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Neurosurgery Facts, Figures, and Links

Discussion in 'Neurosurgery' started by mpp, Dec 12, 2004.

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  1. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Match Statistics

    2006 Match
    registered 342
    cas participants 310
    rank lists + W/D 255
    ranked 223
    matched 170
    ..US seniors 151
    ..US grads 6
    ..IMG 13
    Unmatched 67
    Positions offered 171
    filled 170
    left 1
    avg step 1 matched 236
    unmatched 215
    % matched AOA 22%
    avg apps 38
    avg offers 4.2
    % matched 66%
    % US Seniors matched 83%
    % US Grads matched 33%
    % IMGs matched 33%

    Past Years
    Year / Avg. Step 1 / U.S. Seniors Matched
    2006 / 234 / 88%
    2005 / 235 / 85%
    2004 / 235 / 79%
    2003 / 234 / 85%
    2002 / 230 / 85%
    2001 / 227 / 93%
    2000 / 232 / 79%
    1999 / 226 / 85%
    1998 / 226 / 71%

    Resident Statistics (2004)
    Total programs:95
    Total neurosurgery residents in training: 828 (0.1% of all residents in the U.S.)
    100 are women (12%)
    748 are U.S. allopathic graduates (90.3%)
    70 are IMGs (8.5%)
    9 are Candian graduates (1.1%)
    1 is a D.O. (0.1%)
    Source: JAMA, September 7, 2005—Vol 294, No. 9
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    What is Neurological Surgery?

    Neurological surgery or "Neurosurgery" is the surgical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with injury to, and diseases of, the brain, spine, or peripheral nerves. As more than just "brain surgeons", neurosurgeons may provide either surgical or non-surgical care for a variety of disorders including:

    Head and spine trauma
    Cerebrovascular disorders, such as aneurysms and clogged arteries
    Chronic back pain
    Birth defects and pediatric disorders
    Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease, tremor, multiple sclerosis and spasticity
    Brain and spine tumors
    What Kinds of Illnesses do Neurological Surgeons Treat?
    Neurosurgeons are more than just brain surgeons. These medical specialists are trained to help patients with head and spine trauma; cerebrovascular disorders, such as aneurysms of the brain and clogged arteries in the neck that can lead to stroke; chronic low back pain; birth defects; brain and spinal tumors; and abnormalities of the peripheral (face, arms, legs, hands and feet) nerves.

    Disorders of the brain, spine and nerves commonly treated by neurosurgeons include:

    Carotid Artery Disease
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Cervical Spine Disorders
    Chronic Pain
    Head Injury
    Herniated Disk
    Intracranial Aneurysm
    Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
    Parkinson's Disease
    Spina Bifida
    Spinal Cord Injury
    Stroke (Brain Attack)
    Trigeminal Neuralgia

    How Are Neurosurgeons Trained?
    After four years of medical school and an internship program, the doctor enters a neurosurgical residency program of five to seven years.

    While in the program, neurosurgical residents are trained in all aspects of neurosurgery, including cerebrovascular, pediatrics, spine, trauma and tumor. The resident program is long and difficult, due to the extreme complexity of the nervous system and the advanced techniques used in neurosurgical operations. Some neurosurgeons opt to do an additional fellowship in a particular area of study following their residency.

    Following residency training and several years in practice, the neurological surgeon may take the American Board of Neurological Surgery examination -- a thorough assessment of the neurosurgeon's skill, judgement and depth of knowledge. The successful completion of this examination will result in board certification.

    While the neurological surgeon has a comprehensive knowledge after medical school and residency training, there are continual changes in this specialty that require ongoing study throughout the neurological surgeon's professional career. Monthly scientific journals, annual meetings, specialized symposia and other educational opportunities help the neurosurgeon keep pace with rapid changes and developments in neurosurgery.

    What is the Role of the Neurosurgeon?
    Neurosurgeons provide the operative and non-operative management (i.e.: prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, critical care and rehabilitation) of neurological disorders. Because neurosurgeons have extensive training in the diagnosis of all neurological diseases, they are often called upon by emergency room doctors, neurologists, internists, family practitioners, and osteopaths for consultations.

