Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
As many schools are known for their specialization in a couple of majors, the Department helps them stand out from the rest of the educational institutes in the area. And some have set a standard in the field of neurosurgery.
Therefore, today we will list down the best-med schools that offer the most hands-on experience in the field of neurosurgery to shape the young minds of the future. The list we have chosen is one the basis of the school’s rating, its alumni, the various type of projects and experiences they offer, and more.
University of Washington
The University of Washington is ranked 14th in the list of top world universities. The Neurological Surgery Department at UW Medicine is one of the finest and professional institutes in the area. The residency program in Neurological offers-:
- Expertise and training in various neurological courses.
- UW Medicine has tie-ups with multiple medical centres and hospitals.
- Multiple upcoming courses to be offered to equip students with the current requirements of the neurology area.
Founded In: 1861
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Financial Aid: UW Student Financial Aid
Yale School of Medicine is the most significant and dominant academic institute around the globe. The school covers the medical field from a global perspective. The Department of Neurosurgery at Yale supports and imparts benefits to the young neurosurgeons in various aspects such as -:
- Clinical practice and research prospects through Franklin Robinson Fellowship.
- Provisioned neurosurgery exposure in ailments of children and adults.
- Yale has the largest flagship hospital in Connecticut.
Founded In: 1701
Acceptance Rate: 6%
Contact: +1 203-432-4771
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed information
Stanford medicine stands high and enlightened for the last 125 years. The Stanford Neurosurgery Department is considered the best educational and research-based centre in the US. It specializes in providing various advantages such as:
- The Department is equipped with state of the art facilities.
- Every year, 4,000 surgeries are carried out at Stanford.
- Sufficient skills and experience are gained under the supervisions of research faculty and 60 neurosurgeons.
Founded In: 1885
Acceptance Rate: 4%
Contact: +1 650-723-2300
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed information
University of Miami
The University of Miami Medicine is one of the top research-based universities in the US. The School of Medicine at Miami deals with the Neurosurgical Department. It offers the trainees a diverse array of benefits in the field as:
- Innovative techniques to enhance the learning opportunities for young aspirants in neurosurgery.
- Almost 5,000 surgeries performed by the 20 skilled neurosurgeons provide learning chances.
- Experimentation is performed on human subjects for better understanding.
Founded In: 1925
Acceptance Rate: 27%
Contact: +1 305-284-2211
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed information
University of Michigan
University of Michigan Neurosurgery Department is one of the leading and distinctive universities of Michigan. The Neurosurgery Department of Michigan offers a speciality to doctors with a solid academic background. The Michigan Medicine also offers-:
- Residents are trained skilfully under the supervision of researchers and teachers.
- The Department at the University offers programs in multiple neurosurgical courses.
- The faculty and staff members prefer giving residents a more hands-on experience.
Founded In: 1817
Acceptance Rate: 23%
Contact: +1 734-764-1817
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed information
University of Pittsburgh
The University’s Neurosurgery department has strived to be recognized as one of the nation’s greatest. The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of neurosurgical surgery offers training and research-based education in multiple disciplines of neurosurgery. The Neurological Surgery offers-:
- Unmatched quality and range of research-based education under the supervision of top faculty members.
- The opportunity to learn through intramural with research projects.
- Multiple resident courses offered in the field of neurosurgery.
Founded In: 1787
Acceptance Rate: 57%
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed information
Ohio State University
Ohio State University is one of the largest public universities in Ohio. The University Wexner Medical Centre offers residency in Neurosurgical Surgery under Neurological Institute. The training provided for seven years develops the doctors into trained neurosurgeons. The residency program also offers-:
- Specialized training before and following major surgeries
- Training and using skull-based surgery, gamma knife procedure, endovascular surgery, and paediatrics surgery.
- The opportunities for pursuing a program in an unconventional research-based neurosciences program.
