Frequently Asked Questions
How many faculty, residents and/or fellows are in the Department of Neurosurgery? How many cases are managed?
There are seven faculty members with distinct sub-specialty interests at the University of Maryland Medical Center who also attend at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. There is one full-time faculty member, whose practice is not supported by residents, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
There are 14 residents in the neurosurgery residency training program. From the start of PGY-1 to the completion of chief residency the program is seven years long. There are no fellows in this program; which is beneficial to our residents because they have full access to all neurosurgical cases, without competition from fellows.
There are approximately 3,000 major adult and pediatric cases available for resident education at the program’s home and affiliated institutions (UMMC, STC, VAMC, Johns Hopkins Pediatric neurosurgery, and Greater Baltimore Medical Center). At Shock Trauma Center, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the assigned residents are autonomous, meaning that there is no direct competition for cases by more senior residents.
What are the PGY-1's assignments?
The PGY-1's spend six months in neurosurgery, during which time they have assignments in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Three months are spent in Neurology and three months are required in General Surgery: transplant, trauma, and VA intensive care or vascular surgery.
How much of a resident's clinical time is related to trauma?
The R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center is physically connected to the University of Maryland Medical Center, providing our residents with intensive trauma training. Residents are assigned to Shock Trauma for a 4 1/2-month rotation during their PGY-3 year. Additionally, PGY-3 residents cover Shock Trauma, as well as VAMC and the Medical Center, during their 6-month night float rotation. The total number of major neurosurgical cases is approximately 400; nearly equally divided between cranial and spine cases. Approximately 1,000 of the 8,000 total admissions require neurosurgical consultation. The neurosurgical resident and the Shock Trauma critical care team share the care of those patients. Trauma has its own ICU and operating rooms; therefore, there is no spill over of acute patients to the Medical Center. Traumatic cases at the Shock Trauma Center are about 10% of the total effort when related to surgical operative cases in the entire program. For more information about the Shock Trauma Center, view their website.
Are there out-of-system assigned clinical rotations?
Yes. PGY-4 residents spend three months at Johns Hopkins Hospital in their pediatric neurosurgical service. Also, PGY-4 residents spend six months at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, a large private hospital located approximately 20 minutes from the downtown campus, focusing primarily on spine cases.
What do the residents do during their 24-month elective experience?
Basic and transitional research is encouraged. The department maintains its own labs for study of central nervous system injury, stroke and trauma at both the cellular and sub-cellular levels. The laboratory is heavily funded from the National Institutes of Health (5 R01's), Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, American Heart Association and private sources.
There is an extensive clinical research effort, focusing primarily on clinical trials of stroke (intracerebral clots), subarachnoid hemorrhage and spine trauma. These efforts are supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and industry grants.
Some residents have had their research experience in other departments at the University of Maryland or at the National Institutes of Health.
Residents have also used this time for clinical experiences, particularly in pediatric neurosurgery, endovascular surgery, interventional radiology, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and complex spine surgery.
What do the graduating residents do after completing the program?
This varies. Residents go on to academic positions, private practice, or work in university settings. Residents also transition to other fellowships, particularly in pediatric neurosurgery, complex spine and neurovascular surgery. A resident graduating in June of 2007 did an endovascular fellowship, a 2010 graduate transitioned into a spine fellowship opportunity in New York, and a 2011 graduate went directly into practice at a large healthcare system in Texas.
How can I learn more about the program?
Students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and off-site medical schools are welcome to participate in a sub-internship in neurosurgery or Neurotrauma elective; which are both four weeks in duration. If interested, contact the Office of Student Affairs. If additional information is requested, please feel free to contact the academic coordinator via email or phone.