Thomas Jefferson University

Program Overview

The Neurosurgery Residency Program

Neurosurgery Residents

The Neurosurgical tradition at Sydney Kimmel Medical College, the second oldest medical school in America, began with the country's first successful brain operation by Jefferson professor W.W. Keen in the 19th century.

Residents play an active and critical role in the department, and are considered to be valuable and integral members of the team.

The Neurosurgery Residency Training Program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital prides itself in training excellent academic and clinical neurosurgeons, by offering the resident a broad exposure to a large and diverse number of operative procedures in neurosurgery. Thorough evaluation and management of patients, from pre-operative through post-operative care, is an essential component of the training program. As a result, highly qualified neurosurgeons emerge from our program. Our expanding commitment to research offers the resident exposure to academic and scientific principles that will help define the future of neurosurgery. Our training program is rigorous and rewarding.

Academic Program

Teaching residents about the multi-disciplinary nature of neurosurgery and providing them with a broad background in academic neurosurgery is a primary mission of the residency training program. Conferences, tutorials and meetings provide the core of academic instruction. These activities are strengthened by lectures in neuroanatomy, neuropathology, neuroradiology, neuro-oncology and orthopedics.

Clinical Management


Neurosurgical clinical experience is primarily obtained during the rotations at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience.

During each rotation on clinical neurosurgery services, daily rounds are made with the faculty members, during which treatment strategies are formulated, based on integration of the details of history and physical examination, along with laboratory, radiographic and consultative information. Active participation of the residents in the decision-making process is strongly encouraged in order to enhance diagnostic acumen and basic pre- and post-operative management skills. Intensive care unit rounds are made in conjunction with the Critical Care/Anesthesia faculty, and in this setting, treatment of acute cerebral dysfunction and spinal cord injury are stressed.

Outpatient clinical experience is provided primarily at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital under direct supervision of the attending staff. This essential component of the resident's education enhances the ability to order and interpret diagnostic studies and independently arrive at a diagnosis and plan of management. In addition, a large and broad volume of surgical procedures provides residents with the necessary operative skills and judgement to become excellent clinical surgeons, steeped in the academic tradition of neurosurgery. Pediatric neurosurgical exposure is obtained primarily at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia during a dedicated four month rotation under the guidance of their pediatric neurosurgeons.  

Research Exposure

As part of the significant expansion of research activities of the Department of Neurological Surgery, residents are now required to pursue at least one full year of research with no overlapping clinical responsibilities.

With a large clinical and basic neurosurgical research program and other research opportunities, residents gain an extensive exposure to academic neurosurgery, supplemented by a basic neuroscience lecture series and research conferences.

Meetings & Courses

Junior residents are encouraged and subsidized to attend one regional meeting or special course per year, pending the approval of the Department Chairman or Residency Director. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Neuropathology) courses, the Annual Review Course in Neurosurgery, the Woods Hole Research Update in Neuroscience for Neurosurgeons (RUNN) course, Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society, PAN Philadelphia Neurosurgery Conference, and various surgical skills seminars or subspecialty section meetings are recommended.

Senior residents are expected to attend either the Congress of Neurological Surgeons or the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting. The expenses for these conferences are defrayed by the department. In addition, residents who have papers accepted for presentation at national meetings are allowed to present these papers, at the department's expense, pending approval of the chairman.

Dr. Robert Rosenwasser, MD, MBA, FACS, FAHA
Jewell L. Osterholm, MD Professor
Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, SKMC

Dr. Ashwini Sharan
Residency Program Director

Robert H. Rosenwasser, MD

Robert H. Rosenwasser, MD, MBA
Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery
Jewell L. Osterholm, MD Professor

Ashwini Sharan, MD

Ashwini Sharan, MD
Residency Program Director

Department of Neurological Surgery
909 Walnut Street
Clinical Office Building
3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 955-7000

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