AHN Neurosurgery Residency Program

Medical Students

If you're a medical student interested in our Neurosurgery Medical Student Program, please click here for more information.

AHN Neurosurgery Residency Program description

Welcome to the AHN Neurosurgery Residency website!

As a resident at AHN, you will be exposed to a wide variety of learning opportunities during your residency including clinical and didactic instruction as well as surgical exposure and training. A core group of faculty, fellowship trained
in specialty areas of neurosurgery who are genuinely interested and engaged in
teaching, will instruct and guide you as you develop and strengthen your clinical acumen in a collegial fashion while building and enhancing your surgical techniques. By the end of your residency, you will have established a strong and solid foundation of neurosurgery through which you will be readily prepared to practice neurosurgery - competently and independently.

An organized faculty and resident driven curriculum highlights information essential in caring for neurosurgical patients as well as for passing the ABNS Primary Examination. The AHN Written Board Review Series and the Myers Board Preparatory Sessions provide a structured approach to studying high yield material. The curriculum, inspired by the ACGME core competencies, focuses also on practical physician development topics including professionalism, ethics, diversity, and socioeconomics. The AHN Neurosurgical Resident Research Council will teach you the key concepts and principles of research though one-on-one meetings with scientists and core faculty. Lecture series and workshops and will help you develop your personal research interests early in your training and provide you with the tools and foundation to be productive and enable you to meet your personal research goals. As your fundamental knowledge of neurosurgery deepens, your surgical skills will be augmented via a curriculum focused cadaveric dissection BIOSKILLS laboratory sessions as well as
opportunities for independent cadaveric dissection in our Center for the Surgical Arts. A myriad of AHN sponsored courses are also available to supplant your education as well as build your personal network of connections with surgical colleagues nationally and internationally.

You will be introduced to the field of neurosurgery as a PGY 1 through a “buddy system” where you will be exposed to the duties of a neurosurgical resident under the direct supervision of a senior resident for all aspects of patient care including bedside procedures and call.  During this first year, you will also be introduced to other surgical subspecialties to teach you basic surgical techniques, critical care, and patient management skills to develop your clinical acumen. By PGY 2, you will be able to function independently in taking care of neurosurgical floor and ICU patients under the supervision of senior residents and faculty. During PGY 3, you will be exposed to various neurosurgical specialties as well as electives pertinent to neurosurgery. PGY 4 and 5 are surgically concentrated.  During PGY 5, you will rotate through Forbes Regional Hospital, part of the AHN system, which will prepare you for your ensuing role as Chief Resident as a sixth year resident. During PGY 7, you may elect to complete an enfolded CAST fellowship, an elective fellowship, a focused research year, or a “transition to practice” year.

Policies and procedures to which residents must adhere to include those of the AHN Department of Neurosurgery and those of the AHN Graduate Medical Education (GME) Office.

For more information, please explore the information on this site. We sincerely thank you for your interest in the AHN Neurosurgery Residency program.

Image of the neurosurgery residents

AHN Neurosurgery Residency Program year and rotations

See below for breakdown of individual rotations as they occur by each post-graduate year. A brief description of the rotations follow PGY listings.


  • Plastic Surgery - 1 month
  • Trauma ICU - 1 month
  • Emergency Department - 1 month
  • Neurology - 2 months
  • Introduction to Neuro-Critical Care - 1 month
  • Neurosurgery - 6 months


  • Neurosurgery/Neuro-Critical Care - 12 months


  • Pediatric Neurosurgery - 4 months
  • Endovascular Neurosurgery – 4 months
  • Neurosurgical Electives – 2 months
    • Neuroradiology
    • Stereotactic Radiosurgery
    • Neuropathology 
  • Neurosurgery - 2 months


  • Neurosurgery - 12 months


  • Forbes Neurosurgery – 6 months
  • Neurosurgery – 6 months

PGY 6 

  • Chief Year

PGY 7 (one of the following)

  • Elective Year
    • Research
    • Enfolded CAST Fellowship
    • Elective Fellowship
    • Transition to Practice

Emergency Medicine (EM)

The goal of this rotation is to become familiar with the initial assessment and management of patients in the acute setting. This rotation is helpful in not only basic clinical knowledge but also will aid in preparing for the USMLE - Step 3 Examination.

