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.
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.