Residency Program


  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Degree Earned

  • Residency

Program Length

7 years

Program Type

  • On Campus

Call to Actions


Name: Christopher Farrell, MD
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Residency Program Director
Name: Victoria Schunemann, MD
Position: Associate Residency Program Director


Name: Michelle Hoffman
Position: Education Program Administrator

909 Walnut Street
Clinical Office Building 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):


The neurosurgery residency training program spans seven years, and takes place at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital center city campus in downtown Philadelphia. Residents are exposed to a comprehensive range of operative cases across all sub-specialties of neurosurgery. We have transitioned our training program such that residents complete their Chief year as PGY-6, with the option to pursue an enfolded fellowship or advanced subspecialty training during their PGY-7 year.

Residents spend the majority of their intern year on the neurosurgery service (eight months), split between our main hospital (Gibbon building) and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience (JHN). Our PGY-1 residents are expected to independently be able to run the neurosurgery service – see consults, evaluate traumas, and manage post-operative care of our patients – with oversight and direction provided by their chief residents. They also become proficient at managing patients in the neurological intensive care unit (NICU) and become adept at performing a wide-range of procedures (external ventricular drains, intracranial pressure monitors, central lines, lumbar puncture etc.).

PGY-1 residents also spend four months on neurology, rotating between neuro critical care, neurology wards and stroke services.

PGY-1 residents complete six weeks of night float call towards the end of the academic year.

Residents begin to gain exposure to the operating room during their PGY-2 year, and are expected to become proficient at independently performing cases such as ventriculoperitoneal shunts, spinal cord stimulator placement, decompressive hemicraniectomy, and cervical and lumbar spine exposures. PGY-2 residents are also encouraged to double scrub cases with senior residents to gain exposure to more complex cases.

PGY-2 residents complete 10-12 weeks of night float call.

Residents begin to progressively advance through neurosurgical cases of increasing complexity during their PGY-3 year. Residents are expected to be able to perform common intracranial approaches (i.e. pterional craniotomy, suboccipital craniectomy, retrosigmoid craniectomy) and spinal fusion operations with minimal supervision.

PGY-3 residents complete a four-month pediatric neurosurgery rotation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the pre-eminent pediatric hospitals in the country. During this time, residents are exposed to a wide-range of complex pediatric neurosurgical pathology, including brain tumors, craniofacial surgery, spinal dysraphism, and epilepsy.

PGY-3 residents complete 8-10 weeks of night float call.

The PGY-4 year is organized as an apprenticeship year, whereby residents are paired with an attending and are in charge of running all aspects of their service. This serves to provide residents with increasing decision-making responsibility to help prepare them for their Chief year as a PGY-6.

Spine Surgery with Dr. Jallo (4 months)

Residents are expected to diagnose and treat common spine pathology, and become proficient at independently performing various spine surgeries (ACDF, PCDF, TLIF etc.)

Skull Base Surgery with Dr. Evans (4 months)

Residents are exposed to skull base surgery while working alongside Dr Evans, and become adept at performing endoscopic endonasal surgery and complex skull base approaches.

Functional Neurosurgery with Dr. Sharan (4 months)

Residents gain clinical exposure to various surgeries in functional neurosurgery, including deep brain stimulation (DBS), resection of epileptogenic foci for seizure control (anterior temporal lobectomy) and spinal cord stimulation.

PGY-4 residents complete 2-4 weeks of night float call at the start of the academic year. Residents complete their junior call requirements during their PGY-4 year, and have no remaining in-house call for the remainder of their residency.

The PGY-5 year is dedicated to research pursuits and scholarly activity. Residents are encouraged to find a research project in their field of interest, and pursue quality improvement (QI) projects per ACGME requirements.

PGY-5 residents cover Chief call one weekend per month, and during weeks when the PGY-6 Chief residents are on vacation.  

During their PGY-6 year, residents serve as chief residents, whereby they gain mastery of the most complex cases and manage all aspects of the neurosurgery service. PGY-6 residents spend 4 months each serving as Chief of the tumor, vascular and spine services, and are given considerable amount of decision-making capacity and independent operative responsibility. At the end of the year, residents are expected to be comfortable in performing a wide-range of surgeries across all neurosurgical subspecialties.

The PGY-7 year allows residents to pursue an enfolded fellowship during their final year of training. This year is designated towards advanced subspecialty training, as preparation for transitioning towards independent practice as attending neurosurgeons. If they wish, PGY-7 residents may schedule rotations at one of our numerous affiliate hospitals to gain exposure to community or private practice.