Program Overview


Rotations assigned during the residency program ensure focused, well-balanced neurosurgical learning opportunities. This educational atmosphere promotes the development of residents capable of providing high quality, state-of-the-art neurosurgical care. Residents who complete the program have the research and teaching credentials to enter private or academic practices.


The PGY1 year provides a strong foundation for the following years in the neurosurgical residency program. Interns spend three months gaining general surgical experience (e.g. trauma, orthopedics). Six months are spent on the adult neurosurgical inpatient service caring for patients and learning basic operative techniques. An additional three months are spent on clinical neurosciences (includes neurology, neuropathology, and neuroradiology).


During their PGY2 – 4 years, residents work with various neurosurgical faculty and take in-house call performing inpatient consultation and emergency evaluation. Each resident spends several months on a clinical adult neurosurgery rotation at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital which gradually advances the resident’s perioperative and intraoperative technical skills. Three months are devoted to neurocritical care. Each resident also spends several months as the clinical pediatric neurosurgery resident at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The resident performs inpatient and outpatient care activities including participation in pediatric neurosurgical procedures. Elective rotations also provide the opportunity for the resident to gain additional clinical and surgical exposure (e.g. endovascular, stereotactic radiosurgery). Residents also typically complete the written board requirement during this time.


The fifth year of the residency program is devoted to basic and clinical research. This year offers the opportunity for the resident to develop experience in fundamental research methods and practices and acquire practical hands-on experience in the laboratory. This year is often spent conducting laboratory research with department faculty based at the Neuroscience Research Laboratories. It is anticipated that the resident’s clinical research experience will extend outside of this focused year over the entire duration of the residency program.


The sixth year of the program is based at the Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center on the Clinical Neurosurgery Service where the PGY-6 resident functions as the Chief Resident of the VA service. The resident performs inpatient and outpatient consultations and patient care as well as surgical procedures with increasing levels of responsibility. The final year of the training program is based at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital as the Chief Resident. The Chief Resident further develops advanced patient management skills, including advanced surgical technical skills. This year permits an increased level of independence under the supervision of the neurosurgery faculty. The Chief Resident assumes additional responsibilities as the administrative officer for the resident staff and coordination of day-to-day schedules and conference proceedings.