Program Structure

Overview of the Program

The neurosurgery program at The University of Chicago is geared towards training men and women who wish to enter a career in academic neurosurgery. Our goal is to educate a group of physician-scientists who will advance the future of academic neurosurgery and make a lasting contribution to the care of neurosurgical patients. Accordingly, the program offers the opportunity to obtain both outstanding clinical and basic science research experience in an academic medical center located in one of the great American cities.

The residency training program at the University of Chicago is structured into a seven-year curriculum. The training provides progressive increase in skills and responsibility until the resident is ready to become an independent fully trained neurosurgeon.

Find out more about each year of your residency:

Currently, the program alternates between one and two residents each year. As the program is carried out by eight full-time university neurosurgeons, five affiliated NorthShore University HealthSystem faculty, and several clinical faculty associates, there is a high staff to trainee ratio and the individualized needs of each resident are met. Staff assistance and supervision are available at all times. The attending staff and residents work as a team with mutual responsibility for all phases of patient care. Each patient is provided with equal care and attention.

Training Locations/Clinical Facilities

Most aspects of the training program are carried out at the University of Chicago Medical Center located on the Hyde Park campus. This centralized location provides enormous advantages, including the availability of faculty members with particular expertise to advise and assist in the management of all patients, as well as the opportunity to utilize the facilities afforded by one of the great universities in the country. In addition, clinical, laboratory, library and conference facilities all occupy adjoining space on the same floor. The pediatric patients are seen in the Comer Children's Hospital, which is attached to the medical center complex. Neurosurgical patients are hospitalized in the new, state-of-art hospital pavilion.

The University of Chicago Medical Center houses a Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NeuroICU). It offers a 12-bed unit with the most advanced monitoring and treatment for patients with brain injuries and neurological diseases. Our faculty sees both adult and pediatric patients at Evanston NorthShore, a teaching affiliate of The University of Chicago.

Neurosurgical Research

The Surgery Brain Research Institute, an integral part of the medical center which houses the neurosurgical staff offices and Sean Mullan Library and Conference Room, also contains 6,000 square feet of space exclusively developed for neurosurgical research. In addition, there is also the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center. The Section of Neurosurgery has a research area that adjoins the clinical area and with the neurosurgical faculty offices, which occupies 24,000 square feet in the Surgery Brain Research Institute. The laboratories are well-equipped for channel studies, microfluorometry, blood flow measurement, cellular neurophysiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, microscopy, biochemistry, tissue culture, histology and animal pathology. Superb operating facilities are available in the building for animal experimentation.

There are strong ancillary services in neurology, neuropathology, neurophysiology (including electroencephalography and video monitoring) and a sleep laboratory. Three full-time neuroradiologists, trained and experienced in interventional neuroradiology, work closely with the neurosurgical service.
There are 5 nurse practitioners, trained in the management of neuroscience patients, who assist on both the pediatric and adult services to ensure that non-educational activities are minimized for residents.
A neuroanatomical dissection laboratory, adjacent to the residents' offices, is available for practicing microdissection and vessel anastomosis, as well as dissection of human material. A well-equipped neurosurgical conference room adjacent to the resident's offices includes an excellent contemporary neurosurgical book collection.

Continued Education

There is an active program of neurosurgical education with mandatory resident participation. Each Wednesday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the neurosurgical faculty and other faculty from departments within the University of Chicago are devoted to providing a series of lectures designed to expose the residents to issues related to neurosurgical patient management. Neurosurgical grand rounds are held every Wednesday.

Moreover, residents are exposed to weekly subspecialty conferences, including neuro-oncology, a pediatric neurosciences, vascular, neuro-endocrine, neuropathology, epilepsy and spinal conferences. There are weekly attending rounds and ample opportunity for residents and faculty to interact. We routinely evaluate and update our educational activities. An "indications conference" is held monthly. We also hold surgical labs, including virtual reality simulation; the most advanced of its kind in the world.