Founded In: 1870
Acceptance Rate: 54%
Contact: +1 614-292-6446
Financial Aid:Click here for detailed information
New York University
New York University Medicine is the best private institute in the US. The Department of Neurosurgery is a distinguished Institute for education in the neurosurgery program. The neurosurgery and neurology centre offers residents-:
- Full-time faculty with the capability to solve and handle the most critical of cases.
- Gaining clinical exposure and practice under the supervision of the neurosurgery field.
- Inspiring discoveries provide the opportunity to work in a sustained learning atmosphere.
Founded In: 1831
Acceptance Rate: 16.2%
Contact: +1 212-998-1212
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed information
University of California
The University of California has gained worldwide fame through winning the Nobel Prize. The Neurological Department of the University of California San Francisco is one of the uppermost neurosurgery departments in the US. The residency offers-:
- Major hospitals linked with the Neurological Surgery Department of UCA.
- Availability of large scale opportunities to the neurosurgery residents.
- Research-based projects carried out to better understand the brain’s dysfunctions.
Founded In: 1868
Acceptance Rate: 16.3%
Contact: +1 510-642-6000
Financial Aid: Berkeley Undergraduate Dream Act Aid
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky has a fantastic research base and aims to educate the youth, shaping their transformation into leaders of the world. The faculty nurtures students with education in school. Medical education is another strong department at the University of Kentucky. The College of medicine at the University of Kentucky provisions research and education in clinical neurosurgery.
Some advantages are-:
- Trainee medical graduates are equipped with practical exposure.
- The College of Medicine holds affiliations with medical centres. Practical training helps students into effective neurosurgeons.
- Trainees are given rounds into the Intensive care unit.
Founded In: 1865
Acceptance Rate: 96%
Financial Aid: Click here for detailed infomation
Top 10 Best Neurosurgery Schools
Around the United States, many renowned and prestigious university departments offer neurosurgery program for recognized medical scholars. Some of the famous neurosurgery institutes of the US are explored as under:
- University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
University of Kentucky NeurosurgerySince 1865, the University of Kentucky has emerged as a fantastic research-based public university. It aims to educate the youth of today, shaping their transformation into influential future leaders of the world.
The faculty at the University of Kentucky nurtures the students with thought-provoking education, in almost every thought of school. Medical education is another strong department at the University of Kentucky.
Neurosurgery is dealt with by the College of medicine at the University of Kentucky, provisioning research and education in clinical neurosurgery.
The specialty holds excellence for medical graduates, in many ways as:
Trainee medical graduates are equipped with neurosurgery education through practical exposure.
The College of Medicine holds affiliations with medical centers such as UK’s Children Hospital, Lexington Cooper Drive Medical Centre, Chandler Hospital and Samaritan Hospital. Practical training helps to foster medical students into effective neurosurgeons.
Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit of 10 beds is linked with the Medical Centre of the University of Kentucky.
Trainees are given rounds into the Intensive care unit, alternatively. This helps their training under critical neurosurgical conditions.
More Information: University of Kentucky Neurosurgey Programs
- Yale University, New Haven, CT
Yale School of MedicineThe University of Yale is the most significant and dominant academic institutes, around the globe. Since its inception in 1701, the University of Yale has emerged as a global learning platform for local as well as aspiring international students from all the walks of life.
Yale School of Medicine covers the medical field under the global perspective of research-based medical explorations. The Department of Neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine supports and imparts benefits to the young neurosurgeons in various aspects:
Clinical practice, teaching opportunities and research prospects in neurosurgery to the young medical aspirants through Franklin Robinson Fellowship.
Trainees have provisioned neurosurgery exposure in neurosurgery ailments of children as wells as adults.
New Haven Yale Hospital is the largest flagship hospital in Connecticut which is partnered with Yale School of medicine and Department of Neurosurgery.
As the neurosurgical facility provided at affiliated Hospitals in Connecticut deals both newly diagnosed and referred patients, students learn and practice the newly emerging as well as referred ailments and conditions.
