Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the most valuable asset of the Neurosurgery Residency Program at NYU Langone Medical Center?
The NYU Langone program is one of the best in the country because it offers residents an extremely well-rounded education in all areas of neurosurgery and related fields. Our program has at least two attending physicians with active practices in every field of neurosurgery: tumor, spine, vascular, pediatrics, neuromodulation, stereotactic, peripheral nerve surgery, and radiosurgery. The large volume of cases seen in each of these fields during our residency training provides our residents with a vast understanding of the options that neurosurgery offers as a career. This, combined with the fact that residents spend approximately one-fourth of their training studying neuroradiology, neurointerventional medicine, neuropathology and other related fields, allows each resident to actively shape his or her own neurosurgical education.
- Do I have to do a medical student clerkship at NYU Langone to be considered for a residency spot?
No. Most of our current residents never did a clerkship at NYU Langone when they were medical students. However, a short clerkship will give medical students an idea what neurosurgery residency training is like, and indeed whether neurosurgery is an appropriate career choice.
- Do I have to be an NYU medical student to be accepted for a residency spot?
Absolutely not. We accept residents based on intellectual excellence and reports of personal characteristics such as motivation and drive, and their ability to interact in a positive fashion with peers and patients-qualities that help to predict a successful career as a neurosurgeon.
- Am I going to be so tired taking call and caring for patients that I won't be able to read or spend time with my family?
Residency responsibilities have changed dramatically in recent years. Our goal has been to delegate those tasks that have no educational value to personnel other than neurosurgical residents. At NYU Langone Medical Center, during the day and evening shifts, five or more nurse-practitioners answer all routine calls, discharge patients, do preoperative evaluations, and gather all laboratory results and imaging studies in preparation for rounds. At night, a physician assistant takes calls, allowing the on-call resident to sleep except for emergencies. At Bellevue and the VA Hospital, off-service residents from general surgery or emergency medicine rotate in the call schedule. We comply with New York State law and the ACGME rules that mandate the frequency of on-call time and stipulate a maximum of 80 work hours per week. In general, junior residents take in-hospital call one in four or five nights. Chief residents at Bellevue and the VA Hospital and senior residents at NYU Langone take call from home.
- Will I get enough surgical experience during my residency?
Yes. This is a strength of our training program. All neurosurgery at Bellevue Hospital and the VA Hospital is performed by residents of the department. During the final year of training, the chief resident will have primary surgical responsibility for over 300 operations at these hospitals. Junior residents will perform procedures under the direction of the chief resident. At NYU Langone Medical Center, junior and senior residents will assist faculty in the operating room and perform portions of surgical procedures consistent with their abilities and level of training.
- Is there a protected conference day?
Yes. Friday is our protected conference day, when residents have time to concentrate on conferences and catch up on administrative and research responsibilities. These conferences provide an invaluable opportunity to learn from the faculty as well as from other residents.
- When do junior residents get to operate?
On the first day of their first neurosurgical year. There are so many cases at NYU Langone that even junior residents and medical students scrub alone with an attending. To allow this, nurse practitioners and physician assistants do most of the ward work during the day. Junior residents, however, must see all inpatient and emergency room consults, and be available to perform bedside procedures such as ventriculostomies, ICP monitors, and lumbar drains.
- Is the neighborhood around NYU Langone Medical Center safe?
In general, New York City is now the safest large city in the United States. The area surrounding the Medical Center is very safe with a crime rate below the average for the rest of Manhattan. It has always been safe to walk home alone at night.
- Can I afford to live in New York and find housing on a resident's salary?
Most of our residents are able to afford a lively social life and enjoy the cultural advantages of New York. Of our current residents, half are married and a few have children. Both single and married residents have been able to find affordable housing in Manhattan near NYU Langone. There is housing available at below market rates for house staff and faculty in the Skirball Building and across the street from the hospital in Greenberg Hall. You can add your name to a waiting list once you’re matched in the program, and are likely to obtain Medical Center housing at the start of your PGY 1 year. The Medical Center also has a housing office that helps house staff find affordable housing. For those who are willing to commute, many residents, both past and present, have lived in northern Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. For this, a car may be needed, and free M.D. parking is available on the street without the need for M.D. plates (displaying a copy of your ID in the windshield is sufficient). Finally, simply speaking to residents in the program, particularly those graduating, is also a very good resource for finding a place to live.
For information about NYU Langone’s housing options for residents, click here.