    What's New in Neurosurgery?
    Neurosurgeons have been leaders in the incorporation of new technologies into the diagnosis, evaluation, and surgical and non-surgical treatment of patients. Although neurosurgery is by nature a surgical field, many patients suffering from neurological illnesses are undergoing non-surgical or minimally invasive treatments. To that end, the explosion of less invasive surgical equipment and techniques, such as microscopes, lasers and focused radiation, as well as cutting-edge medical tools such as stents, shunts and radiosurgery, are changing the way some neurological disorders are treated. These medical advancements have positioned neurosurgeons on the cutting-edge of technology, enhancing the neurosurgeon's ability to care for patients and making surgery easier on the patient.

    Source: Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  4. Idiopathic

    Idiopathic Newly Minted Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    I initially looked over this stat, but it strikes me as a fairly substantial difference. One would assume that most of the candidates who submit a rank list would be of sufficient caliber to match, and many of us will agree that a Step 1 of 215 is definitely not very competitive. I would have expected the distinction to be 235-230 or something very similar. Im sure that candidates with 240+ often dont match and candidates with scores below 210 do match, which makes the 18 point difference that much more substantial. Anyone care to comment on this?
  5. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    There are a few things to consider...

    The unmatched average Step 1 may include those that registered but did not submit rank lists (i.e., they did not receive interviews) and there is some cutoff (perhaps 217...the national average) for which all programs require a higher score. I doubt that candidates with scores of 240+ don't match very often and only very, very rarely do candidates with scores below 210 match. The other thing to consider is the early match phenomenon....people are just trying for a long-shot in applying to neurosurgery with their 205 Step 1, assured that they can match in something else during the coming regular match (again it isn't reported whether or not this average includes those that did not interview...I am thinking it just might).
  6. Idiopathic

    Idiopathic Newly Minted Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    True, it just struck me as odd.
  7. GobindSingh

    GobindSingh Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2003
    Southeast US
    Based on conversations with my neurosurgery mentor - who's also the PD at our program and selects the residents - your USMLE 1 score is very important. He is constantly stressing to us to have good scores when we apply, he really hasn't stressed anything else.

    I think it would be good advice for anyone serious in NS to strive to be at 240 or above.
  8. Purifyer

    Purifyer Dr. Funk 7+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2001

    US seniors 134
    US grads 4
    IMG 15

    Are those IMGs 'American citizens' or 'non-American citizens' (or both)? Is there any information on the success of non-American citizen IMGs?
  9. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Don't know....
  10. f_w

    f_w 1K Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    > Are those IMGs 'American citizens' or 'non-American citizens'
    > (or both)? Is there any information on the success of non-American
    > citizen IMGs?

    In the NRMP vocabulary, IMG's are all folks who didn't graduate from an LCME school. This is not specified by citizenship. They however put out reports with global statistics for citizenIMG, non-citizenIMG and USGs later on.

    The SFmatch guys are a bit more secretive about their statistics.
  11. nicholonious

    nicholonious Street Performer 7+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2004
    Palo Alto, CA
    MPP: thanks for all the useful links and resourceful information. glad to see neurosurg attracting enough attention to receive a subforum on SDN. Cheers.
  12. neurotic1234

    neurotic1234 New Member

    May 30, 2005

    i'm from india and am in the 3rd year of medical school (we have a total of 4.5 yrs of med school + 1 yr of internship b4 we graduate) ...and i'm planning to apply for residency in neurosurgery in the US in lets say..fall 2009 ! i'd like to begin plannin things from now...and i've heard that its next to impossible for IMGs to get into neurosurgery....
    here r some of my queries...
    1.what all could i possibly do to strengthen my chances?
    2. does being the top of ur class help in any way or is it just a waste of effort?
    3. does research in neurology(not neurosurgery) help?
    4. what about doing research in general surgery?
    5. do any of the med schools in US provide opportunities for international students to gain some US clinical experience during their 3 or 4th year in neurosurgery or surgery? if yes, which of them do?

    what r the realistic chances of makin it to neurosurg for an IMG with a step1 score of say 250-260 and some research (outside US) in surgery...??

    plz advice me!

  13. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    The NSMatch Neurosurgery Board over at gets a bit more traffic than this site-- I would ask your question over there.
  14. espbeliever

    espbeliever Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 8, 2005
    ok guys... bio-enhancements.

    i know there have been some recently, and im sure much more latter on. do you guys (as ns) see this or is it some other specialized area?

    essentially allowing the brain to control and function with communication to computers, etc.


