Educational Objectives

Core Competencies

The residency program requires its residents to obtain competencies in the six areas listed below to the level expected of a new practitioner. Toward this end, the program defines the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes required, while providing educational experiences as needed in order for their residents to demonstrate: 

  1. Patient Care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and promotion of health. 
  2. Medical Knowledge concerning established and evolving biomedical, clinical and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care. 
  3. Practice-Based Learning and improvement that involves investigation and evaluation of their own patient care, appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence and improvements in patient care. 
  4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, families and other healthcare professionals. 
  5. Professionalism as manifested through a commitment to carry out work-related responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to a diverse patient population. 
  6. Systems-Based Practice through actions that demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context and system of healthcare and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.

Education & Research

The Emory University Neurosurgery Residency Training Program offers comprehensive, diverse and intense training in clinical neurosurgery and related disciplines and provides research training and opportunities for academic development and scholarship.  In addition to the general requirements, the program recognizes the interest of trainees who wish to develop subspecialty clinical and academic/research training.  These subspecialty areas include: brain tumor, functional, neurocritical care, pediatrics, pituitary, spine and stroke/cerebrovascular.

This initiative to provide defined curricula and training opportunities in subspecialty areas was conceptualized by the Residency Program Director and created by the faculty in response to the trends in residency training and the needs of the specialty and workforce opportunities.  They are unique Academic/Development/Research Tracks, but all follow a similar template of coursework, scientific meetings, seminars/webinars, laboratory training, focused clinical exposure, grant support and mentorship. 

Some of our research involves primates, housed and supported through the auspices of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, an affiliate institution of Emory University. Residents may attend the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Neuropathology Course held in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Review and Update in Neurobiology Course at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Additionally, residents learn to write scientific manuscripts and are strongly encouraged to present their papers at national meetings.

Research Grant

Effective March 1, 2009, Emory University is the recipient of a Research Education (R25) grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This competitive award was initiated to boost the pipeline of clinician-investigators in neurology and neurosurgery and address the long-term trend of declining numbers of residents choosing these academic careers. The Principal Investigators are Nelson Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS (Neurosurgery) and Krish Sathian, MD, PhD (Neurology).

The grant allows a research education experience to one Neurology and one Neurosurgery resident each year, to be complemented by a continuation of the participants’ research education during subsequent fellowship training. Participants are selected for their research promise.

A key component of the research education will be mentored laboratory or clinical research under the supervision of an experienced mentor. The participants will also have the benefit of a mentor team comprising one-to-two members in addition to the primary mentor, and close supervision by the PIs. At least one member of the mentor team will be a clinician-investigator. The participants will also be able to take advantage of additional educational resources, including courses in research design and analysis, grant-writing and research ethics, and elective courses tailored to their specific needs. At the completion of training, it is anticipated that the participants will be competitive for career development awards such as an NIH K award, and thus accomplish the goal of fostering the development of clinician-investigators in neuroscience. 

Scholarship Activity

For all PGY2-7 residents, a mandatory requirement for scholarship activity is defined as at least one publication-ready paper per year. The paper may take the form of a case report, book chapter, original clinical or basic science paper, review or meta-analysis.

In-Service Exams

Residents are required to take the written examination of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) for self-examination during years two and three, and for credit during years four or five. Residents must pass this examination prior to commencing their chief year.

Semi-annual oral exams are administered in a similar format to the ABNS oral exams.

SANS Wired, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ online self-assessment testing module, is completed semi-annually by all residents.