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Applying for Neurosurgery Residency at UCSD

Only complete applications submitted through the ERAS system will be considered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Our interview dates for two positions are: Dates will be updated soon.

Residency at UCSD

The UCSD Division of Neurosurgery selects two residents for training each year. The seven year residency (including internship) provides comprehensive training in all aspects of modern neurosurgery, including neurosurgical critical care, neurotrauma, neurovascular surgery, brain tumors, functional neurosurgery, epilepsy, pediatric neurosurgery, peripheral nerve, and spine/spinal instrumentation surgery. The program is academic in its orientation, with input from world-renowned basic science researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine, the UCSD main campus, the Scripps Research Institute, and the Salk Institute. The program is also designed to be flexible in training and strives to accommodate specialized research and/or clinical interests.

Program Structure

  • PGY-1: 6 Months Neurosurgery (University Hospital), 3 Months Neuro critical care/neuroendovascular (University Hospital), 1 Month of ENT and 1 month of surgical ICU 
  • PGY-2: Junior Neurosurgery Resident (University Hospital/Thornton and VA Hospital)
  • PGY-3: Junior Neurosurgery Resident (University Hospital/Thornton and VA Hospital)
  • PGY-4: Research/Elective
  • PGY-5: Research/Elective
  • PGY-6: Neurosurgery Senior Resident (University Hospital/Thornton Hospital/VA Chief)
  • PGY-7: Chief Resident Hillcrest/Chief Resident Thornton University Hospitals

About our program

During PGY-1 year, each intern spends 6 months on the neurosurgery service, where they learn to run the service and perform bedside procedures. For the remainder of the year, they spend time on neurocritical care, endovascular, trauma, and ENT services. The PGY-2 and PGY-3 years concentrate on developing skills in basic neurosurgery and in neurosurgical critical care. Introduction to operative techniques commences with rotations on both the Tumor and Spine service, and these years provide dedicated study in fields within neurosurgery in order to allow the resident to develop mastery in these areas with undivided attention. This includes endovascular neurosurgery exposure, neuroradiology, and neuropathology as well as six months, which are spent at the Children's Hospital on the Pediatric Neurosurgery Service.

Following this experience, the PGY-4 and PGY-5 years are dedicated to in depth research and/or subspecialty residency training. The Senior Resident and Chief Resident years close the circle; with a maximum of opportunity and responsibility, these residents oversee the whole of neurosurgical care at both UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest and the Thornton Hospital, as well as selected cases at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in La Jolla. In years past residents have scored in the 80-90th percentiles on national neurosurgery board examinations and have far surpassed caseloads required by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons.

For information regarding the residency program, please email our Residency Coordinator Oksana Makodzeba at: or call 619-543-1966.


 Graduation Celebration 2011 for Dr. Lissa Baird, Chief Resident