Residency Program

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Neurosurgery Residency Program

neurosurgeryresidents.jpgThe Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is committed to training the next generation of leaders to advance the field of neurosurgery. We offer a fully ACGME accredited, seven-year training program that prepares residents for rewarding careers in both academic and private practice. For over 60 years we've provided a solid foundation for resident education, ensuring comprehensive exposure to a full range of neurosurgical cases. Residents are immersed in every neurosurgery subspeciality including cerebrovascular, endovascular, skull base, neuro-oncology, functional, neurotrauma, neurocritical care, spine, and pediatric. The goal of our residency program is to produce competent, highly skilled surgeons who are able to practice independently and thrive in any patient population.

Program Overview

PGY 1/Intern

For neurosurgery residents entering at the intern level, we offer a neurosurgical internship that meets the ACGME requirements of acquisition of fundamental clinical skills, including at least 4 months of surgical disciplines other than neurological surgery. Specific rotations vary from year to year based on the intern's needs and the quality of available rotations. Surgical rotations typically include ENT, Trauma, and Plastic Surgery. Non-surgical rotations include Neurocritical Care, Neurology, Anesthesiology, Neuroradiology, and Endocrinology. The intern will spend two months on the neurosurgical service.

PGY 2/Junior resident

The resident at this level spends 12 months of clinical neurosurgery on the cranial, spine/trauma and/or pediatric neurosurgery service depending on the rotation schedule which are in four (4) month blocks. The PGY 2 resident works under the supervision of the chief resident and faculty at University Hospital.

During this year he/she is responsible for the work-up of all patients on the assigned service including most adult neurosurgery patients. He/she is involved in establishing diagnosis and treatment plans as well as performing diagnostic studies such as myelograms and lumbar punctures. He/she performs minor surgical procedures such as peripheral nerve decompressions, burr holes, ventricular punctures and simple biopsies. This resident is actively involved in intensive neurosurgical critical care, monitoring techniques and post-operative patient management under the supervision of the chief resident. He/she is involved in conference presentations and student teaching.

During the pediatric rotation, the junior resident works under the supervision of the attending staff responsible for the pediatric neurosurgical patients. He/she is involved in the admission and work-up of all pediatric patients. He/she assists and performs surgical procedures in the operating room to the level of his/her abilities. This resident is responsible for the pediatric neurosurgical clinics, including; craniofacial, brain tumor and spina bifida clinics.

PGY 3/Junior resident

The resident at this level spends 12 months on clinical neurosurgery on the cranial, spine/trauma and/or pediatric neurosurgery service depending on the rotation schedule which are in four (4) month blocks. The PGY 3 resident continues on the above services. His/her responsibilities and expectations become somewhat more advanced as he/she develops basic competency in the care of both adult and pediatric patients. The PGY 3 junior resident will spend more time in the operating room on each service.

PGY 4/Senior resident

The resident at this level spends at least eight (8) months on scholarly pursuit typically in research but may involve any scholarly activity that contributes to the advancement of the field of Neurosurgery. Residents may become involved in ongoing research or develop novel research protocols. Projects are typically carried out with mentorship and laboratory support from one of the established basic science labs at UMMC.

Residents are also encouraged to initiate clinical science projects of personal interest. Residents who choose not to participate in a basic science project are expected to review the process of scientific endeavor by completing an established curriculum. During this year, the resident is expected to take a more active teaching role in the weekly basic science/board review conference.

This year offers more opportunity to attend conferences held at UMMC and in the community in related disciplines such as Neurology, Neuropathology and Neuroradiology. This resident may also attend the Cook County Board Review Course and other educational opportunities directed specifically towards the Neurosurgery Board Examination that residents take for assessment each year until it is taken for credit and passed. Clinical rotations can be arranged during this year to fulfill any persisting requirements. The resident remains clinically active during this year by participating in the routine Neurosurgery in-house call rotation.

PGY 5/Senior resident

The resident at this level assumes a more senior role on the adult and pediatric neurosurgical services. This resident is assigned to one subspecialty area within Neurosurgery (Cranial/Vascular, Spine/Trauma, Pediatrics) for eight (8) month blocks at a time.

This year is dedicated to development of advanced diagnosis and management skills. This involves: 1) the neurosurgery clinics; 2) the emergency room; and 3) all admissions and consults at this institution. This resident is expected to evaluate all patients, to initiate treatment plans, and to be responsible for any operative intervention of these neurosurgical patients. Teaching conferences require direct participation of this resident. The resident is expected to work towards completion of research projects started in the previous year.

PGY 6/Chief resident

The resident at this level continues in the 8 months rotations from the previous year covering the services that he/she has not yet been assigned. The PGY 6 resident assumes all chief resident responsibilities as the administrative resident of the entire pediatric or adult program. This resident's responsibilities include organizing and scheduling of teaching conferences, teaching residents and medical students and scheduling presentation of patients to attendings and consultants.

Educational programs such as journal clubs, grand rounds and special lectures are the responsibility of this resident. At this level of training, the resident is expected to perform complex procedures such as clipping aneurysms, skull base surgery and epilepsy surgery.

PGY 7/Resident

Transitional training in neurosurgery will be at UMMC only where the PGY 7 resident will be credentialed as an Instructor in Neurosurgery. As such, the resident will have the autonomy of an attending while remaining in the nurturing environment of a training program.

The goal of transitional training is to allow the trainee to fully experience neurosurgical practice while remaining at the teaching institution. Goals and objectives include:

  • Provide independent neurosurgical management of patients.
  • Communicate effectively with other attending neurosurgeons and consulting services, including surgical planning that involves monthly specialty input regarding a patient with a known or suspected brain tumor
  • Plan long-term care and rehabilitation with relatives, caregivers, and appropriate outside agencies for a patient with a known or suspected brain tumor.
  • Demonstrate cost effective hospital management and care.
  • Demonstrate citizenship by following all policies affecting attending physicians such as timely completion of medical records and compliant billing practices.

Note: Due to Mississippi licensure requirements, all applicants must submit both the USMLE Steps 1 and 2 results before an interview can be granted.

Note: The call schedule for all neurosurgery residents adheres to the ACGME mandate. The call schedule has 12-hour shifts: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-6 a.m.