Overview of Neurosurgery Residency Program
Our program is the only Neurosurgical Residency Program available in the uniformed military services of the United States. The seven year program is accredited by the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and accepts 1 candidate per year for training.
The curriculum was created in an effort to detail the body of knowledge which should be attained by an individual completing residency training in Neurological Surgery. While the structure of the residency program is dictated by the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery, the program has been customized to provide residents with as much flexibility to pursue their interests as possible.
The program can be subdivided into three levels – Junior, Intermediate, and Senior.
Junior Resident, PGY 1-3
The junior resident’s time is spent acclimating to and becoming proficient in the care of the neurosurgical patient. While under supervision, the junior residents are provided a great deal of autonomy in medical management and decision making. The residents are exposed to the operating room early in their PGY 1 year with increasing responsibilities as they progress through the program.
During this time, the resident also spend time “off-service” to develop a more holistic view of neurosurgical care. This time includes:
- 3 months of neurology
- 3 months of surgical critical care
- 2 months of neuroradiology and neuropathology
- 1 month of orthopedic surgery
Additionally, beginning PGY 1 year, residents sit for Part 1 of the American Board of Neurological Surgery written boards. The exam is written each year with the ability to take the exam for credit beginning as a PGY 3. A passing score on the written boards is required prior to assuming the role of chief resident.
Intermediate Resident, PGY 4-5
During the PGY 4-5 years, residents are expected to greatly increase their surgical capabilities as they are exposed to more complicated procedures in a multitude of different clinical environments. This time begins in the final three months of the PGY 3 year and consists of:
- 6 months of pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s National Medical Center
- 3 months of neurotrauma at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center
- 3 months of neurosurgery at the National Institutes of Health
- 3 months of vascular neurosurgery at Washington Hospital Center
Additionally, each resident is given 1 year of research or alternative training to individualize and enhance his or her neurosurgical education and clinical experience.
Senior Resident, PGY 6-7
The final two years of residency comprise the senior and chief years of the program. During this time, residents return to WRNMMC where they are given even more autonomy with the neurosurgery service and in the operating room in order to prepare them for graduation, fellowship if desired, and subsequent promotion to staff neurosurgeons.
The National Capital Consortium Neurosurgery Residency Program is a Tri-Service program. Active duty candidates from the Army, Navy, and Air Force can be considered for matriculation regardless of if they are graduates of the Uniformed Services University (USU) or the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP). Students interested in applying to the NCC Neurosurgery Program are encouraged to complete and submit their applications through their respective branch’s military website. HPSP and USU students are encouraged to consider applying to both the military Joint Service Graduate Medical Education Selection Board (JSGMESB) and the civilian Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) as there is currently only 1 seat per year in the NCC Neurosurgery Residency.
The application deadline is usually mid-October of the year prior to matriculation. Early contact with the Neurosurgery service and a sub-internship at WRNMMC are highly encouraged and recommended.