Residency Program Information

Overview

The Department of Neurosurgery at The University of North Carolina has a longstanding tradition of excellence in clinical care and resident education. The UNC Neurosurgery Residency Training Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We currently have a seven-year program and take two residents per year. We offer a clinically-based program designed to give the resident a broad exposure to all aspects of clinical neurosurgery including:

Drs. Matt Ewend and Peter Steenland-Spine

  • Intra- and extracranial neurovascular disease
  • Neurosurgical oncology and radiosurgery
  • Complex spinal instrumentation for trauma and other spinal disorders
  • Neurotrauma
  • Stereotactic and functional neurosurgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Endovascular treatment of vascular anomalies
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Endoscopic and minimally-invasive neurosurgery
  • Neurocritical care


Currently, the UNCH Neurosurgery Residency Program is seven years in length, including one year of internship. Two residents are accepted each year and appointments begin June 24. Residents must take the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) written examination annually, until a passing score is achieved prior to completion of the training program. To remain compliant with the new directives from the ABNS and the Neurosurgery Residency Review Committee we are now a seven-year training program and have restructured our residency program to be compliant with all of the new requirements.

Basic Rotations

  • PG Year 1: 3 months General Surgery, 3 months Neurocritical Care, 3 months Basic Clinical Neurosciences
    and 3 months UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery

  • PG Year 2: UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery

  • PG Year 3: 6 months UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery, 3 months UNCH Pediatric Clinical Neurosurgery, 1 month Neurosurgery University (Wilkins), and Neurointerventional Radiology

  • PG Year 4: UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery, 3 months Neuroradiology/Neuropathology, and Neurointerventional Radiology

  • PG Year 5: 6 months UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery and 6 months Research

  • PG Year 6: 6 months UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery and 6 months Carolina Medical Center Clinical Neurosurgery
    • Senior residents rotate for 6 months in their PGY 6 year at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Working with the CNSA group of surgeons provides a valuable perspective of a private practice neurosurgery environment, a significant amount of senior level cases, and an expansion of faculty mentoring.  This rotation is done as a senior level to assist residents in developing a sense for their desired future practice model.  Our current residents are very enthusiastic about the addition of this rotation.  Housing is provided.
  • PG Year 7: 6 months Chief UNCH Clinical Neurosurgery and 6 months Chief UNCH Pediatric Clinical Neurosurgery

Conference and Teaching Schedule

Dr. Jason Blatt-teaching

  • Weekly Neurosurgery Grand Rounds
  • Neuropathology Conferences
  • Journal Club
  • Spinal Biomechanics
  • Skull Base Conferences
  • Cadaver Dissection
  • Neuro-Oncology Conferences
  • Epilepsy Surgery Conferences
  • Monthly Skills Lab Didactic

    Clinical Experience

    UNCH offers training in adult and pediatric neurosurgery. The 16-bed Adult Neurosciences ICU has a Neurocritical Care service staffed by neurointensivists and nurse practitioners who provide 24/7 care and management. Our routine patient care units are located in the Neurosciences hospital, in close-proximity to the Stroke Center and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. The pediatric neurosurgery service works out of the dedicated Children’s Hospital, which houses a 20-bed Pediatric ICU with its own Pediatric Critical Care team. This service has dedicated pediatric operating rooms and surgical staff.

    All neurosurgery clinics are either held in the Children’s Hospital, the UNC Spine Center or the NC Cancer Hospital. The Spine Center, located about two miles from the main hospital, is a large multidisciplinary practice encompassing surgical and nonsurgical management of spinal disorders, where we are able to work closely with Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Anesthesia/Pain Management, Physical Therapy and Radiology. Due to its new design and easy patient access, most Neurosurgery clinics are now located in the Spine Center. When beneficial to care or research, we have access to the resources of the UNC Cancer Hospital, Lineberger Cancer Center, General Clinical Research Center, and Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute.

    Dedicated Didactic and Study Time

    We are pleased to offer our residents an opportunity to participate in a rotation that we’ve termed “Neurosurgery University.”  Professor Robert Wilkins, one of the giants of Neurosurgery and founding editor of Neurosurgery, joined our faculty last year as our Director of Academics and Education.  First and third-year residents have a dedicated block of four weeks that they spend in study with Dr. Wilkins.  He provides a guided self-study through the major components of Neurosurgery working with the resident each day to cover a major topic.

    Residents are given assignments for reading in preparation of teaching presentations which are then reviewed in a one-on-one fashion with Dr. Wilkins.  The resources generated from this are then available for all residents for their own self-study and board preparation.

    During this protected study time, the residents are shielded from weekday call in order to facilitate their attention to reading and studying.

    Research

    Participation in the discovery of new knowledge in the field of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience is one of the core values of our department.  The department exists within the University of North Carolina which is a remarkably rich environment for research and the home to over $400 million in NIH funding annually.  Residents are strongly encouraged to develop either clinical translational or basic science research interests and to explore these in partnership with the world-class scientists working in the School of Medicine in the UNC School of Public Health (one of the highest-ranked in the country) and with scientists throughout the university.  During your interview, we would be happy to discuss with you the rich areas of research available in biomedical research, imaging, neuro-oncology, and in the neurosciences.

    Call/Vacation Scheduling

    The UNC neurosurgery training program maintains strict compliance to ACGME duty hour restrictions. Junior residents take progressively less in-house call during their training until they begin taking chief call. Residents are given 15 business days of vacation per year.


    Contact Information

    Eldad J. Hadar, MD Felicia Sawyer
    Neurosurgery Residency Program Director Neurosurgery Residency Program Coordinator
    UNC Neurosurgery, CB# 7060 UNC Neurosurgery, CB# 7060
    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7060 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7060
    Phone: (919) 966-1374 Phone: (919) 966-7804
    Fax: (919) 843-6520 Fax: (919) 843-6520
    felicia_sawyer@med.unc.edu