clinical facilities

The VA Hospitals

The Brockton-West Roxbury VA Medical Center has been affiliated with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 1945 and generations of Harvard students and residents have received significant portions of their medical training in this institution. The Brockton-West Roxbury VA Neurology Service was founded by Dr. Martin A. Samuels in 1977. Dr. David Dawson became the service chief in 1988,Dr. Michael Charness in 1996 and Dr. Neil Kowall in 2008. In 1999 the Harvard-affiliated Brockton-West Roxbury VA merged with the Boston University-affiliated Boston VA (Jamaica Plain) to become the VA Boston Healthcare System. As part of the merger, the Harvard-affiliated and Boston University-affiliated VA Neurology Departments merged under the leadership of Dr. Charness.

The Partners Neurology rotations were redesigned in 1999-2000 to emphasize training in outpatient neurology. The VA furnishes a rich source of neurology patients, efficiently managed clinics, and an unsurpassed, fully electronic medical record. Many residents choose longitudinal clinics at the Jamaica Plain Division. By design, the resident longitudinal clinics are not specialized. Trainees are able to see common and uncommon neurological disorders, functioning as the principal physician and often the first neurologist to see their patients. Typical diagnoses in the resident longitudinal clinic include cervical spondylosis, peripheral neuropathy, dementia, stroke, Parkinson disease and myasthenia gravis.

First year Partners residents spend one month at the VA Clinics training in general neurology and specialty neurology outpatient clinics (stroke, movement disorders, epilepsy, botulinum toxin, pain, multiple sclerosis, behavioral neurology, neurosurgery). During the second year, Partners residents return to the Jamaica Plain Division for a one month rotation in the neurophysiology lab, where they learn to perform and interpret EMGs. During the third year, residents spend two full days per week seeing outpatients at the Brockton Division.

The VA experience provides Partners residents with valuable exposure to the care of neurological disorders in the outpatient setting.