Skip to main content
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Neurological Surgery
Skip to main content

Program Overview By Year



Twelve months are spent on various services to give interns a broad exposure to the building blocks of neurological surgery. These include a six-month rotation in general surgery (including plastics, vascular and cardiac), three months in basic neurosciences (neuroradiology, neuropathology and neurology) and three months of neuro-ICU care. All rotations take place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

PGY2 & 3

For the next 24 months, residents serve as junior residents. Rotations focus on cerebrovascular neurosurgery, spine surgery and neuro-oncologic surgery. Upon completion, the residents have a solid exposure to patient care and have developed appropriate surgical skills to assume the position of senior resident.


The transition from junior to senior resident involves enhanced responsibility and independence. The residents rotate in block times to gain exposure to pediatric neurosurgery at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, functional and epilepsy neurosurgery, as well gain significant experience in radiosurgery for both primary and malignant brain and spinal cord tumors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

PGY5 & 6

These are protected and dedicated years of elective time. Our residents may choose to work in any of our National Institutes of Health-sponsored laboratories, perform an in-folded clinical fellowship or pursue other academic endeavors. For example, we offer an elective rotation in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Catholic University in Rome, Italy. Other past residents have pursued programs such as an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern or a health policy research fellowship in Washington, D.C. 

Rome, Evanston, and Washington DC are loctaion where residents can spend their elective time


The last year is spent as the chief resident. In this capacity, the chief resident is based at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has full responsibility for running the neurosurgical service. Extensive experience is provided in the medical and surgical management of complex neurosurgical problems, including skull base tumors, aneurysms and challenging spinal problems. Upon completion, the chief resident is fully prepared for a leadership position in neurological surgery at any major academic center in the United States.

Back to top

Follow Neurological Surgery on