• doctors in hallway and looking over brain scans

Do you like neuroscience but are not sure what neurologists do? Are you interested in learning more about what it's like to practice neurology in an academic medical center? We welcome you to spend a few days with us as a formal Observer

This opportunity is offered to:

  • Local undergraduate students, especially those who are pre-med or studying neuroscience
  • First and second year medical students attending UC Davis, or medical students currently matriculated in their 1st/2nd year of a domestic MD/DO degree program


*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, shadowing for external/outside students is suspended until further notice.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, published in The Lancet, neurological disorders ranked as the leading cause group of disability-adjusted life-years, and second leading cause group of deaths, comprising 16.8% of global deaths (Lancet Neurol 2017; 16: 877-97). Globally, the burden of neurologic disorders has increased substantially over the past 25 years because of expanding population and aging. Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, migraine, and stroke, rank highest in prevalence, deaths, and disability. The number of patients who will need care by clinicians with expertise in neurological conditions will continue to grow in the coming decades.

We invite you to spend one week observing neurologic clinical care in action at UC Davis.

The purpose is to allow students the opportunity to spend time with neurologists and meet the patients we take care of. You will see a variety of neurologic diseases, get an idea of how we assess patients, and learn about treatment modalities. Please note, this is not a class and no course credit is offered for this experience.

Students will be assigned to the inpatient hospital service and/or the outpatient subspecialty clinics, depending on availability. 

A brief orientation will be provided by our administrative staff prior to starting your Observership, during which we will provide temporary ID (for non-UCD students), and review important issues related to professionalism in the patient care setting, such as patient respect and confidentiality. 

Space is not guaranteed and is offered on a first-come first served basis. 

We can be flexible with a student's scheduling needs, but we request that you spend a minimum of one half day (up to a maximum of 5 full weekdays, or 10 half days) with us. 

Interested applicants will need to email the Observership Coordinator a curriculum vitae and a letter of intent: briefly describe who you are and why you are interested in participating in our Neurology Observership program.

There is no fee for this experience. Our Neurology faculty volunteer their time to teach and show you the basics of neurology in the hopes that this Observership will bring greater awareness about the role neurologists play, and inspire like-minded students to consider a career in this wonderfully satisfying field.