More Information: Yale University Neurosurgery
- Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Stanford medicineWith 2219 faculty members and 16430 students getting benefited, the Stanford University stands high and enlightened, from the last 125 years.
The Stanford Neurosurgery Department is considered as one of the best educational and research-based center of the United States.
It specializes in the provision of various advantages to the young neurosurgeons such as:
The Stanford Neurosurgical Department is equipped with advanced machines and technologies that provide young neurosurgeons state of the art exposure to the current facilities.
Every year, about 4,000 operations are carried out at the Neurosurgical Centre of Stanford University.
Sufficient skills and experience are gained by the trainees under the supervisions of research faculty and 60 neurosurgeons.
The United States first Stroke and Trauma Centres are associated with the Neurosurgery Stanford Centre. The privilege of association benefits the neurosurgery students by working in great infrastructure and skilled environment.
More Information: Stanford University Neurosurgery Department
- University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
University of Miami MedicineThe University of Miami holds eminent recognition as one of the top research-based universities in the US. With 11 colleges and more the 17,000 students of graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Miami provides educations and knowledge in all the walks of life.
Almost $ 324 million are spent on different research-based projects per annum. The Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami deals the Neurosurgical Department.
It offers the trainees diverse array of benefits in the field as:
Innovative techniques like minimum invasive spine surgery and FDA approved simulators are being employed at the Neurosurgery Surgical Centre of the Miller School of Medicine. This enhances the learning opportunities for the young aspirants in neurosurgery.
Almost 5,000 surgeries are performed by the 20 internationally recognized and skilled neurosurgeons that provide learning chances for the young neurosurgeons.
Under the Miami Project initiated in 1985, practical experiences are provided to neurosurgery scholars. Experimentation is performed on human subjects helping n development of better understanding and knowledge.
More Information: University of Miami Neurosurgical Department
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan Neurosurgery DepartmentThe University of Michigan is one of the leading and distinctive universities of Michigan offers more than 260 programs. About more than 19 schools and colleges collaboratively strive to shape the future of more than 17000 students from diverse fields and grades.
Neurosurgery department of Michigan Medicine offers a speciality in the field of neurosurgery to the competent doctors with a strong academic background. The Michigan Medicine holds exclusivity as:
Neurosurgery residents are trained skilfully under the competent and proficient supervision of researchers and teachers. The trainees are closely monitored and guided based on the critical nature of the neurosurgery field.
The Department offers programs in multiple neurosurgical courses with research-based education such as Endovascular Neurosurgery, Epilepsy Surgery, Functional Neurosurgery, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, Spinal Surgery, and Peripheral Nerve Surgery.
Residents are reserved from any clinical liabilities during the 4th and 5th years of their residency program. This is to ensure the focus of the residents on the academics enhancing their background knowledge and concepts.
More Information: University of Michigan Neurosurgery Education
- Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Ohio State University MedicineSince the founding year of 1870, the Ohio State University has maintained its recognition as one of the largest public universities of Ohio. With enriched student life and organizational opportunities, Ohio State University offers multiple honors and research-based postgraduate programs.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre offers residency program of Neurosurgical Surgery, under Neurological Institute. The professional and skilled training for seven years develops the nascent doctors into trained neurosurgeons, in an unsurpassed environment.
The residency program holds uniqueness as:
Specialized training before and following major surgeries employing advanced techniques give the residents the expertise and judgment required for such operations.
Training of young neurosurgeons involving direct patient centered training and using practices such as skull-based surgery, gamma knife procedure, endovascular surgery, and pediatrics surgery.
The opportunities for pursuing a doctoral program in unconventional research-based neurosciences program.
More Information: Ohio State University Neurosurgery Residency
- New York University, New York, NY
New York University MedicineThe New York University (NYU) is the topmost private institute in the US. Along with campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. More than 400 programs in diverse fields are offered at the New York University.