Endovascular Neurosurgery

This rotation is a 4 month, protected rotation, on the neuro-endovascular service, during which the resident will perform all neuro-endovascular procedures, learn to manage variety of vascular pathologies, and take stroke call.

Forbes Neurosurgery

For 6 months during PGY 5, resident will act as a junior attending at Forbes Regional Hospital, a level 2 trauma center part of the AHN system. The operative experience of the rotation focuses on complex spine and adult deformity as well as general neurosurgery. 


During PGY 1, the neurosurgery resident will spend 2 months on the neurology service, including the Comprehensive Epilepsy and Comprehensive Stroke services; attend all neurosciences didactic conferences, including subspecialty program conferences. Goals and objectives for this rotation are for the resident to be provided with the opportunity to learn all aspects of evaluating, diagnosing and managing of patients with neurologic diseases.


Goals and objectives of this rotation are that the resident understands the basic pathological features and pathological processes of common disorders of the nervous system. This training will help the trainee to pass the board exam and to offer better patient care by understanding neuropathology.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Goals and objectives are for the resident to acquire requisite background information to understand the indications for and the various techniques used to perform radiosurgery, as well as directly aiding in planning and execution of stereotactic radiosurgery.


Goals and objectives for this rotation are that the resident will become thoroughly familiar with all aspects of neuroradiology, including myelography/CT, angiography/CT, MRI, and neurointerventional procedures.

Pediatric Neurosurgery

During PGY 3, the neurosurgery resident will rotate 4 months at UPMC Children’s Hospital; attend all required pediatric conferences; take call as scheduled by the pediatric chief resident; and participate in outpatient clinics and inpatient consultations.

Goals and objectives of the rotation are to provide an educational pediatric neurosurgery experience in patient care activities. The resident will gain knowledge in the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and presentation of diseases in children that a neurosurgeon may be called upon to diagnose and treat.

Plastic Surgery (PS)

The primary function of this rotation is to learn management of complex wounds and proper surgical techniques. The rotation consists of heavy operative days as well as management of plastic surgery consult and floor patients.

Trauma ICU (TICU)

The goals and objectives of the Trauma ICU rotation are to learn comprehensive management of trauma patients, including coordinating care of patients with head and neck, chest, abdomen, and extremity injuries and treatment plans for severe soft tissue and pulmonary infections, respiratory failure, hemodynamic instability, renal failure and major bleeding.

Introduction to Neuro-Critical Care

During the PGY 1 year, the neurosurgical residents will be scheduled for an initial “Intro to Neuro-Critical Care” rotation in the Neuro ICU. This rotation will be an initial exposure to the basic foundations necessary for management of the critically ill patients in the NICU setting including the basic principles of critical care medicine, neurology, neuroanatomy, neurosurgery, and neuro-interventional radiology with direct supervision available at all times.

AHN Neurosurgery Residency Program block rotation schedule

AHN Neurosurgical Residency Program academic monthly calendar

Academic Week

Tuesday Mornings - 6:30am - 8:00am
Wednesday Mornings - 6:45am - Noon


Tuesday Mornings

1st Tuesday

  • NSG Resident Research Council (6:30am - 8:30am)

2nd Tuesday

  • Compliance / Well Being (6:30am - 8:30am)

3rd Tuesday

  • Written Board Review Series (7:00am - 8:00am)

4th Tuesday

  • Written Board Review Series (7:00am - 8:00am)

Wednesday Mornings

Every Wednesday

  • NSG Internal Conference (6:45am - 7:20am)
  • Neuroscience Institute Grand Rounds (7:30am - 8:30am)                  
  • Myers Board Prep (8:30am - 9:30am)          

1st Wednesday

  • Neurosurgical Lecture Series (9:30am - 10:30am)
  • Neurosurgical In-services (10:30am - Noon)

2nd Wednesday

3rd Wednesday

  • Neurosurgical Lecture Series (9:30am - 11:30am)

4th Wednesday

5th Wednesday

  • Neurosurgical Lecture Series (9:30am - 10:30am)
  • Neurosurgical In-services (10:30am - Noon)