Over the last several years, with the re-invigoration and growth of the Department, there has been a concerted effort on the part of the Chair and the Program Director, Dr. Howard Silberstein, to restructure and expand the didactic curriculum. This has lead to the designation of Friday as the Resident Academic Day each week. Throughout the morning, different rotating conferences are scheduled, and attendance for residents and faculty is mandatory. Major topics include:
- Clinical lectures by neurosurgery faculty on topics of interest, including the "Indications" describing the favored approach to patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment (surgical or otherwise) of different neurosurgical conditions.
- Translational research conferences to review a topic of basic science research with direct translational relevance.
- Neuropathology case conferences to review notable neuropathological cases from the past month's citywide neurosurgical service (important teaching points for the written Boards).
- Neuroradiology/Neuropathology unknowns: an opportunity for "Socratic" learning of two topics commonly encountered on the written Boards.
- Clinical neuroanatomy, including hands-on cadaver dissection focusing on peripheral nerves and skull base approaches.
- Our newly renovated neurosurgical skills lab enables both proctored dissections and 24/7 access for resident self-study.
- Manual practice helps teach anatomic relationships and dexterous use of instruments.
- Lab equipment includes operative microscope, endoscope, surgical drills, radiolucent tables, C-arm X-ray, Mayfield head fixation, wall suction, and a collection of surgical instruments.
- Cranial microanatomy is studied using vessel-injected cadaveric specimen.
- Resident clinical lectures, focused on neurosurgery "fundamentals", that allow a resident to delve in depth into a topic and to develop a review resource for all residents in preparation for the Boards (presentations are archived and maintained on a central server).
- Combined Neurosurgery/Neuromedicine ICU conference. The Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuromedicine ICU review new initiatives and successes in the management of stroke, endovascular, ICH, SAH and TBI disorders. This is an opportunity for the Department, and the residents, to interact and engage in case review and didactic sessions.
The Department sponsors a number of different visiting professors throughout the year. This is a chance for our residents to interact with neurosurgeons of national stature outside of the department, giving them fresh knowledge and perspectives gained from decades of surgical experience and thoughtful inquisition. It is also an opportunity to interact with "big names" socially, at sporting events and dinners scheduled while our visitors are in town.