Students from around the globe and across the US strive to seek admission at NYU. The Department of Neurosurgery at Langone Health Centre of NYU is a distinguished Institute for the provision of education in the neurosurgery program.
The neurosurgery and neurology center offers a notable residency program benefitting the residents as:
Full-time faculty of skilled and competent 20 neurosurgeons holds the capability to solve and handle the most critical of cases often declined by other neurosurgeons.
The trainees gain clinical exposure and practice under the supervision critical handlers of neurosurgery field.
Inspiring discoveries as a result of transformational research-based neurosurgery projects provide the trainees the opportunity to work in sustained learning atmospheres.
More Information: New York University Neurosurgery
- University of California, Oakland, CA
University of California NeurosurgeryThe University of California (UCA) shines as an eminent star in the constellation of California contributing majorly to the economy of the state, every year. The University of California has gained distinction worldwide through it’s large no. of graduate winning Nobel Prize.
The massive educational environment can be assessed by the working individuals of the University of California. More than 190,000 faculty members teach 238,000 alumni from across the world, in more than 190 disciplines.
The Neurological Surgery Department of the University of California San Francisco is ranked as one of the uppermost neurosurgery departments in the US. The residency at UCA includes:
The major hospitals of San Francisco are linked with the Neurological Surgery Department of UCA.
Availability of large scale opportunities to the neurosurgery residents. This results in the development of professional and critical skills in demand of the neurology field.
Research-based projects are carried out such as clinical trials on epilepsy, brain tumor, movement disorders, spinal disorders, and psychiatric disorders. The outcomes of these clinical trials help in shaping new findings. This results in better understanding of the brain dysfunctioning as well as chances of exposure to the neurosurgeons in the making.
More Information: University of California Neurological Surgery Department
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh NeurosurgeryThe University of Pittsburgh was established in 1787, as the Pittsburgh Academy. Since its founding year, the University of Pittsburgh has strived to be recognized as one of the nation’s great universities.
The University of Pittsburgh is also the prestigious member of American Association of Universities. The Department of Neurosurgical Surgery, at the University of Pittsburgh, offers skills training and research-based education in multiple disciplines of neurosurgery.
The Neurological Surgery offers a wide range of academic exposure to the young neurosurgeons:
The quality and range of research-based education at the University of Pittsburgh are unmatchable. Under the supervision of top faculty members, medical graduates transform into useful skilled neurosurgeons of the future.
The young residents gain the opportunity of excellent learning and skills enhancement through intramural research at the University of Pittsburgh. Walter L. Copeland Fund supports within the institute research projects.
Multiple resident courses and professional training programs are offered to the residents of neurosurgery such as Endonasal Endoscopic Surgery, Intraoperative Neuro-monitoring, and Intracranial Surgery Course.
More Information: University of Pittsburg Neurosurgical Surgery Programs
- University of Washington, Seattle, WA
UW MedicineThe University of Washington (UW) is ranked as the 14th top world university. More than 54,000 students pass out from UW per year.
Annually, more than 12,000 degrees are awarded to alumni of multiple fields and grades. The Neurological Surgery at the UW Medicine is one of the finest and professional institutes, in its own arena.
The residency program in Neurological Surgery offers numerous assistance to the young developing neurosurgeons such as:
Provision of clinical expertise and training in various neurological courses as spinal cord disorders, surgical pain management, brain mapping, spinal and cranial trauma, neurological oncology and cerebrovascular disorders.
To add on to the practical experiences, UW Medicine hold linkages with.
University of Washington Medical Centre, Harborview Medical Centre, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Veterans Administration Health Care Centre.
Multiple upcoming courses are in line to be offered to trainees that equip them with the current requirements of neurology area. The new courses offered are such as anatomy of the thoracic spine, Microanatamosis Technique, and Anatomy of Lumbosacral Spine.
