The internship year is spent rotating between several different specialties including 1 month of trauma, 1 month plastic surgery, 1 month neurology, 1 month neuropathology/neuroradiology, 1 month otolaryngology/ophthalmology, and 1 month of interventional radiology. The remaining 3 months are divided between 3 months of intensive care/critical care training and 3 months on the neurosurgical service. During this year, the resident is expected to gain expertise with the neurological exam, differential diagnosis, learn critical care medicine, gain basic surgical skills, and become comfortable with bedside procedures such as ventriculostomy and ICP monitor placement.
This year is spent as a junior resident of the Tampa General Hospital (TGH) neurosurgery service. The primary focus of this year is to be proficient in neurocritical care. To this end, the resident will round each morning exclusively in the Neurological ICU on weekdays. Call is approximately 1 in 4 and is taken in-house. All junior and mid-level residents are included in the call pool. During call, the resident is responsible for all in-house and ER consults as well as the care of all patients on the neurosurgical service. The resident will frequently assist in the operating room where they are expected to gain experience with exposure and closure of complex cases as well as master more straight-forward procedures such as placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt or an evacuation of a subdural hematoma.
This year is divided into two six-month blocks. Six months of this year are spent on the Tampa General neurosurgery service. During this time residents will build on the skills they learned during the prior year. Residents will receive increased operative independence and are expected to assist in the training of more junior residents and medical students. The other half of the year is spent as the sole resident at the James A. Haley VA Hospital. During this rotation, the resident will have primary responsibility for the service under the direct supervision of the attending faculty. Responsibilities include the full breadth of patient care from the initial clinic evaluation, treatment strategy decision making, operative planning, performing the operation, acute postoperative care, and follow up care in the clinics. The resident is also responsible for all consults. Call is taken from home and weekend coverage is split with the Moffitt resident.
This year is divided into two six-month blocks. One block is a dedicated pediatric neurosurgical experience at All Children's' Hospital. Here, the resident is exposed to a multitude of pediatric neurosurgical disorders such as hydrocephalus, brain and spinal cord tumors, pediatric trauma, and congenital spinal deformities. Call is taken from home and split with a team of physician assistants. The second block is spent as a mid-level resident on the Tampa General neurosurgical service. The resident is now able to perform many operations independently. At this point, the resident is involved in more complex cases including skull base tumors, spinal cord tumors, aneurysm clippings, and bypasses.
The fifth year of residency is reserved for elective and research projects. Prior residents have done additional training in endovascular neurosurgery, complex spinal surgery, or neurosurgical oncology. Others have worked in the lab on a wide range of topics. This year is designed to allow the resident to explore a personal area of interest that will result in them becoming well-balanced physicians.
The senior resident spends six months at the Moffitt Cancer Center during this year. Here, they gain operative skill and confidence with a host of oncological disorders including skull base as well as complex spinal resection and reconstruction. Residents also gain an understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of neuro-oncology and work closely with medical and radiation oncologists throughout the rotation. The final rotation is that of a senior resident at TGH. At this point, the focus of the rotation is expansion of the resident's surgical skills and a deeper appreciation for the complexity of neurosurgical patients.
This is the chief year spent entirely at TGH. As a chief resident of the neurosurgical service, this resident serves as both clinical and administrative chief. At the completion of his/her training the chief resident has gained sufficient breadth of knowledge and surgical experience to pursue a career in academic neurosurgery, a career in private practice, or continue training in a subspecialty fellowship.