Ryan Hays, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). He specializes in epilepsy and sleep disorders, and serves as the Section Chief for the Epilepsy section at UTSW, as well as the Medical Director for Sleep Medicine at Parkland Hospital & Health System.

Dr. Hays grew up in Louisiana and Texas, and earned his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Texas Wesleyan University, and then his medical degree at Texas A&M College of Medicine. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Texas A&M/Scott & White Hospital in Temple, TX, before matriculating into the neurology residency program at Northwestern University in Chicago. He also completed a Sleep Medicine Fellowship at Northwestern, as well as 2 additional fellowships in Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He is one of only of a few specialists in the nation to hold certification from the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology in four different disciplines: Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Epilepsy, and Sleep Medicine. 

Dr. Hays’ clinical interests include diagnosing and managing seizures and sleep disorders. As Medical Director of William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) and electroencephalography (EEG) services, he oversees the diagnosis and management of patients with refractory epilepsy. He also identifies patients who may be candidates for neurosurgery when medications do not effectively control their seizures. His research interests parallel his clinical practice, and he has authored/co-authored many publications, reviews, and book chapters in these associated fields—covering important topics such as SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy), epilepsy surgery techniques and outcomes, the role of autoimmunity in epilepsy, and quality of life issues in patients with epilepsy and sleep disorders.

Dr. Hays has a passion for neurology education, and has served as the former Program Director for the Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy Fellowships at UTSW, as well the prior Assistant Program Director for the Neurology Residency Program at UTSW. He is also the founder of the Advanced Electroencephalography Fellowship Program at UTSW. He has won several teaching awards, and has mentored several residents and fellows-- many of whom have ultimately pursued academic careers themselves.

Because of his interest in healthcare quality and improving processes and systems to deliver the best outcomes for patients, he has obtained an M.B.A. in Healthcare Leadership from the distinguished Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas Dallas. He has worked with several stakeholders to developed systems and processes to monitor and improve patient outcomes at Parkland and UTSW.

He has previously served as the President of the Texas Society of Sleep Professionals, and chaired two of their annual CME symposiums to disseminate updates in the field of sleep medicine throughout the state and the Southwest. Dr. Hays is also active in several other organizations, including serving on the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society (FAES).


Medical School
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine (2004)
Scott and White Memorial Hospital (2005), Internal Medicine
Northwestern University School of Medicine (2008), Neurology
Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine (2009), Neurophysiology
Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine (2010), Epilepsy
Northwestern University School of Medicine (2011), Sleep Medicine
Graduate School
UT Dallas/Naveen Jindal School of Management (2020), Healthcare Leadership

Research Interest

  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Epilepsy Surgery
  • Healthcare Quality
  • Intracranial neurophysiology (stereo-EEG, subdural grids/strips, cortical mapping)
  • Neurostimulation for epilepsy and sleep disorders
  • Quality of life outcomes in patients with epilepsy
  • Quality of life outcomes in patients with sleep disorders
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sleep Apnea


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Honors & Awards

  • Beta Gama Sigma (Honor society for business school graduates – restricted to top 10% of undergrads, top 20% of MBA students and select doctoral candidates at AACSB-accredited business schools).
    UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management (2020)
  • Phi Kappa Phi (Nation’s oldest and most selective, multidisciplinary, honor society, designed to recognize the academic achievements of the most outstanding students)
    UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management (2019)
  • elected Fellow (FAES)
    American Epilepsy Society (2017)
  • Neurology Faculty - "Trephined Cranium Award"
    UTSW Neurology Faculty teacher of the year (2015)
  • Board of Director's Distinguished Service Award
    Texas Society of Sleep Professionals (2014)
  • Neurology Faculty - "Trephined Cranium Award"
    UTSW Neurology Faculty teacher of the year (2013)
  • Neurology Fellow - Teacher of the Year
    Thomas Jefferson University (2010)
  • Neurology Resident - Teacher of the Year
    Northwestern University (2008)
  • Law Sone Award
    Texas Wesleyan University (2000)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2011)
  • Sleep Research Society (2011)
  • Texas Society of Sleep Professionals (2011)
  • American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (2010)
  • American Epilepsy Society (2009)
  • American Academy of Neurology (2008)