More Information: UW Medicine Neurological Surgery Programs
The prodigious specialty of Neurosurgery carries a wide range of probabilities for the future explorations and scientific innovations related to the brain, nerves and spinal cord.
However, keeping in mind the delicacies of organs, are the advanced techniques employed in neurosurgical procedures precise enough to target just the disorder? Even the slightest of mishandling can lead to lifelong disabilities.
Since the brain and other components of nervous system control every part of the body, stress should be laid on making the research-based projects oriented towards fidelity for the patient’s life care and consequently, humanity.
How To Become A Neurosurgeon
Path to Becoming a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon
It’s important to understand that while becoming a neurologist or a neurosurgeon is a fulfilling career choice, it’s not easy to get there. Having a high level of interest is necessary. You must also enjoy interacting with people and listening carefully to what they have to say. In some ways diagnosing a neurological disorder is detective work. Anything a patient tells you may be substantial.
Other essential skills involve outstanding communication and leadership. You will have to be good at problem-solving and have great amounts of patience, dexterity and physical stamina. As for any medical doctor, compassion and empathy are necessary since you will be interacting with people who are ill and very worried about their health and longevity.
Because the field of neurology is so detailed, the amount of education you need is extensive. Here are the basic steps you’ll take:
Step 1: Obtain an Undergraduate Degree
Post-secondary education is a must. Research colleges and find the ones you are most interested in attending. Look for universities with excellent reputations and outstanding pre-medical curriculum. There is no doubt you will choose a major in one of the sciences like chemistry or biology. Focusing on advanced biological sciences is a good option. Pre-requisite medical courses should include microbiology, biochemistry and human anatomy.
The objective of your undergraduate degree is to prepare you for medical school, which is the next step. Besides attending a well-respected university with an excellent science curriculum, maintaining a grade point average of 3.5 or higher is critical if you want to optimize your potential acceptance into a U.S. medical school.
By incorporating one, or all of the following activities in your undergraduate career, you may improve your chances of getting into medical school:
Job shadowing – Most colleges and universities can help you find opportunities so you can follow, or shadow a neurologist, or neurosurgeon throughout a workday. Doing so gives you a good perspective on what to anticipate in these careers. It also provides some practical experience you can include on your medical school applications.
Volunteer – Doing well in school and having a high-grade point average may not be quite enough to get into medical school. So being active in your community on a volunteer basis could give you an edge.
Learn a foreign language – Including 3-4 years of a foreign language while in college is helpful. Neurosurgeons and neurologists work with many patients who do not speak English. Learning a second language, especially Spanish, will help you stand out against other medical school candidates.
Step 2: Take the MCAT and Apply to Medical Schools
All medical schools require potential students to take an admissions exam known as the MCAT® (Medical College Admission Test). You’ll take this standardized exam during your junior year of college. The results of this test give medical schools a good idea of the skills you acquired in your undergraduate pre-med program. You will have to obtain a minimum score on this if you want an admissions interview at any medical school. Since admission into these schools is highly competitive, taking a specialized study course to get the best score you can is something to plan on. The AAMC has more information on the MCAT. You can also refer to the American Medical Association or the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) .
Step 3: Attend Medical School and Obtain a Medical Degree
Once you’re in medical school, you’ll take four years of medical curriculum. This curriculum is general and consists of medical classes intended to give you an overview of the content. Experiential opportunities exist where you practice what you are learning in the classroom.
In the second half of a traditional four-year program, aspiring neurosurgeons and neurologists can register for courses that include medical diagnostics, disease management and, in the case of neurosurgery, surgical practices. When you get to the point of practical rotations, choose those experiences that allow you to examine and treat patients within what is called a teaching hospital. Interacting with patients under the supervision of qualified neurologists or neurosurgeons exposes you to situations you may encounter in your practice.
For those wanting to be neurosurgeons, you want to be sure you’re doing the same thing; only you’ll be under the supervision of an actual brain surgeon.