  15. HarveyCushing

    HarveyCushing 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    What is an AOA?
  16. espbeliever

    espbeliever Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 8, 2005
    depends on your reference. could be an honor society or could be the osteopathic society. since you asked this question i would assume you are in neither and likely not in medical school?

    if you are referring to the first post, it is to the osteopathic definition (AOA), which is a separate but legally equal to the AMA medical organization in the usa.
  17. HarveyCushing

    HarveyCushing 7+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2005

    Thanks for the info
  18. MDGalina

    MDGalina galina

    Aug 15, 2005
    What are the basic skills required for becoming a neurosurgeon?
  19. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    No specific set of skills needed except wanting to work long, hard hours.
  20. trkd

    trkd 10+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    San Diego
    MPP, where did you get those stats that you posted about neurosurg? I was looking at the NRMP stats on the scutwork website and their table was saying that there was only 19 spots last year to match into neurosugery, where your stats that you listed say that there was 156 spots offered, and 154 filled. Here is the link to the table I am speaking of:
    Also, what is the difference between registered and ranked? I apologize about my lack of knowledge on this topic.....Thanx for your help.
  21. f_w

    f_w 1K Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    In neurosurgery, most positions are not in the regular match. They are in the 'San Francisco match', just like optho, neurology and plastic surgery. It is a couple of months before the NRMP.
  22. gbenga

    gbenga New Member

    Oct 8, 2005
    Hi Out There,
    I Am A Medical Student In Nigeria Whose Main Interest For A Specialization Lies With A Neurosurgical Residency In The U.s. But Truth To Be Told, I Am Pretty Confused About How To Go About It, Considering The Lack Of Such A Program In My Native Nigeria And The Fact That Universities In The U.s. Who Offer This Speciality Have Not Adequately Educated The Rest Of The World On Their Requirements For Accepting International Students For This Residency, I Would Like To Seek Your Assistance On The Matter. Could You Orientate Me On The Necessary Steps To Be Taken By A Nigerian Interested In A Residency In This Field?
  23. emate

    emate New Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Does anyone know which NS programs admit one resident per year?
  24. nicholonious

    nicholonious Street Performer 7+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2004
    Palo Alto, CA
    I believe UCSF. Check their residency program online.
  25. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Size of Neurosurgery Programs 2005-06 Match

    U Alabama Birmingham - 2
    Barrow NI - 4
    U Arizona - 1
    U Arkansas - 1
    UC Davis - 1
    Loma Linda - 1
    UCLA - 3
    USC - 2
    Cedars Sinai LA - 1
    UC San Diego - 1
    UC San Francisco - 3
    Stanford - 2
    U Colorado - 1
    Yale - 2
    George Washington - 1
    Georgetown - 1
    U Florida - 2
    U Miami - 2
    U South Florida - 2
    Emory - 2
    Medical College of Georgia - 1
    Northwestern - 2
    Rush - 2
    U Chicago - 2
    U Illinois Chicago - 1
    Loyola - 2
    U Illinois Peoria - 1
    Indiania U - 2
    U Iowa - 2
    U Kansas - 1
    U Kentucky - 2
    U Louisville - 1
    LSU New Orleans - 1
    Tulane - 0
    LSU Shreveport - 2
    U Maryland - 2
    Johns Hopkins - 3
    MGH - 3
    Brigham - 2
    Tufts - 1
    U Michigan - 2
    Henry Ford - 2
    Wayne State - 1
    U Minnesota - 2
    Mayo Clinic - 3
    U Mississippi - 2
    U Missouri Columbia - 1
    Washington University - 2
    St. Louis University - 1
    U Nebraska - 1
    Dartmouth - 1
    UMDNJ - 1
    U New Mexico - 1
    Albany - 1
    SUNY Buffalo - 2
    Albert Einstein - 2
    Columbia University - 3
    Cornell - 2
    NYU - 2
    Mt. Sinai - 2
    NYMC - 1
    U Rochester - 1
    UNC - 1
    Duke - 2
    Wake Forest - 2
    U Cinncinnati - 2
    Case Western - 2
    Cleveland Clinic - 3
    Ohio State - 2
    U Oklahoma - 1
    Oregon HSU - 2
    Penn State - 1
    Temple - 1
    U Pennsylvania - 3
    Jefferson - 2
    U Pittsburgh - 3
    Allegheny General - 2
    U Puerto Rico - 1
    Brown - 1
    MUSC - 1
    U Tennesse Memphis - 2
    Vanderbilt - 2
    UT SW - 2
    UT Galveston - 1
    Baylor - 3
    Methodist Hospital Houston - 1
    UT San Antonio - 1
    U Utah - 2
    U Virginia - 3
    MCV - 2
    U Washington - 2
    West Virginia U - 1
    U Wisconsin - 2
    MCW - 1
    doctor_who? likes this.
  26. emate

