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During the first year of the Penn Neurosurgical Training Program, residents must satisfactorily complete three months of clinical neurology service, three months of general surgery service, and six months of clinical neurosurgery service. The schedule of rotations within the program varies according to the needs of the individual resident and the needs of the program. Laboratory rotations vary between 15 and 18 months. Residents are encouraged to spend this time at the University of Pennsylvania where many opportunities are available for directed research. In particular situations, residents may elect to spend this time at another institution.

A typical rotation schedule would look as follows. Each year is divided into five evenly spaced blocks:

PGY 1 3 months Gen Surgery, 3 months Neur, 6 months Nsgy
PGY 2 12 months HUP Junior
PGY 3 12 months PAH Junior
PGY 4 4 months CHOP, 4 months PPMC Senior, 2 months research, 2 months Endovascular/Clinic
PGY 5 12 months Research
PGY 6 4 months PAH Chief, 6 months New Zealand fellowship vs. elective time, 2 months research
PGY 7 12 months HUP Chief
  • HUP = Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • PAH = Pennsylvania Hospital
  • CHOP = Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Neur = Clinical Neurology
  • Nsgy = Clinical Neurosurgery

All residents are required to take the written examination of the American Board of Neurological Surgery for practice during the first three years of training. Thereafter, the examination may be taken for credit and must be passed before the resident enters the senior or chief resident rotation. No resident will be considered to have satisfactorily completed the training program until a passing score is obtained on the written examination.

All residents are evaluated on a biannual basis by faculty. A written report is submitted to the program director who reviews these evaluations with the residents.

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