Program Curriculum: Year by Year
Each year of the program has a specific focus, with progressive more responsibility for patient management under the direct supervision of the faculty.
Years 1 & 2
The first two years of the residency program provides broad exposure to the spectrum of neurological diseases seen in a neurosurgical practice. Both outpatient and inpatient evaluation and care are used to teach neurological diagnosis, interpretation of radiology studies, postoperative management of neurosurgical patients, and management of trauma. Surgical skills are developed during this time.
Years 3 & 4
The two-year laboratory experience immerses the residency in basic neuroscience research with the belief that this level of exposure leads to an incomparable understanding of the human nervous system. Residents are expected to devote full effort to the scientific research they have chosen, and have minimal clinical responsibility during this time.
Extensive faculty support and research opportunity is available within the Department of Neurosurgery and in other departments throughout the University. Currently, functional imaging, pain mechanisms, motor and sensory systems, and the cell biology of neoplasia are among the topics of intense research in the department.
Prospective residents are encouraged to download the complete program brochure:
Progressive clinical responsibilities mark the 5th year of training. Senior residents typically manage the day-to-day operations of clinical services, reporting to the chief residents. Senior residents develop progressively higher levels of surgical expertise while assisting attending neurosurgeons. Surgical responsibilities increase in both number and complexity.
In the final year, the Chief Resident runs the clinical service for which he or she is responsible. This responsibility includes teaching more junior residents and medical students, managing the conference schedule, and most importantly, managing the operative and nonoperative care of neurosurgical patients.
By the end of the Chief Resident year, the graduate will be fully competent to undertake independent neurosurgical practice. In order to complete the program, the resident must pass the Neurosurgery Written Board Examination sponsored by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.