Our conference schedule includes ward rounds and morning report on weekdays through all seven years of the program. Weekly conferences cover spine, pediatric neurosurgery, and vascular. The conference schedule also includes program director conferences, board review, morbidity and mortality, tumor board, grand rounds, case conference, and resident teaching.

Residents are assigned to three months each of neurosurgery, clinical neuroscience, and surgical critical care, and one month each of trauma surgery, neuroradiology, and emergency medicine.

The initial exposure to neurosurgery is heavily weighted to the outpatient setting where residents devote two days a week to evaluating patients in the clinics of two attendings. In the first three months, each resident rotates through the clinics of all faculty members.

The clinical neurosciences rotations are designed to allow a broad exposure to all aspects of clinical neurosciences. Assignments include four one-month rotations in neuro-oncology (including exposure to neurosurgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology), cerebrovascular medicine (including stroke consults, stroke neurology rounds, and an introduction to endovascular neurosurgery), multidisciplinary spine care (including outpatient neurosurgery spine clinic, physical medicine clinic, and pain management), and neuro-radiology (including invasive diagnostic procedures).

The critical care rotation is designed to allow a broad exposure to all aspects of surgical critical care. Assignments in critical care consist of two four-week rotations in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), where residents gain experience in managing the care of critically ill patients.

PGY-2 & PGY-3
Residents are assigned to clinical neurosurgery. To facilitate training, PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents rotate responsibilities within the outpatient clinics, on the inpatient floor, and in the operating room. A team approach using frequent communication between the junior residents is emphasized. Residents are assigned to one outpatient clinic per week with an attending for two to three months. This experience represents the priority for the day, and the other PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents share responsibilities for inpatient and operative care.

This faculty-approved elective year must be based at Albany Medical Center. Academic productivity is emphasized to better facilitate an understanding of system-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement. Residents may participate in basic or clinical research, or further their clinical exposure in a neurosurgery specialty. Residents may also request time to rotate on other services. For nonclinical electives, resident participation on the clinical service is limited to one operative day per week, weekend call, and, when absolutely necessary, covering for other residents during vacations or other appropriate absences.

This is a transition year from junior to chief responsibilities. Call reflects this transition with PGY-5 residents participating in both the junior call schedule as well as the chief call schedule. Generally, the senior residents will proctor interns as they start to take call. A second transition is an expanded operative exposure for all types of cases with an emphasis on the pre-operative assessment, absolute and relative indications and contraindications for surgery, and technical aspects of the procedure.

During PGY-6, candidates serve as chief resident and are expected to administrate the clinical neurosurgery service, oversee the other residents, and prepare and present all complications for discussion at bi-monthly morbidity and mortality conferences.

The year is dedicated to advanced clinical training with an emphasis on transition to practice. Residents can choose among several tracks, including completion of the two-year endovascular certificate, completion of the one-year functional neurosurgery certificate, or other self-designed mentorship programs in which the resident works with one attending for no more than three months to meet their future practice goals. Traditionally, approximately half of our residents have completed advanced training in endovascular neurosurgery by using the PGY-4 and PGY-7 years as junior and senior endovascular experiences. PGY-7 residents are expected to attend clinics and operative cases, oversee other residents, and prepare and present complications for discussion at bi-monthly morbidity and mortality conferences.