Neurological Surgery Residency Program
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.
PGY1 Neurosurgical Junior Resident
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).
PGY2-4 Neurosurgical Intermediate Resident
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 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.
PGY5 Neurosurgical Senior Resident
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.
PGY6-7 Neurosurgical Senior/Chief Resident
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 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.
Rounds, weekly teaching conferences and other educational activities allow residents and neurological surgery faculty to work as a team. The material presented at these conferences provides residents with current information directly applicable to neurosurgical patient issues.
Rounds are conducted twice a day, in the morning and late afternoon, after operative cases are completed. During rounds, team members are updated on each patient’s status. The attending physician is present and provides further education and medical expertise.
Epilepsy Conference convenes every Tuesday at 8:00 am and brings together pediatric and adult surgical and medical epileptologists.
Neurosurgery Grand Rounds are held every Friday at 7:00 am (first Friday is Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Conference). This series consists of presentations by neurosurgery faculty, fellows, residents, and visiting professors on a variety of neuroscience topics.
Journal Club is held every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm. This conference is coordinated by Christopher Wolfla, MD, to provide critical review of literature related to the care and evaluation of patients with neurosurgical disorders.
Neuroscience Lecture Series
Neuroscience Lecture Series is held every Wednesday at 7:30 am. William Cullinan, PhD, teaches this series. It utilizes a didactic lecture-type format of topics in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology for neurosurgery residents and faculty.
Neurovascular Case Conference
Neurovascular Case Conference is held every Thursday at 4:00 pm. Interesting neurovascular cases are reviewed and discussed by residents, fellows and faculty.
Neuro-Oncology Tumor Board
Tumor Board is held every Wednesday at 7:00 am and consists of interdisciplinary case discussions and treatment planning for patients with brain tumors. Neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, and radiation oncologists participate in the Neuro-Oncology Conference. A separate Pediatric Neuro-Oncology tumor board is held every Wednesday at 12:00 pm, offering the same interdisciplinary interaction for the pediatric patients.
Spine Tumor Board
Spine Tumor Board is held monthly on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm in lieu of Journal Club. The conference consists of interdisciplinary case discussions and treatment planning for patients with spine tumors. Neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, and radiation oncologists participate in the Spine Tumor Board Conference.
Morbidity and Mortality Conference
The Pediatric or Adult Morbidity and Mortality Conference is held the fourth Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm. Faculty and residents review each death and complication the preceding month. Interesting cases are discussed in depth.
Neurosurgery Case Conference
The Neurosurgery Case Conference is held on the first Tuesday of every month at 5:00 pm. Residents identify interesting neurosurgical cases to be reviewed and discussed by residents, fellows, and faculty.
Neurosurgery Clinicopathological Conference
Neurosurgery Clinicopathological Conference is held on the fourth Friday of every month at 7:00 am. This is a multidisciplinary conference that incorporates neuroradiology and neuropathology to review interesting neurosurgical cases.
There are several other conference sessions that may be of interest to the neurosurgical resident including Neurology and Surgery Grand Rounds, Cerebrovascular, Neuro-ophthalmology, and Neuropathology Case Conferences. Residents may attend, as they are available.
Read about our department's history, facts, statistics, and operative and clinical practices.
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Department of Neurosurgery offers a residency training program that anticipates life-long learning by providing a strong foundation of clinical and research experiences. The residency program is seven years in length and accepts one or two residents each year.
- Our program receives information about applicants from the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
- The residency positions are filled through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
- Individuals interested in applying to our residency program need to register with both ERAS and NRMP.
Application Review & Interview Information
Our program begins to review applications in September and issues invitations to applicants we would like to interview. There are three to four interview dates over the course of the winter. The interview day includes a morning interview session, followed by lunch, and a tour of the facilities. Applicants are also invited to attend a dinner with our residents the evening before they interview.
Additional Information for International Medical Graduates (IMGS)
The residency program is open to international medical graduates. Fluent conversational and written English is required. Prior US experience in the form of clinical training or an advanced degree from a US institution is desirable but not required, and is considered in the context of the rest of the application. Observerships and externships are not relevant. Preference may be granted to applicants that are not more than 5 years from medical school. A clinical skills assessment may also be required.
The Medical College of Wisconsin may sponsor H-1B visas for residents. Additional Visa information.
The Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals offers its housestaff a comprehensive benefits package.
Outpatient & Inpatient Facilities
9200 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Milwaukee VA Medical Center
5000 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53295
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
8915 W. Connell Ct.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
The Medical College of Wisconsin is located on the western edge of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Care for neurosurgery patients is provided at Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
Medical College of Wisconsin
Hub for Collaborative Medicine
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226