Step 4: Complete an Internship or Neurosurgical Residency Program
In addition to passing a medical licensure exam (explained in Step 5), you’ll complete an internship. The internship allows you to apply everything you learned in medical school but under the supervision of a seasoned, qualified medical doctor. This hands-on experience will make you a better physician, and further prepare you for your specialization of neurology.
With your interest in neurology, part of your medical training will include a one-year hospital internship. During this phase, you’ll manage patients and develop some of the skills that will be vital to your future career. Part of your internship will include staying updated with the latest information in the field.
While you’re engaged in your internship, you will search for a residency program unique to the neurological specialty you selected. Tracks include headache medicine, neuromuscular medicine, strokes, etc. If your desire is to become a neurosurgeon, you’ll involve yourself in a neurosurgical internship.
Upon completion of your internship, you’ll enter your residency program. For the non-surgical neurologist, your residency will be about three years in length. You’ll make hospital rounds with a supervising neurologist and have opportunities to monitor patients and perhaps examine them yourself.
For a neurosurgeon, the residency is six to eight years. You will work with licensed neurosurgeons learning the skills and techniques required in a daily surgical practice. At some point in your residency, you’ll scrub in and assist with surgeries.
Residency programs are long and intense. But they can also be enjoyable because you are practicing in the field of your choice. In addition to working with patients, you’ll also attend lectures and have opportunities to discuss scenarios involving actual case studies.
Step 5: Get Board Certified and State Licensed
Your journey is not yet over. There are licensure and certification tests you must take, and pass. They have both oral and written components. These exams assess your ability to apply the knowledge, principles, and concepts you have learned in school to actual practice. By the conclusion of them, you will have independent verification that you can practice safe and effective patient care. These tests are rigorous, and as with the MCAT, it is strongly recommended that you take the time to participate in a review course before attempting any of the exams.
To become licensed as a medical doctor, you must become fully state licensed and board certified. The first step in this process is applying to take the test through the United States Medical Licensing Examination organization. This begins a three-step process sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Additional information can also be found through the American Medical Association (AMA).
The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN) is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
The American Board of Neurological Surgery is also a member of the ABMS and facilitates the certification exam for neurosurgeons. Their website lists the training requirements and the components of the exam as well as exam deadlines and testing dates.
For details on becoming a certified as a neurologist or a neurosurgeon, visit the ABMS.
You may wonder why there are so many exams. You are interacting and working with human beings. In some cases, their lives may depend upon your skills and abilities. So the medical profession polices itself. By doing so, it does its very best to ensure doctors and surgeons are well qualified to extend patient care.
Step 6: Continuing Education
In spite of all the education required for becoming a neurologist or neurosurgeon, continuing education is necessary to renew your state license and board certification. Both of these have to be periodically updated for you to keep practicing.
Continuing education can be completed through fellowships for both neurologists and neurosurgeons. You can choose to focus on oncology or pediatrics or other subspecialties within the field of neurology, surgical or non-surgical. Specialization requires several more years of education. The length varies depending upon your subspecialty. For example, a vascular neurology fellowship may take only a year, but a child neurology fellowship could be three years.
In the alternative, you can attend classes and seminars offered by various medical associations and schools. There are local, state, and national medical organizations all over the country. Some are general while others are very specific. Some even accept student members. A web search can turn up ones in your geographic area.
No matter what option you choose, the objective of continuing education is to ensure you remain current on new procedures, techniques, and breakthroughs in the field of neurology.
Some things you can do right now
Although you may still be in high school, or younger, there are some things you can do right now to learn more about neurology and becoming a neurologist or neurosurgeon.
One is attending a summer internship program designed for high school students. There are a few specific to neurology. Others focus on alternative medical specialties. A number of them exist for further explorations into science which is helpful for students interested in science or medicine but aren’t sure what field to pursue.