Residency Program

THE STONY BROOK NEUROSURGERY RESIDENCY PROGRAM

The Neurosurgery Residency Program is a seven-year program under the direction of the Department of Neurosurgery. The program provides a broad neurosurgical education in general neurosurgery and subspecialty neurosurgery, as well as an opportunity for residents to participate in both clinical and basic science research.  

Our program's strong emphasis on clinical neurosurgical education and on research education takes place in collaboration with faculty neuroscientists in the Department of Neurosurgery at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, which is one of the leading research institutions in the world.  

Our goal is to provide our residents with an education that fosters the intellectual and technical skills and professional attitudes necessary to succeed in clinical care, research, education, and provide a deep understanding of clinical practice and scientific inquiry. By educating our residents to be skilled and ethical attending neurosurgeons, they will be well equipped to contribute to the highest quality patient care and to the acquisition and dissemination of the scientific understanding and the treatment of neurosurgical disorders.

Synopsis of the rotation schedule:

The Stony Brook Neurosurgery Residency Program begins with one month each on the five basic neurosurgical services: 

  1. Neurocritical care
  2. Cranial neurosurgery (i.e. tumor, trauma, functional, adult hydrocephalus, adult Chiari)
  3. Spinal neurosurgery
  4. Pediatric neurosurgery (age<18 years)
  5. Cerebrovascular neurosurgery (open and interventional)

This is followed by six months on other services: Anesthesia, General surgery, Trauma, Neuropathology, and ENT. 

The PGY-2 year begins with a quarter (three months) in the Neurocritical Care Unit (NCCU), which is a Residency Review Committee (RRC) requirement and prepares the resident for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) management during the remainder of their training. For the remainder of the year, the resident has rotations on Neuroradiology, Neurology, Radiosurgery (Radiation Oncology), peripheral nerve surgery (on the hand service), and Vascular Surgery (for experience with extracranial vascular procedures such as carotid endarterectomy).

With these PGY-2 rotations:

  • RRC requirements for basic clinical neuroscience and neurosurgical critical care in the first 18 months are satisfied.
  • We introduce the resident to our service.
  • We give the resident broad experience in surgical specialties such as trauma, ENT, etc.
  • We provide ample exposure to peripheral nerve surgery, extracranial carotid surgery and radiosurgery. 

The PGY-3 year begins with three months on cranial neurosurgery. The next quarter is on the spinal neurosurgery service, followed by a quarter on the pediatric neurosurgery service and a quarter on the cerebrovascular (CV) neurosurgery service.  

The PGY-4 year begins with one quarter on the spinal neurosurgery service, followed by quarters on the cranial, CV and pediatric neurosurgery services.  The rotations are staggered to try to avoid multiple residents on one service at one time. This offers higher-level operative experiences for the rotating residents, who won’t have to compete as often with senior or junior residents for experience as senior or lead resident surgeon. 

The PGY-5 year is the elective year. The resident can do clinical electives (at Stony Brook or away), do a fellowship, or do research. The year will be planned carefully by the resident and the faculty, and where appropriate (e.g. foreign rotations, fellowships etc.) will need to be pre-approved by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) and the RRC. 

The PGY-6 year is a senior year with intensive preparation for the chief year. It begins with a quarter of CV, then a quarter each on pediatric, cranial and spinal neurosurgery. 

The PGY-7 year is the chief resident year. The chief resident will have substantial administrative and clinical responsibilities for the entire service and operate as lead resident surgeon on most cases.

Call for PGY-1 through PGY-6 residents who are on the neurosurgery service or who are doing basic science rotations or research electives will be one in five, although Thursday nights will always be covered by physician extenders, so as to permit all residents to attend the Friday educational seminars each week without running up against duty hour constraints. Chief resident call will be from home, analogous to the attending schedule.  

Fridays will be protected time and fully devoted to education, and will entail a day of seminars, grand rounds, etc. The Friday didactic seminars are a cycle of weekly educational seminars with a curriculum that repeats (as A, B, and C) every three years. Residents will complete at least two full cycles of seminars during their seven-year residency. Residents will have no clinical responsibilities on Fridays (during day) and no night call on Thursday nights. 

Didactic sessions will include (Neurosurgery) Chair seminar, Neuroradiology seminar, (Neurosciences) Grand Rounds, Cranial (neurosurgery) seminar, Cerebrovascular (neurosurgery) seminar, Functional (neurosurgery) seminar, Spine (neurosurgery) seminar, Pediatric (neurosurgery) seminar, (Neurosurgery) Research seminar, and Neurocritical care seminar. 

Sessions are 45 minutes long and include a 15-minute break, monthly journal clubs in each subspecialty and case discussions interspersed with prepared didactic sessions. Each seminar will have assigned reading and short quiz. Lunch will be provided by the department. Journal clubs on topics appropriate to each specialty will take place on one session per specialty per month. For months with a fifth Friday, topics will be chosen by residents and faculty and will include case presentations, in-depth examination of a selected topic, overview of a topic, board preparation, etc. 

The combination of intensive clinical education in a large tertiary are medical center and level one trauma center, along with a rigorous didactic educational program consisting of a full day each week of protected time for seminars covering the spectrum of neurosurgical practice and extensive research experience make the Stony Brook Neurosurgery Residency a superb educational opportunity. One-in-five call provides excellent education in emergency and trauma neurosurgery while assuring adequate time for elective neurosurgical training, research, study and personal time. 

APPLICATION TO THE PROGRAM

Application to the Stony Brook Neurosurgery Residency Program is through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and the match for the Stony Brook Neurosurgery Residency is via the National Resident Match Program (NRMP).  A description of the process may be found at the respective websites: https://www.aamc.org/services/eras/ and http://www.nrmp.org/.  The Stony Brook Neurosurgery Residency Program matches one position each year.  Applications are reviewed by the faculty and invitations are offered for prospective candidates.  The one day interview takes place between November and January, and every effort is made to accommodate the travel schedules of applicants.  We strongly suggest that applicants consider a sub-internship at Stony Brook neurosurgery prior to application.

Applications from individuals from groups who are underrepresented in medicine and in neurosurgery are encouraged.  In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 the of the Rehabilitation Act, it is the policy of Stony Brook Medicine to provide reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities.

Please contact our Program Coordinator, Mary Tanderup, for further information. 

Mary Tanderup: (631) 444-1111

mary.tanderup@stonybrookmedicine.edu