The training of future academic neurosurgeons is a core mission of Penn Neurosurgery. Accordingly, at the completion of the program residents are expected to be:

  • Outstanding clinicians
  • Active investigators
  • Experienced educators

To achieve these goals, substantial responsibility is accorded to the residents as appropriate for their degree of experience.

The department of neurosurgery performs more than 5,000 operations each year in a wide variety of subspecialties throughout the affiliated hospitals of the Penn Medicine. The clinical faculty has a significant expertise in all aspects of neurological surgery. Given the enormous volume and intensity of exposure, the department offers a multidisciplinary approach to the realm of neurosurgical problems.

The clinical activities of the departments of neurosurgery and neurology are coordinated through the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center to improve the interaction between these groups so that smooth delivery of patient care is provided. This is particularly important in the areas of:

  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Spine
  • Movement disorders
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Complex skull base surgery
  • Neuro-oncology

Research is integral to the departmental mission with the renowned Center for Brain Injury and Repair as well as substantial basic research efforts in ischemia, oncology and neurophysiology. The department receives over $3 million annually in NIH support in addition to other external grant sources.

Residents participate in the full process of research including grant preparation, accumulation of data, presentation and publication. An involved, active mentoring process is conducted throughout the research rotation.

Residents are also involved in the educational mission of the department, including direct instruction with medical students, the medical school curriculum, participation in all teaching conferences and, as chief resident, supervising the junior residents.

Please contact the residency coordinator, Susan Small, at with any questions regarding our program.