A Letter from the Chief Residents

Dear Prospective Candidates,

As chief residents, we would like to welcome you to the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Department of Neurology Web site and we thank you for your interest in our program. We would like to take this opportunity share a little bit about ourselves and to introduce our program from the resident's perspective.

Ryan Brennan, MD
Ryan Brennan

I was born in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan and from there I ventured to East Lansing. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Physiology at Michigan State University then took a short break and spent a semester abroad in Rome, Italy. While completing my bachelor’s degree I had the fortune to work in a neuroscience research lab. I remained working in the laboratory after completing my undergraduate education, but ultimately decided that I was best suited for the clinical setting. I went on to complete my medical education graduating with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. After spending a substantial amount of time in the mid-Michigan area, it was important for me to experience a new learning environment. After meeting the great people of the Department of Neurology here at MCW I knew it was the place for me. Since moving to Milwaukee to complete my post-graduate training, I have enjoyed the many diverse activities that the area has to offer. The city is a great place to experience live music of any genre including free weekly concerts in parks, music festivals, and a variety of different concert venues. For sports enthusiasts, there are professional, semi-professional, and collegiate level sporting events to attend. And of course my favorite, Lake Michigan, which offers endless opportunities for fun. Outdoor activities are plentiful and are available year round. From great beaches and camp grounds to cross-country skiing and nearby downhill skiing, whatever your hobby is the greater Milwaukee has something to offer you.

Pedro Oliveira, MD
Pedro Oliveira

I was born in Lisbon, Portugal and moved to the U.S. when I was 13 years old. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was then fortunate enough to experience medical school on the beautiful island of Dominica in the West Indies at Ross University. Following this unique experience, I completed my clinical rotations in various cities across the country, including the East Coast and South Florida. As I embark on my 4th year of residency, I continue to enjoy the many cultural festivals and unique opportunities that Milwaukee has to offer. I spend my free time going to music festivals, sporting events, great restaurants, and the beautiful lakefront. I also enjoy traveling the short distance to Chicago, to spend time with my wife, who is currently completing her internship in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University. The residency program here at MCW offers an ideal environment to cultivate friendships among residents, especially through social activities such as the resident retreat during a baseball game at Miller Park.

Each year, hundreds of prospective candidates participate in the Neurology match. While few have predefined career goals, the vast majority rely on their experience during residency to guide decisions regarding what fellowship track or practice environment to pursue. A program that provides exposure forms the keystone of any resident’s career. In that regard, MCW has an exceptionally strong representation of many neurological subspecialties with several faculty members who are esteemed in their respective fields.

The subspecialties represented in our program include:

  • Interventional Neurology
    (Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology)
  • Neurointensive Care
  • Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
  • Comprehensive Stroke Program
  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Sleep
  • Headache
  • Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology
  • Neuromuscular Disorders and a dedicated comprehensive ALS clinic
  • Comprehensive Parkinson's and Movement Disorders program, including DBS Surgery
  • Spine Care
  • Autonomic Disorders

Among our assets are, a busy Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, a closed Neurological Intensive Care Unit staffed by neurocritical care boarded neurointensivists, State of the art Neuroangiography suites, a Neurophysiology lab with Autonomics laboratory, Stroke Center certification and Pediatric Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin which serves as the tertiary referral for most of Wisconsin and northern Illinois and boasts Nationally renowned Pediatric Neurologists and Epileptologists.

Another advantage of our categorical program is being assigned a weekly Neurology Resident Continuity Clinic as a PGY 1. This allows exposure to outpatient neurology during internship and fosters closeness to the Neurology faculty, staff and residents, creating a seamless transition from the preliminary year to neurology. Additionally, this allows completion of the Continuity Clinic requirement by the PGY 3 year. PGY 4 Residents are given the responsibility of a VA continuity clinic with increased autonomy and an opportunity to serve our veterans.

Our team consists of our residency program director Dr. Chad Carlson, associate program directors Dr. Christopher Anderson and Dr. Wendy Peltier. Jackie Davies is our wonderful program coordinator who helps us along every step of our training. The Pediatric Neurology Fellows are included in our group as we work very closely with them as well.

We cannot forget to mention the wonderful group of 2014 graduating residents who were from different parts of the globe and yet worked together seamlessly as a cohesive unit. Deepa Malaiyandi, Pramod Gupta, Emad Nourollah-Zadeh, and Naregnia Pierre-Louis are going to attend their Neurointensive care fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Baylor University, Yale University, and UT Southwestern respectively. Fallon Schloemer will be staying at MCW for her Headache fellowship and Natalia Dorland will also be at MCW for her Clinical Neurophysiology fellowship.

Time and again, current and former residents have mentioned resident camaraderie as one of the main reasons for choosing our program. In recent years, our alumni have done everything from going into private practice, continuing in academic neurology, as well as pursuing any number of Neurology fellowships either at MCW or at other prestigious programs.

Last but not least, Milwaukee is a wonderful city, known for its ethnic communities, amazing waterfront, innumerable summer activities, and sports. You are never too far from a Bucks (basketball), Brewers (baseball) or Packers (football) fan or from tailgating at Miller Park! We have many wonderful festivals along Lake Michigan’s waterfront, among the most famous being, Summerfest, the largest outdoor music festival in the world. Summerfest has seen the likes of Outkast, The Wailers, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Kenney Chesney, Metallica, The Roots, Jay-Z, Kanye, LL Cool J and Sting. Milwaukee has the resources of a big city and yet the warmth of a small town. You can easily live in a vibrant downtown neighborhood, a cozy suburban community or the countryside and still be within a short commute to work.

We hope you will consider us as you embark on the next stage of your careers and we look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.


Ryan Brennan (rbrennan@mcw.edu)
Pedro Oliveira (poliveira@mcw.edu)

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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© 2015

Page Updated 05/06/2015