Residency Program Overview


The Surgical Neurology Branch of the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers an innovative 7-year, ACGME-accredited Neurological Surgery Residency Training Program in collaboration with Georgetown University.

The NIH Clinical Center, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and Children’s National Medical Center are clinical training sites for the first 3 years of residency training (PGY1, PGY2, and PGY3).  Four full-time neurosurgical faculty members mentor NIH clinical training. Residents then spend 2 years at the NIH in dedicated research training (PGY4 and PGY5).  During the senior resident clinical rotation (PGY6), the resident manages the neurosurgery inpatient service and participates in complex operative cases.  The final residency year (PGY7) is a chief residency on the busy neurosurgery services of Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center.  The chief resident gains essential experience treating diverse neurosurgical conditions.

Research training will take place at the NIH. Residents can work either within the Surgical Neurology Branch or call upon the NIH intramural research program's significant resources to identify a research project. Specific emphasis will be placed on preclinical research and the design of a prospective clinical research protocol to be completed during the training period.  Trainees acquire the clinical and research knowledge and skills necessary to become future clinician-scientists and leaders in neuroscience through this curriculum.

Training Goals & Objectives

This program seeks to be a model for training academic neurosurgical leaders. As the sponsoring institution, the National Institutes of Health will select medical student applicants for training based on their commitment and aptitude for becoming leading neurosurgeon-investigators. Based on an innovative clinical and research curriculum, the program will provide its trainees with a systematic learning experience that equips them with neurosurgical and research knowledge and skills and prepares them to be outstanding clinicians and independent researchers upon graduation. Because the National Institutes of Health is the sponsoring institution, the program is both empowered and committed to providing the resources necessary to train residents to perform neuroscience research throughout their careers using approaches of modern biomedical research and the highest standards of quality.

To achieve these goals and objectives, robust and defined clinical and scholarly activities will be emphasized and integrated throughout each resident’s education. The program will exploit the complementary and diverse strengths of the 4 training sites. In their first 3 years of training, residents obtain a broad-based clinical education in neurosurgery at the affiliate sites and NIH, providing them an opportunity to define research questions and discover special interests. Residents spend their next 3 years at the National Institutes of Health immersed in an environment conducive to developing research skills (basic, translational, and clinical research), clinical abilities, and scholarly pursuits. Residency training concludes with a 1-year Chief Residency at Georgetown University and Washington Hospital Center.

Application Information

Applications for the 2022 cycle should be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS)  by September 30th, 2022 for appointments beginning the following July. One position is open for appointment each year. The department specifically selects residents with a demonstrated interest in and aptitude for careers in academic neurosurgery. After the review of completed applications, qualified candidates will be invited to meet our staff and residents.

Interviews will be conducted virtually. However, NIH Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education (OCRTME) is offering one-hour tours of the NIH Clinical Center for applicants to our Graduate Medical Education residency and fellowship programs between September 19 – November 4, 2022. This tour will provide an opportunity to visit the NIH campus in-person to directly see the NIH Clinical Center (Building 10) where the majority of our outstanding clinical and research training takes place.

Tours will be held on Mondays at 8 AM and Fridays at 4 PM for interested applicants. Information about whether applicants visit campus or not will not be shared with NIH GME residency or fellowship programs.

To sign up for a tour please contact the Residency Program Coordinator via

For additional information please view our brochure: Neurosurgery Residency Program Information(pdf, 1693 KB)