What to Expect

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What to expect as a resident

Making you the best neurosurgeon you can possibly be demands diversity and depth in clinical exposure. the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) permits multiple training sites with the provision that your education is well-balanced and well-supervised.

The University of Minnesota neurosurgery program uses four training sites to broaden your exposure to a wide variety of patients with a full span of neurosurgical disorders. The sites include:

UMN Medical Center
UMN Medical CenterUniversity of Minnesota Medical Center, a major hospital affiliate of the neurosurgical residency training program, provides a significant portion of the program with clinical education experience for medical students, residents, and fellows. There are currently four full-time and two affiliated clinical faculty. In addition, we have one full-time PhD faculty within the Department of Neurosurgery. Affiliation with Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology, joint ventures with basic scientists in Oncology in the Cancer Center and the Oralfacialmaxillary Departments, broaden your scope of neurosurgical exposure.

Hennepin County Medical Center
Hennepin County Medical CenterHennepin County Medical Center is a Level 1 trauma center with strong affiliations with the University of Minnesota. It has an emergency medicine residency and gives you exposure to a full range of cranial and spinal trauma cases. Because it serves patients with diverse backgrounds, you are exposed to a wide variety of neurosurgical disorders. 

Minneapolis VA Medical Center
Minneapolis VA Medical CenterThe Veteran’s Affairs system has always been an integral part of resident education. It serves a population particularly susceptible to specific diseases whose pathology and treatment are crucial to your development. Inpatient service is provided by the University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery staff. Outpatient service is overseen by Dr. Walter Bailey. Two physician's assistants and a dedicated neurosurgery nurse complete the neurosurgery team. 

UMN Masonic Children’s Hospital and Clinic
UMN Masonic Children's Hospital and ClinicsThe University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, provides resident exposure to a wide variety of pediatric neurosurgical problems. During this six-month rotation, working closely with three neurosurgeons and a nurse practitioner, the resident gains experience with all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery including pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, congenital malformations, and trauma. Pediatric neurosurgeons at Children's participate in several multi-specialty teams including neuro-oncology and craniofacial clinics.

Collaborative and Interdisciplinary

We collaborate in a highly interdisciplinary fashion with our colleagues from other specialties to treat movement disorders, epilepsy, pituitary diseases, neurofibromatosis, skull base tumors and anomalies, craniofacial disorders and cancer affecting the nervous system.

We use the most advanced technologies such as intraoperative MRI, Gamma Knife radiosurgery, image guided intracranial endoscopy and emerging technologies currently under evaluation including blood brain barrier disruption and immunotherapy for malignant brain tumors.

Surgical Procedures Performed - chart

Sample call schedule
Although call schedules change constantly, it's sometimes helpful to see an example call schedule.

Faculty mentors
doctorsEach resident is paired with a faculty mentor or advisor. He or she is responsible for helping you make the most of your time as a resident. Your mentor/advisor can help you navigate many things, from your clinical work to your research. 

"Through my advisor/mentor, I have been able to get involved in research. It’s not that I don’t talk to the other attendings about it; it’s just nice to have scheduled time to discuss this with someone. The faculty overall are genuinely interested in helping us. They want us to succeed, to do great things."  Molly Hubbard, Resident 

Rotation schedule
Our goal is to give you a high quality educational experience. We do our best to maintain this schedule; however, adjustments are sometimes required and should be expected. Your PGY-1 year is designed using Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education surgery training program guidelines under the direction of the Department of Neurosurgery. 

Program requirements for neurosurgery require that your educational experience be 60 months long; the table shows how the 60 months are typically spent.

What's included in the Clinical Program?

Neuro-oncology:

  • Primary and metastatic tumors
  • Blood brain barrier disruption
  • Immunotherapy
  • Spinal tumors
  • Skull base tumors - conventional
  • Skull base tumors - endoscopic
  • Pituitary tumors

Image-guided neurosurgery

  • Integrated image guidance and endoscopy
  • Intraoperative MRI

Spinal neurosurgery
Neurosurgical trauma and critical care
Stereotactic & functional neurosurgery:

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery

Cerebrovascular surgery:

  • Conventional
  • Endovascular

Pediatric Neurosurgery:

  • Craniofacial disorders
  • Brain tumors

What is the case load like?

Our neurosurgeons complete more than 2,500 procedures per year and cover the entire spectrum of neurosurgical practice, including common conditions such as:

  • Ruptured discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Subdural hematomas
  • Brain, spine and spinal cord injury
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.

We also perform the most complex subspecialty procedures such as:

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Skull base surgery
  • Advanced brain tumor treatment
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Open and endovascular neurosurgery for aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations
  • Complex spinal neurosurgery including spinal fusions
  • Complex peripheral nerve surgery.

Salary/Benefits

Stipends
Annual stipends for neurosurgery residents:

2016/2017

  • PGY-1 - $52,290
  • PGY-2 - $53,899
  • PGY-3 - $55,753
  • PGY-4 - $57,745
  • PGY-5 - $59,967
  • PGY-6 - $62,072
  • PGY-7 - $64,058

2017/2018

  • PGY-1 - $53,597
  • PGY-2 - $55,246
  • PGY-3 - $57,147
  • PGY-4 - $59,189
  • PGY-5 - $61,466
  • PGY-6 - $63,624
  • PGY-7 - $65,659

You will be paid every other Wednesday (on a 10-day delay system). If you want the payday schedule, please contact the Resident Coordinator (Rachel Talcott, 612-624-0912). You may have your paycheck directly deposited to your bank. To do so, either contact the Residency Coordinator or set it up online. You can see your paycheck online two days before payday.

Benefits
While a resident, you will be registered as a student at the University of Minnesota. Health, dental and additional life insurance is available (your selections will be deducted from your paycheck). Please refer to the Institution Policy Manual for more information.

Vacation/Educational Leave
Highlights:

  • Total vacation days available: 21 (including weekend days); total educational leave: 7 days (unless approved by Program Director)
  • No more than 7 days of vacation may be taken at one time, including weekend days
  • Vacation should be taken during the non-clinical rotation
  • No more than one week per six months can be taken during clinical rotation
  • All vacation/educational leave must be approved in advance.