Program Curriculum

Curriculum Residency Training Program

Information Resources for Medical Students and Others Interested in Neurosurgery

The residency program is structured into four-weeks to four-months blocks. All residents proceed through the various rotations sequentially, gaining experience and responsibility as they progress.

The structured nature of the program allows the trainees to plan their time, studies, and research efforts. This organization leads to a more predictable and productive training experience.

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Year One

MGH Etherdome MM and Rounds

Spine Rounds with Dr BorgesResidents match directly into neurosurgery to become acclimated with the fundamental skills associated with neurosurgery education.

The program includes six months in General Surgery, a three-month rotation in neurology, six weeks in Neurosurgery and six weeks in neuro-critical care.

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Year Three

Cochlear Implant

Third year residents rotate through three areas:

  • Four months sharing clinical responsibilities with the East Senior Resident to care for patients on the East Team. The East Team includes staff members with interests in vascular and functional neurosurgery
  • Four months at gaining additional experience in the clinical and surgical management of pediatric patients
  • Four months working with the Spine Team

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Years Four and Five

Research @ Neurosurgery Home

Years four and five are dedicated to research. Residents are encouraged to immerse themselves in one of the many excellent neuroscience labs. 

During the first research year, the residents take night call 1-2 times per week. The second year of research is free of any clinical responsibilities. Residents take the written portion of the neurosurgery boards.

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Year Six

Curriculum - Complex Operations

In year six, residents assume a large role in the operative and clinical management of complex cases under the supervision of the staff neurosurgeons. This includes vascular problems such as aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and occlusive cerebrovascular disease, as well as complex tumor and spine cases.

Sixth year trainees also organize call schedules and operating room assignments, and teach and supervise other residents.

Rotations:

  • Four months as a senior of the pediatric and spine service, resident learns about the surgical management of complex spine and pediatric disorders
  • Four months as Chief Resident of the East Neurosurgery Service, resident learns about the surgical management of complex vascular disorders and functional disorders such as epilepsy, movement disorders and trigeminal neuralgia
  • Four months as Chief Resident of the West Neurosurgical Service, resident learns about the surgical management of complex brain and skull base tumors

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Year Seven

Neurosurgery Home

A patient consult with Dr MartuzaIn their final year, the South Chief Resident spends four months working closely with the Chief of Service, Dr. Robert Martuza. The clinical emphasis is on brain tumors and on the transsphenoidal approach to pituitary tumors. Residents are also trained on how to manage a busy academic practice.

North Service - Finally, residents are appointed full members of the neurosurgery staff, with their own offices and clinics and full admitting and operating privileges. Most graduates feel that this period is the highlight of the training because they are performing a large and varied number of major cases while still having the support of the other attending physicians for particularly unusual or challenging cases. Formal teaching rounds are held on a weekly basis and with the attending neurosurgeon of the week.

Rotations:

  • Four months as the South Chief of Neurosurgery, resident learns about the surgical management of complex of skull base and pituitarty tumors
  • Eight months North Attending manages a broad range of neurosurgical diseases

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