Research at the MGH is interwoven throughout more than 30 departments, centers and units and is conducted with the support and guidance of the MGH Research Institute. The Research Roundup is a monthly series highlighting studies, news and events.
About This Program
The Massachusetts General Hospital neurosurgery residency program aims to train the next generation of neurosurgical leaders. We have a long and proud tradition of training neurosurgeons who have made major clinical and scientific contributions to the field of neurosurgery. Our department is dynamic, growing and strongly positioned in both clinical and scientific areas to continue to lead and innovative in neurosurgery.
Recently, the program has undergone a significant expansion with appointment of several new faculty members and the move into new operative suites and patient units, with a doubling of the department’s laboratory space.
In addition to the unparalleled clinical training, our residents have two years to dedicate to research, a clinical fellowship or to pursue an advanced degree. Most residents spend two years in a laboratory of their choice as part of the residency training. The research opportunities in the Boston area are unrivaled and include Mass General (the largest recipient of NIH funding among U.S. hospitals), Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Broad Institute, Dana Farber Cancer Center and Boston Children's Hospital. In addition to traditional scientific and clinical fellowship efforts, residents have also pursued advanced degrees (MPH and MBA) at Harvard University.
Residents contribute to lectures, group discussions and symposiums with leading national and international researchers and clinicians. In addition, residents present at the Neurosurgery Grand Rounds, the annual Frye-Halloran Symposium and Neuroscience Grand Rounds with the Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology.All program phase are located at Mass General’s main campus unless another location is specified.
General Surgery (6 months)
Residents spend six months rotating on general surgery, critical care, trauma and other surgical specialty rotations developing operative skills and management of complex medical and surgical patients.
Neurosurgery & ICU (3 months)
Residents focus on all aspects of the management of neurological and neurosurgical patients in the neuroscience ICU concentrated on intracranial pressure, management of IV fluids and basic management of acute neurological, cardiac and pulmonary issues common to these patients.
Neurology Service (3 months)
Residents develop expertise in the neurological exam and diagnostic workup of neurological disease. Rotations on inpatient and outpatient neurological services include advanced neurology, neuro-oncology, neurovascular, stroke, epilepsy, movement disorders and pediatric neurology.
East Junior (4 months)
Residents focus on the surgical and nonsurgical management of spinal, functional and pediatric diseases. Residents are exposed to the breadth of spinal disorders, including degenerative disease, tumors, deformity and peripheral nerve issues. In addition, residents are exposed to functional neurosurgery, including deep brain stimulation, epilepsy surgery and surgery for pain. Residents care for the surgical and nonsurgical management of pediatric cranial and spinal disease.
West Team Junior/Radiosurgery (4 months)
Residents focus on the surgical and nonsurgical care of brain tumor patients. In addition to developing surgical skills, residents take part in the treatment and planning of single fraction radiosurgery, proton beam radiosurgery and use of the linear accelerator (LINAC).
Boston Children’s Hospital (4 months)
Residents rotate at Boston Children’s Hospital to gain additional experience in the clinical and surgical management of pediatric patients.
North Team Junior (4 months)
Residents focus on the management of vascular (open and endovascular) cases where they are exposed to surgical, nonsurgical and endovascular techniques. Residents also focus on trauma, general neurosurgery and spine to operate on a variety of neurosurgical cases.
Years 4 and 5 are dedicated to research, clinical fellowships or pursuing advanced degrees, so clinical responsibilities are proportionately decreased. During the first research year, residents take night call one to two times a week. The second year of research is free of any clinical responsibilities. Residents also take the written neurosurgery boards during this time.
East Team Senior/Chief Resident
(4 months as R6 Senior and 4 months as R7 Chief)
The east senior/chief assumes a large role in the operative and clinical management of complex spine, pediatric and functional cases. There is a special emphasis on complex spinal disease (degenerative, deformity and neoplasm). In addition, residents gain extensive exposure to functional neurosurgery, including deep brain stimulation, epilepsy surgery and surgery for pain. Residents are exposed to the breadth of pediatric neurosurgery as well. There is considerable responsibility for the teaching and supervision of other residents during this rotation.
West Team Senior/Chief Resident
(4 months as R6 Senior and 4 months as R7 Chief)
The west senior/chief resident plays a large role in the operative and clinical management of complex tumor cases, ranging from inter-axial, extra-axial, skull base and pituitary tumors. Residents gain an extensive experience in the surgical management of brain tumors with the use of cutting-edge intraoperative mapping, intraoperative imaging, endoscopic and endonasal techniques and novel minimally invasive techniques. There is considerable responsibility for the teaching and supervision of other residents during this rotation.
North Chief Resident
(4 months as R6 Senior and as R7 Chief)
The north chief residentis the administrative chief resident. The north chief has his or her own office, administrative assistant and performs a wide spectrum of cases including trauma, cerebral hemorrhage and a variety of spinal cases. The North Chief resident is also in charge of the call schedule, the operating room assignments and has considerable responsibility for the teaching and supervision of other residents. The vascular chief resident plays a large role in the surgical (open vascular) and nonsurgical management of open and endovascular neurosurgical cases. The resident performs diagnostic angiograms and participates in coiling and embolization endovascular neurosurgical procedures.
How to Apply
The Department of Neurosurgery is committed to recruiting a talented, diverse group of residents. We are interested in recruiting residents who are willing to work as a part of team and are committed to academic neurosurgery. All factors are taken into account with no one factor taking precedence. Grades, board scores and research are important factors, but we are as interested in a candidate's future potential as we are in their previous accomplishments.
Medical Student Sub-internship Rotation
Medical students interested in rotations in neurosurgery at Mass General should email Katie Roche (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the Harvard Medical School program office at 617-726-5143.
Candidate should apply through ERAS.
Applications must be completed by November 1.
- Applicants must be graduates of medical schools accredited by the American Association of Medical Colleges
- Applications must include three letters of reference (including at least one from a neurosurgeon) and USMLE step 1 scores (include step 2 scores if available)
- Invitations to interview are sent in early December
- Interviews are conducted in January
Faculty & ResidentsNeurosurgery FacultyNeurosurgery Residents
Conferences & CMEsView Listing
- Press Release
- Nov | 27 | 2019
In research led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in Scientific Reports, treatment with an anti-inflammatory drug delayed the onset of disease in a mouse model of ALS.
- Press Release
- Nov | 20 | 2019
A chemical that has improved surgeries for brain cancer by making tumor cells fluorescent may also help doctors safely diagnose the disease and monitor its response to treatment, according to a new study led by investigators at Mass General.
- Oct | 30 | 2019
Episode #30 of the Charged podcast
- Oct | 15 | 2019
DISCOVERY Study Seeks to Learn More About the Causes of Post-Stroke Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
Massachusetts General Hospital has been selected to lead a major NIH-funded national network to address post-stroke vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) in the United States.
- Sep | 30 | 2019
Mass General Clinicians and Researchers Brainstorm Ways to Treat and Prevent Nervous System Disorders
Experts from Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and beyond gathered at the Bulfinch tents to attend the hospital’s second annual Neuroscience Day, created to foster collaboration among researchers and physicians from one of the world’s largest neuroscience communities.
Mass General is the third-oldest general hospital in the United States. It was also an early crucible of neurosurgical innovation and the site of some of this country’s most significant advances—and pioneers—in the study and practice of neurosurgery.