Penn's neurosurgery residency program prepares physicians for a career in academic neurosurgery, helping them compete successfully for faculty positions at prestigious institutions and continue in that career track. This requires that residents become both skilled clinicians and accomplished investigators.
Neurosurgical training at Penn is seven years in duration. Three residents are accepted into the program each year. Clinical training has consisted of rotations at three sites:
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Hospital
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
The department of neurosurgery anticipates performing over 4,000 major operations at its training sites this year.
The time dedicated to research efforts is as closely mentored as clinical training. During this research time, clinical activities are minimized to enable residents to devote full attention to carrying out investigations as well as preparing manuscripts for submission to refereed journals.
Approximately one year prior to beginning the research time, residents are expected to identify a mentor and submit grant applications developed with the mentor. This process provides the backbone for conducting the research as well as providing invaluable experience for the resident in grant applications. Over the past five years, all trainees have received funding from various sources, including federal and foundation sources.
At the completion of their residency, some trainees may opt for further training in a subspecialty area of neurosurgery. Penn Neurosurgery has not offered a significant number of positions for such training, as the focus is on providing the highest quality of surgical experience for residents. Further, the breadth of clinical experience offered at Penn precludes the need for the majority of residents to pursue additional training, with the exception of pediatric neurosurgery and endovascular neurosurgery. However, several individuals from other institutions have participated in post-residency clinical training at Penn, including fellows in functional neurosurgery and pediatric neurosurgery.