Training Requirements

For Candidates who Began Training on or after July 1, 2013

All post-graduate training described must be acquired as a resident in a neurological surgery training program or programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). It must be under the ultimate direction and control of the resident’s neurosurgery Program Director.

Eighty-four months of neurosurgical residency training in ACGME accredited programs under the direction of a neurosurgical Program Director. This must consist of:

  • 54 months of core clinical neurosurgery, including
    • 12 months as chief resident during the last two years of training (PGY-6 or 7); 21 months must be spent in one program.
    • 3 months of basic neuroscience (e.g., neurology, neuro-otology, neuroradiology, neuropathology) taken in the first 18 months of training.
    • 3 months of critical care relevant to neurosurgery patients taken in the first 18 months of residency.
    • A minimum of six months of structured education in general patient care (e.g.: trauma, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, etc.).
    • 21 months must be spent in one program.
  • 30 months of electives, i.e.: neuropathology, neuroradiology, research, and/or more neurosurgery, possibly in areas of special interest such as complex spine surgery, endovascular, or pediatric neurosurgery, and/or clinical and non-clinical neurosciences.
  • Outside rotations of 6 to 12 months at an ACGME accredited program may be counted towards the core 54 months of neurosurgery training. The program director must request credit from the ABNS prior to the rotation.
  • Credit towards the 30 months of elective time may be requested by a program director for prior educational experiences, such as a PhD degree in a relevant subject, clinical rotations other than fellowships obtained at non-ACGME accredited programs, and neurosurgical training completed outside of the U.S., particularly if the resident is certified in that country. Written requests submitted by the program director to the ABNS must contain a complete description of the experience and justification of the request.
  • The Board will evaluate ACGME case log data as a measure of the breadth of resident experience at the completion of residency training.