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Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN)

About the group

Penn State College of Medicine’s Student Interest Group in Neurology is a highly active chapter of SIGN committed to student-faculty interaction, research opportunities, networking, community involvement, education and exposing medical students to opportunities in neurology.

The group greatly encourages student-resident interaction, and holds events that allow medical students to ask residents about resident life, the application process and what it is like to be a neurologist. Almost half of the school’s medical students are members of SIGN at some point in their medical career. The enthusiasm of the faculty, residents and staff of the Department of Neurology contribute, in a large part, to the interest of Penn State College of Medicine students in neurology.

Advisor: Elise Hennessy, MD, regularly allows students to shadow them and partake in third-year neurology clerkships. Max Lowden, MD, contributes to the second-year Neural and Behavioral Science academic block and is the program director for the neurology residency program.

The group is committed to bringing together students with similar interests and helping them explore the practice of neurology through shadowing and research opportunities, facilitating access to experiences connecting basic science to clinical management and helping forge networking and mentor relationships via lunch lectures and skills nights with faculty and residents. SIGN hosts events three to four times a year that are open to the entire student body, during which faculty present interesting neurology case reports, demonstrate diagnostic procedures, discuss intriguing research findings, and share clinical knowledge about their subspecialties, including advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a career in neurology. Neurology residents participate in a panel each year to address specific questions about the application process, the character and quality of life as a resident, and student questions. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) supports the SIGN chapter, along with Penn State’s Department of Neurology, thus allowing access to resources for student pursuits and projects.

The group is hopeful that youth will continue to contribute toward neurology in the future. SIGN members teach neurology clinical cases to high school students in Hershey, in order to provide early exposure to science, neurology, clinical problem-solving and higher education. This experience offers medical students a chance to teach, give back to the community and further develop leadership skills.

The group offers students free AAN membership and allows them to apply for travel funds for summer research scholarships and conferences.


2022-2023 SIGN Board