Neurosurgery Residency | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Neurosurgery Education Neurosurgery Residency

Neurosurgery Residency

David H. Harter - Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program

David H. Harter, MD

Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program

The Department of Neurosurgery’s residency program is a seven-year program designed to provide residents with increasing clinical and surgical responsibility over the course of training. Our aim is to prepare graduates for an academic neurosurgical career, a high-quality practice in the private sector, or subspecialty fellowship training.

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome to the Department of Neurosurgery’s residency program at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Our goal is to train motivated, confident, and technically skilled surgeons—the future leaders in neurological surgery. The program has a rich tradition of helping shape such individuals: Our graduates are not only practiced in the technical aspects of this demanding specialty, but also embrace the humanistic side of neurosurgery and enjoy the collegiality of their peers. The department encourages innovation and discovery and has resources for study design and implementation, including Technology Opportunities and Ventures, which facilitates patent filing and commercialization. More than 90 percent of our alumni have become faculty members in neurosurgery departments, many in leadership positions at elite academic institutions across the United States.

Our intellectually curious and self-motivated residents receive both formal and informal mentoring from experienced and nationally prominent role models. Residents train in the basic neuroscience laboratories in the Department of Neurosurgery and other departments on campus. Clinical mini-fellowships provide trainees with the specialized, state-of-the art clinical skills sought by academic departments.

Our full-time neurosurgical faculty, unsurpassed in its depth of clinical experience in every subspecialty area, consists of 18 neurosurgeons and 3 research faculty members, all dedicated to training our residents. Faculty members are deeply involved in state, national, and international neurosurgical organizations in leadership roles, including the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the New York State Neurosurgical Society, the Society of Neurological Surgeons, and the North American Skull Base Society.

The department is organized into subspecialty teams, with each individual faculty member focused on a specific area of clinical and research expertise. These areas include vascular/endovascular neurosurgery, tumor and skull base neurosurgery, complex reconstructive and minimally invasive spinal surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, neuromodulation, peripheral nerve surgery, adult and pediatric epilepsy surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and neurotrauma. Affiliated faculty members from other departments at NYU Langone also participate in resident teaching of endovascular neurosurgery (interventional neuroradiology), skull base surgery (neurotology), and neuro-oncology.

Focused rotations provide in-depth clinical experience in all areas of neurosurgery. During rotations, residents treat patients at the initial clinic evaluation and follow them through the treatment and postoperative portions of their care. These experiences, combined with our commitment to each individual trainee, produce neurosurgeons who have a deep and thorough understanding of our field’s aspects and possibilities.

Just as important, our high volume of patients, extensive surgical facilities, and diverse clinical settings afford our residents unique opportunities to gain hands-on surgical experience in all of these subspecialty areas, beginning on the first day of their residencies. Our department recruits 2 to 3 residents per year, and performs more than 4,000 major neurosurgical procedures annually across our 3 participating institutions. Over the course of the seven-year residency, trainees are given increasing levels of responsibility in patient evaluation, management, and surgery as they rotate through the various services at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital, Kimmel Pavilion, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and the Manhattan campus of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System.

When our residents perform or assist in surgical procedures, they have access to some of the world’s most sophisticated facilities and equipment. At NYU Langone’s facilities in Manhattan, there are five fully equipped neurosurgical operating suites, with the capability of obtaining additional rooms as necessary. There is also a state-of-the-art dedicated combined operating room (OR)/angiography suite, in addition to the existing two-room digital neuroangiography suite available to neurosurgery.

In addition, Kimmel Pavilion includes a dedicated neurosurgical operating facility containing eight ORs—including two with intraoperative MRI capabilities, and two dedicated combined OR/angiography suites—that comprise the entire second floor of the building. This cutting-edge facility also includes a neurological intensive care unit, neurological care step-down units, and patient rooms, as well as Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital—34th Street, which has a dedicated pediatric neurosurgical space.

NYU Langone’s Center for Advanced Radiosurgery houses a Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon, and is a center for education and collaborative research. Close cooperation with industry affords faculty and residents the opportunity to evaluate new technology as it is developed. Examples include advanced imaging interfaces and multimaterial three-dimensional modeling for surgical planning.

The department has been chosen as one of the initial areas for high-reliability organization training. Our residents are involved in patient safety initiatives and improvement projects, which have allowed NYU Langone and its clinical neurosciences programs to receive consistent recognition from outside organizations such as U.S. News & World Report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Vizient, Inc.

The Department of Neurosurgery is committed to training future thought leaders in neurosurgery. Throughout training, residents begin the process of lifelong learning and recognize that the practice of neurosurgery, as with all fields of medicine, requires this level of personal and professional commitment. For the same reason, a significant participation in neurosurgical research—including an entire year dedicated to an elective research effort—is a key element of our program. Strong emphasis is also placed on supporting residents in their career goals, which vary from individual to individual. Many of our residents have gone on to productive academic careers, while others have become high-level practitioners in the community setting.

Whatever path our residents choose, our emphasis is on service to the public and value to each individual patient. Above all, NYU Langone’s neurosurgery residents learn how to interact with patients and families in a compassionate and humanistic way. They also learn that patient care is a team effort, in which each member of the team is equally important in attaining the best patient outcomes. The team includes nurses, nurse practitioners, operating room personnel, social workers, case managers, consultant physicians, house staff from other services, fellow neurosurgical residents, medical students, and the residents’ attending neurosurgeons. High-quality patient care can never be accomplished by someone working solo.

Our residents, and everyone in the Department of Neurosurgery, understand that the patient always comes first—and that fulfilling this responsibility requires extraordinary teamwork and commitment.