UVA Neurosurgery Residency Program Overview

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UVA Neurosurgery Residency Program Overview

The department places great emphasis on residency training and each faculty member considers training a priority. Since 1969, the program has trained 60+ neurosurgeons, 16 of whom now chair their own departments of neurosurgery at some of America's finest academic institutions.

The department offers comprehensive neurosurgical training in all subspecialties.  In the clinical area, resident training emphasizes patient selection, operative technique and peri-operative management, skills that lead to optimal patient care and surgical outcomes.   The residents have extensive contact with each faculty member and are intimately involved in surgical management and each patient care decision.

UVA Health System, donors, and the departments of Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology have partnered to open a $2M+ state-of-the-art Microsurgical Anatomy Laboratory and Training Facility. This facility provides the means to educate medical students, residents, fellows, faculty and visiting health professionals on microsurgical anatomy, to encourage safe and precise surgical practice, and ultimately to improve the care of patients undergoing head, neck and spine procedures.  In addition to everyday training of our residents and health professionals, it will also host national and international courses and symposia focusing on microsurgical anatomy, to stimulate research and innovation to develop new surgical approaches and techniques. The facility has 16 student workstations for endoscopic and craniotomy approaches, 5 temporal bone stations, 2 master teaching stations, and an interactive video system with integration between all workstations, an auditorium, and off-site locations.  This facility is unique in its integration with:

  • The partnering of top doctors from the two sponsor departments and many other top specialists at UVA.
  • UVA’s endoscopic pituitary surgery program, the most prolific in the world.
  • UVA’s highly-regarded Gamma Knife and radiosurgery programs.
  • America’s second installation of a combined biplane intraoperative MRI/angiography unit.
  • UVA’s Focused Ultrasound Center, the first in the world treating patients intracranially.
  • Our highly-attended multi-disciplinary tumor boards.

Because of our unique catchment area, the volume of surgical cases is robust and each resident can expect to be involved as the primary resident in over 400 cases each year on the clinical service.  For those not in the NIH program, there is a one year international medicine rotation in New Zealand, which provides a unique and unparalleled training experience, greatly enjoyed by each resident who has completed the program.

Academic expectations include a continually expanding fund of knowledge regarding Neurosurgery and the neurosciences, design and completion of individualized clinical/laboratory investigation, accurate data collection and analysis, and publication on presentation of results.  Some of our residents are part of the joint NIH-UVA Neurosurgical Residency Program, a program which has the goal of training and educating future academic neurosurgical leaders with the ability to perform world-class neuroscience research.  For those not in the NIH program, there are two laboratory years that are largely protected from clinical responsibilities.   The department is pursuing much translational research in the areas of traumatic brain injury, focused ultrasound, radiosurgery, neurovascular, spine, movement disorders, epilepsy, and neuro-oncology.  Learn more about our research areas here, and read here about individualized research projects our current resents have been able to pursue in our robust research environment.

Our residents frequently publish articles in peer-reviewed journals, present at scientific meetings, and achieve funding/awards for academic projects.  Recent statistics show that over the last decade, UVA residents have averaged 7 first or senior authored publications during residency, third highest among all neurosurgery programs, and the department had the highest h-index (number of times our publications were cited by others) of all neurosurgery departments.

For many years, we have had 75% of first year residents pass their written neurosurgery boards on their first attempt, we have been one of the programs noted for having residents achieve top 10 written board scores, and all finished residents have passed their oral board examinations on the first attempt.

Graduates of the 7-year residency program maintain close contact with each other and constitute a powerful and broad network of successful neurosurgeons always available for advice and help in developing your neurosurgical career.

Because of the importance of the residency program, we prefer that an applicant have spent at least some time with the current residents on the clinical service. Some controversy seems to surround this, but we take a common sense approach to the matter, and qualified applicants unable to complete a formal rotation with genuine interest in the program are invited to contact Dr. Jane to discuss other arrangements for interviewing.

Thank you for your interest in the training program. We encourage anyone interested to visit at their convenience. Contact Karen Heuer at 434-982-3244 or kes4a@virginia.edu for more information about the program or to schedule an interview or visit.

Updates:  All applications to the program must be submitted through ERAS/NRMP to include your transcript, photograph, 2 letters of recommendation, personal statement, USMLE transcript, and curriculum vitae.  NS-1 is now a categorical year of training under the direction of the neurosurgery department.  Students do not need to match and interview separately with General Surgery for the NS-1 year.

Bond, Aaron
Buell, Thomas
Burke, Rebecca
Chen, Jared
Christiansen, Peter
Dallapiazza, Robert2011-12 Residents
Ding, Dale
Ho, Winson(NIH)
Ksendzovsky, Alexander(NIH)
Maggio, Dominic(NIH)
Mehta, Gautam(NIH)
Nguyen, James
Raper, Daniel
Savage, Jesse(co-chief)
Schmitt, Paul
Shepard, Matthew
Starke, Robert
Taylor, Davis
Wang, Tony
Weintraub, David(NIH)
Williams, Brian(co-chief)
Yen, Chun Po(co-chief)

Ailon, Tamir - Spine
Cohen-Inbar, Or - Radiosurgery
Darwish, Houssein - Neuroendocrine