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Although it may seem premature to contemplate life after medical school so early in your medical school training, time moves quickly and it is never too soon to start thinking about how you plan to spend the rest of your professional life.
Neurosurgery is among the youngest of the surgical sub-specialties dating back to the early 1900s. It is considered to be an extremely sophisticated, highly demanding, constantly changing but richly rewarding discipline concerned with the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of disorders of the nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Presently, job opportunities in Neurosurgery are wide open.
Completion of M.D. or D.O. program
7 years (84-months) of residency
Additional fellowships in subspecialties ranging from 1-2 years in length are optional but may be required for practice in certain subspecialties
In 2023, there were a total of 115 Neurological Surgery Residency Programs participating in the Match
Of the 243 positions available, 3 went unfilled.
Of the 243 positions filled: 211 were filled by MD Seniors; 10 were filled by MD graduates; 3 were filled by DO seniors; 1 were filled by DO graduates; 1 were filled by U.S. IMGs; 14 were filled by non-U.S. IMGs
Neurological surgery continues to be included in the list of top competitive specialties, with a higher proportion of unmatched applicants.
Full NRMP Report available online.
With the increasingly competitive nature of neurosurgery, medical students must remain focused, involved, and productive throughout their studies. Competitive applicants will have: high marks in coursework, including core clerkships and neuroscience/neurosurgery electives; peer-reviewed publications, presentations at local, regional, and national conferences; strong letters of recommendation from neurosurgeons at their home institution and away rotations; personal statements that offer insight into their interest in and understanding of the field; involvement with extra-curricular activities and clubs.
One of the most valuable resources for medical students will be mentors in the field. Students should take the initiative to network with neurosurgeons, residents, and/or fellows. In doing so, students will gain firsthand knowledge of the profession, open the door for opportunities to collaborate on research projects, and ensure that the student has connections with people who can offer guidance and support as they navigate residency applications.
Please explore the information and resources available on this site. Whether you are just starting with your medical education or preparing to apply to residency there are many resources to assist you with the process.
Visiting MSIV medical students can find more information in our Residency Program.