Curriculum | Neurosurgery Residency
Diversity in training is essential to comprehensive resident education, a strength of the Neurosurgery Residency Program at the University of Maryland. The program benefits from access to several exceptional medical institutions within Baltimore as well as nearby Mid-Atlantic resources such as the N.I.H. and D.C. institutions. Such resources offer a variety of training opportunities across facilities, subspecialties, and patient populations.
Throughout the 7 years residents spend with us, they train in at least 5 institutions with additional sites available for elective experiences:
- University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC): This is our home base where residents establish a foundation in neurosurgery, experience academic growth, and develop expertise
- University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (STC): This integrated hospital within UMMC offers trainees a unique experience in trauma. Shock Trauma is the premier trauma center in Maryland and is lauded as a national model for excellence
- Baltimore VA Medical Center: Residents rotate through the Baltimore VA gaining valuable training. Chief residents learn to book, treat, and follow their own neurosurgical patients
- Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC): A rotation at GBMC allows our trainees to be the only resident on a busy private practice neurosurgery service affording them valuable insight and one-on-one training
- Johns Hopkins Hospital: Through our partnership with John Hopkins, our residents contribute to a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgery service, fostering collaboration
Residents are supported by advanced practice providers at the three core rotation sites, UMMC, STC, and the VA.
PGY-7: APEX Year
The Academic Pathway to Excellence (APEX) Year encourages resident innovation in the field of neurosurgery. This experience emphasizes the development of translatable knowledge and skills for independent practice, poising graduates for accomplishment beyond residency. Each APEX Year proposal is unique, tailored to the interests of each resident.
First, residents choose a pathway for innovation: Clinical Operations, Academics & Education & Academics, or Research & Discovery. Residents then work with a faculty mentor to design and implement a proposal within the selected pathway. Plans focus on an novel project or product and can include a CAST fellowship (Spine, CNS-Endovascular) or an advanced degree (MBA, MPH, other).
Residents enjoy a manageable call system that minimizes redundancy. PGY-1s cover weekend days every other weekend, with two golden weekends a month. PGY-2s cover weekend nights every other weekend, with two golden weekends a month. PGY-3s cover night float during the week and approximately one weekend of day trauma neurosurgery a month. PGY-4s cover less than one weekend of day trauma neurosurgery a month. PGY-5s and PGY-6s share chief call, each covering every fourth day and one weekend a month. PGY-7 is free of call.
Starting as a PGY-1, residents identify a key mentor among the neurosurgery faculty. PGY-1s are required to submit a grant/award application, abstract, or first author manuscript with the help of this mentor. Any research accepted for an oral presentation at a national meeting will have full support for travel and other expenses. As resident interests evolve, mentors can be changed. Residents are encouraged throughout their training to engage in scholarly activity with their mentors. These relationships are valuable throughout training and neurosurgery careers.
Conferences and Enrichment
Didactic teaching is carried out in a wide variety of weekly conferences for neurosurgery residents, faculty, and medical students. They focus on a broad range of neurosurgical topics, as well as topics from other disciplines, promoting interdepartmental collaboration among providers.