is no set minimum USMLE score but most applicants invited to interview for the residency program have achieved a score of 95% or higher on USMLE Parts I and II.

Is research experience required?

Research experience is not required, though many applicants have published in the neurological literature. 

Do I need to apply for the PGY-1 separately or do you coordinate interviews with Internal Medicine?

The CUIMC Department of Medicine does not offer separate pre- liminary positions, if you are interested in fulfilling your preliminary requirements at CUIMC please apply to the combined Medicine/Neurology 4- year program

How many recommendations letters are required?

Three letters of recommendation are required.

Are positions available outside of the match?

At this time, the Columbia Residency Program is not accepting applicants outside of the NRMP Match.

Isn't the NYC cost of living too high for a resident?

According to many personal finance resources, you should spent ~30% of your salary on rent. So let’s compare!


City: Boston

2019-2020 PGY1 Salary: $65,000 - 5,416/month

1 Bedroom Apt: $2,450

Percent of salary to rent an average apt: 45%


City: Philadelphia

2019-2020 PGY1 Salary: $59,384 – 4,948/month

1 Bedroom Apt: $1,652

Percent of salary to rent an average apt: 33%


City: San Francisco

2019-2020 PGY1 Salary: $73,492 – 6,124/month

1 Bedroom Apt: $3,600

Percent of salary to rent an average apt: 58%


City: New York

2019-2020 PGY1 Salary: $73,489 – 6,124/month
[Columbia salary]

1 Bedroom Apt: 
Washington Heights: $1,980

Upper West Side: $3,400  

Percent of salary to rent an average apt: 32%

Do residents have time for fun?

Residency is a busy time, regardless of where one trains. One great advantage of training in New York is that residents are always able to find enjoyable ways to spend their free time. regardless of the time of week or time of day!