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.

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.

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Program Structure

Year
July to December
January to June

     PGY-1

General Neurosurgery and
Neurotrauma
-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (6 months) 

Neurotrauma-MedStar Washington Hospital Center (2 months) 

General Surgery- National Institutes of Health (1 month)

Neurology-National Institutes of Health (1 month)

Neuro-Pathology-National Institutes of Health (1 month)

Neuro-Oncology-National Institutes of Health (1 month)

     PGY-2

Spine Rotation-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (3 months) 

Vascular Rotation-MedStar Washington Hospital Center (3 months) 

Spine Rotation-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (3 months) 

Vascular Rotation-MedStar Washington Hospital Center (3 months) 

     PGY-3

Pediatric Neurosurgery Rotation-Children's National Medical Center (4 months)

Spine Rotation-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (2 months) 

Spine Rotation-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (2 months) 

Cranial Rotation-National Institutes of Health (4 months) 

     PGY-4

Research Rotation- National Institutes of Health (80% Research Time; 20% Clinical Time)

Research Rotation- National Institutes of Health (80% Research Time; 20% Clinical Time)

     PGY-5

Research Rotation- National Institutes of Health (80% Research Time; 20% Clinical Time)

Research Rotation-National Institutes of Health (80% Research Time; 20% Clinical Time)

     PGY-6

Senior Clinical Rotation-National Institutes of Health (10% Research Time; 90% Clinical Time)

Senior Clinical Rotation- National Institutes of Health (10% Research Time; 90%Clinical Time)

     PGY-7

Chief Resident-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (6 months) 

Chief Resident-MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (2 months) 

Chief Resident-MedStar Washington Hospital Center (4 months)