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Career Development - Neurosurgery

What Does Training Look Like?

Training involves a year of internship, and then 5-6 years of residency. There are opportunities to do fellowship training in multiple sub-specialties.

Sub-specialties include spine, functional, vascular, neuro-oncology, skull base surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, and peripheral nerve surgery.

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like?

1-2 days per week are spent in clinic, and the other 3-4 days are generally spent operating. Rounds are between 6-7 am, prior to clinic or OR.
Important Qualities and Traits

Qualities recognized as important to neurosurgery include:


  • Self-motivation
  • Dedication to the specialty
  • Ability to perform well in stressful situations
Shadowing Opportunities

For shadowing opportunities, please contact Dr. Christopher Maulucci.
Research Opportunities

There are laboratory opportunities with Dr. Dumont, working on an animal model of aneurysm formation and rupture. There are also various clinical projects ongoing at different times. Currently, there is a project evaluating different technologies for the endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke.


Additionally, students may want to pursue research opportunities through the DeBakey Scholars Program. This program offers medical students the opportunity to pursue and complete a longitudinal, structured, closely supervised research experience culminating in a capstone presentation prior to graduation. For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Mitchell.

Recommended T3 & T4 Coursework

Doing neurosurgery electives and sub-internships is highly recommended. In general, doing a neurosurgery rotation toward the middle to end of the T3 year would be preferred, after basic operative skills have been obtained in the general surgery rotation.


Specialty Statistics

Number of Applicants & Positions (from "Results & Data 2018 Main Residency Match")

Neurosurgery Match Summary 2018

Summary Statistics (from "Charting Outcomes in the Match 2018")

Neurosurgery Outcomes-Match 2018

Special Considerations When Applying for Residency

Doing away rotations to obtain additional letters of recommendation and getting additional exposure to neurosurgery is recommended.

Important Advice

Work hard and be useful during your away rotations, particularly if it is a program you would like to attend. Work well with the group and be respectful to residents, attendings, midlevel practitioners, and your fellow students.

Research experience is important and some of the very academically oriented programs will not interview you without it.

How Many Programs Should I  Apply To?

Available data suggests that a competitive candidate should apply to at least 15 programs in order to match.