    emate New Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    This is what I was looking for. Whoever took the time to do this - Thanks!

  27. KaliforniaDoll

    KaliforniaDoll Reformed 7+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2002
    Republic of NY
    Eagle eyes
    Ladies fingers
    Lions heart
    W116 and taniaekal like this.
  28. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The 2006 match results have been released and are on the 1st page of this thread.

    The big news is that there were 10% more positions offered this year (172) compared to last (156). This is about a 30% increase over the last 10 years.

    The match rate overall was about the same as last year (63%) and about average for the last 5 years (60%). The match rate for U.S. seniors (88%) was a slightly higher than the average match rate over the last 5 years (85%).

    For the past two years, one quarter of the IMGs that have applied have matched.
  29. PainMan

    PainMan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    anywhere but here
    I jst appld to the left over OOM positions...I am not sure why I have 10 places ranked for Anes...
  30. curious1

    curious1 Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Why the hell did they increase positions from 172 to 156? The future job prospects in NS are already not the best with cranial trauma static & ortho spine expanding & neurorads expanding. I don't think the attrition rate has increased which would be one explanation.
  31. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    A couple of reasons...

    The total number of cases being performed over all in neurosurgery is increasing. The total number of neurosurgeons overall is decreasing.

    The 80/88 hour work week has forced some programs to extra resident is a lot cheaper than a $150,000/year PA that works only 40-45 hours per week.
  32. ouli

    ouli Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2005
    I have noticed that some neurosurgery residency programs are 5 years (vs 7years) What's the difference? anybody? Thank you,
  33. Blake

    Blake 7+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2004
    They aren't counting the general surgery intern year, so they say 5 to 7 years program, when it's actually 6-8 years to complete the residency. Most programs in the USA are 7 years long (6 in Canada).

    86 % match rates for US seniors ? It's been like 100 % for the last few years in the canadian match (CA seniors) ? Why such a big difference ?
  34. cooldreams

    cooldreams American Mensa Member :) 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    so... the pendulum of attraction to Neurosurg... anyone have any clue?? is the attraction moving towards neurosurg or away right now?? with a slightly better match percentage, i would get neurosurg is looking slightly less attractive? but with more positions that opened, maybe its stagnant??
  35. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I don't think you can gauge "attraction" to any field just by one or two year's match results, especially in a field as small as neurosurgery. An extra 10 people (out of the 16,000+ 4th year US medical students) applying to neurosurgery in one year will lower the match rate by 5 percent.
  36. cooldreams

    cooldreams American Mensa Member :) 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    quite understood. so does that mean you dont know then? your post pointed to a flaw in using a 2 year statistic as a determinant to this question, but... i dont think i did in my question. anyways, thanks for the help...
  37. Star Chile

    Star Chile

    Jan 25, 2007
    Hi- if any ones knows of unfilled spots right now, please let us scramblers know. I think the earlier the better to start calling.

    Thanks to all.
  38. cerbraloedema


    Feb 4, 2007

    I`m new here so hello to everyone:)

    I have a question I don`t know if this is a good place for it but I can`t start new topics so I`m writing here.

