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Residency Curriculum

Learn more about our residency program's robust curriculum and other educational offerings.

As part of our seven-year residency program, we offer a well-rounded educational experience, including 18 months dedicated to research. Our residents learn from and are mentored by our dedicated faculty, who have expertise in a wide range of clinical specialties, including:

Acoustic neuroma
Aneurysm
Brain tumor
Chiari and Syringomyelia
Epilepsy
Movement disorders
Pituitary
Skull base
Spinal disorders
Stereotactic radiosurgery
Neurotrauma
Trigeminal neuralgia
Meningioma

To provide the best possible training experience while ensuring we deliver the highest quality patient care, we often take an interdisciplinary approach, which means working with other specialties, such as oncology and radiology, to generate the best outcomes.

Our residents train at The University of Kansas Health System, a world-class academic medical center and regional and national leader in providing unparalleled patient care. The health system is home to the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, the only Level 4 center in the state of Kansas accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, and it's certified as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, which is the highest designation awarded by The Joint Commission. Also, the movement disorders program includes The University of Kansas Health System's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center, which is recognized as a Parkinson's Foundation Center of Excellence.

Current rotations

PGY-1

  • Primary training site: The University of Kansas Health System
  • 4 months on the neurosurgery service
  • 3 months on neuro-ICU
  • 1 month each:
    • Neurology
    • Trauma/SICU
    • Neuropathology
    • Orthopedic surgery-spine, including peripheral nerve and anesthesiology

PGY-2

  • Primary training site: The University of Kansas Health System
  • 11 months rotating equally between two faculty teams
    • Blue Team (primarily cranial)
    • Crimson Team (primarily spine)
  • 1 month:
    • Neuroradiology

PGY-3

  • 6 months at Children's Mercy Hospital, which offers a dedicated pediatric experience
  • 6 months divided between the Blue and Crimson teams at The University of Kansas Health System

PGY-4

  • 12 months dedicated to research and scholarly activities, including a basic research project which may be conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center or at Stower's Institute for Medical Research located nearby in Kansas City, Missouri.
    • The research rotation continues into PGY-5 for a total of 18 months of dedicated research time
  • Residents will sit for and pass the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) Written Primary Board Examination

PGY-5

  • 6 months dedicated to research and scholarly activities
  • The remainder of the rotation is spent with the Blue and Crimson teams at The University of Kansas Health System

PGY-6

  • 3 months at Children's Mercy Hospital
  • The remainder of the rotation is spent at The University of Kansas Health System divided between the Blue and Crimson teams, Indian Creek, and assisting chief residents in administering the clinical service

PGY-7

  • Chief resident year
  • Primary training site: The University of Kansas Health System
  • The rotation is divided between the Blue and Crimson teams as well as administering the clinical service
  • Residents may elect to gain experiences in specific areas of need or interest at other approved training sites (Children's Mercy Hospital) or at sites approved by the program director
Conferences and lectures
  • Core Competency GME Conference (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Grand Rounds (Weekly, PGY 1-7)
  • Journal Club (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Life After Residency Didactic (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference - Adult (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Morbidity and Mortality Conference - Pediatrics (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Neurocritical Care Didactic (Monthly, PGY 1-4)
  • Neuropathology Didactic (Monthly, PGY 1-4)
  • Neurovascular Conference (Twice monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Surgical Anatomy and Approaches Didactic (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery Case Presentations (Weekly, PGY 1-7)
  • Professor Rounds/Oral Boards (Weekly, PGY 1-7)
  • Neuroradiology/Neurosurgery Conference (Monday-Thursday, PGY 1-7)
  • Written Board Review (Weekly, PGY 1-4)
  • Wellness Lectures and Activities (Monthly, PGY 1-7)
  • Additional conferences available to residents:
    • Brain and Skull Base Tumor Board (Three times monthly)
    • Epilepsy Conference (Weekly)
Outside conferences and courses

Our residents are encouraged to take full advantage of a broad range of outside educational experiences, including:

  • Society of Neurologic Surgeons Boot Camps (PGY-1)
  • Research Update in Neuroscience for Neurosurgeons (RUNN) Course in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (PGY-3)
  • Washington Neuroradiology/Dr. Kenneth M. Earle Memorial Neuropathology Review Course (PGY-4)
  • Chicago Review Course (PGY-4)
  • Congress of Neurosurgeons (CNS) SANS Written Boards Review Course (PGY-4)
  • Annual meetings of the CNS (PGY-6) and American Association of Neurological Surgeons (PGY-7)
  • Over the course of the residency, attendance at additional meetings and courses related to resident scholarly activities, subspecialty interests and quality improvement and wellness initiatives is encouraged as approved by the program director
Other unique educational offerings

Microvascular Lab
Residents learn and perform microvascular surgical techniques during this quarterly lab.

Virtual reality training and 3-D printing technology
Our trainees gain experience with surgical procedures using realistic models created with state-of-the-art 3-D printing technology and innovative virtual reality systems.

Skull Base Cadaver Lab
Under the guidance of our experienced faculty, residents learn a variety of skull base and endoscopic approaches through didactic and hands-on cadaver dissection activities on campus, at a nearby facility or in a mobile laboratory. This lab occurs annually on average and is made possible with industry support and in cooperation with the KU Medical Center Compliance Office.

Spinal Neurosurgery Lab
Trainees get hands-on experience applying simple and advanced spinal instrumentation techniques using spine models. We partner with our orthopedic spine surgery team to offer this educational opportunity, which is made possible with industry support and in cooperation with the KU Medical Center Compliance Office. Offered two to four times each year, the lab covers:

  • Current spinal concepts
  • Common spinal pathologies
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different spinal approaches
  • Possible complications during and after surgery
  • Evaluation of different techniques and approaches to the spine
Department of Neurosurgery

University of Kansas Medical Center
Neurosurgery
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Mailstop 2012
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6970
Fax: 913-588-6965