    Do you know maybe a website with information about craniotomy I mean what we need to do?why we usualyy do this? description of procedure step by step?I know that there are books but maybe you know a website? pictures or movies?
    thank you very much:)

  39. hoyasaxa


    Feb 27, 2007
    Hey all,
    I have a question about neurosurgical training. As most programs have a year of research built in, what is expected of a resident during this time? Is there a source for me to look at. Also, are programs willing to let residents gain exposure in a subspeciality of interest during this time rather then do bench work in neuroscience, etc. Thanks for the help and all the quality information posted
  40. Dna2000


    Jul 22, 2007
    I am very much interested in Neurosurgery for residency placement, but I'm not sure how my USMLE Step 1 score of 227(95) will help :confused:.
    I have done extensive research in numerous fields, have been co-author a few times, have done quite excellent during my first two-years, etc.
    Do I kiss my fantasy good-bye? Any advice will help, thank you.
  41. mountainman123

    mountainman123 Guest

    Jul 18, 2006
    What is that average lifestyle for a neurosurgeon out of residency? What is the average hours/week worked, etc...? Is there a possibility to work more or less hours- say 60 instead of >100? Thanks in advance....
  42. H_Caulfield

    H_Caulfield Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    I hereby propose that nobody answer this. This is the most commonly asked question on SDN. If you aren't willing to work hard...then don't do surgery, or even medicine, or anything at all important.

    If my advice isn't enough to dissuade you, just do a search and read any one of the MANY responses to stupid inquiries just like yours.
  43. cooldreams

    cooldreams American Mensa Member :) 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    There are certainly a number of options to reduce your work schedule, however finding a base group of physicians to cover your off time will be difficult, especially for ns as there are so few ns's to begin with. Probably if you have this outlook before even starting clinicals, you wont get far enough, looking good enough, to even be eligible for a ns residency, and likely wouldnt make it through a grueling ns res to become a licensed doc. And therein lies the premise by which caulfield is calling youre inquiry stupid, and possibly even by proxy, you, for not searching for an answer to this "most common" question.

  44. mountainman123

    mountainman123 Guest

    Jul 18, 2006
    Wow, calm down a little. I am not here to ask "stupid questions", but I was under the impression that this was an internet site with forums such as "facts, figures, and links" (which can also be found anywhere online with a search function) designed to help students such as yourself and residents. Also, I don't need my ability or desire to work hard called into question based on a simple question about hours worked in neurosurgery, because I was simply asking about lifestyle and options for the future.
    I apologize for offendning anyone with my stupidity, but this is why I did not create a new post on the topic.
    It would be helpful for everyone to simply just answer the question rather than go out of your way just to be a dick. If you don't like the question then you don't have to answer it as the time you took to insult me could have answered my question.
  45. greymew

    greymew Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2002
    Your question is not bad. It's because of people like this Caulfield-guy that I encourage those seeking advice to email me personally. Responses like this are ignorant and arrogant. It's funny that people presume to know you or your circumstances based on an innocent inquiry. Don't worry about them; their responses speak much more about their personality than your question did about yours.

    [email protected]
  46. ocdp09

    ocdp09 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    i was just DO's have a competetive shot with MD's for neurosurgery residencies or is there unfortunately some prejudice toward DO's.....i was reviewing the forum earlier and it said in 2004 only 1 DO was in residency for neurosurgery at an allopathic residency for that given year

    im scared
  47. BusterDO

    BusterDO 5+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Last year I believe there were 3 DO's that matched into MD spots. There is a link around here somewhere to see those individuals. As far as being a competitive applicant, you better be STELLAR with off the chart scores and recommendations; even then, your chances are MUCH less than an MD applicant. Luckily there are a number of osteopathic NS spots, some with good programs. NS is difficult to match in whether you are an MD or DO, but if you get have the choice and really want to be a NS, go to an allopathic school.
  48. ocdp09

    ocdp09 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    boy im really scared now lol
  49. Neurosurgery123


    Nov 5, 2007
    University of Miami accepts 3 residents every other year. They were recently approved by the ACGME for an increase. They have a 1:1 faculty/resident mentorship program.
  50. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Thanks for the helpful thread. I had a couple of questions that weren't so easy to look up. What determines if the NS training is 5 years vs 7 or 8? From what I heard is that the 5 years is just the residency, and then the extra 2 years are for the fellowship for the total of 7.

    Also, as someone pointed out, it probably is very difficult to match from a DO school. What about the role that the rank of your MD school plays? As I was browsing through the resident profiles in places like UCSF and Harvard, it is easy to see that almost 90% of their residents have pedigree, often in both the undergrad and the medschool. This sure could be self-selection bias, but I am not sure. How easy is it to do an away rotation at one of these top notch programs? Are there any criteria which determine if you will be granted the request to do an away rotation? Also, if the program grants you an interview, then I am assuming you can go ahead and tank them as #1 without being afraid that you won't have a shot there just because it is top notch.

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