Neurosurgical rotations or clerkships in US medical schools Clinical article

Department of Neurosurgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Journal of Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.74). 01/2011; 114(1):27-33. DOI: 10.3171/2010.5.JNS10245
Source: PubMed


Medical student exposure to neurosurgery is limited. To improve the educational interactions between neurosurgeons and medical students as well as neurosurgical medical student rotations or clerkships (NSCs) we must first understand the current status.
Two questionnaires were sent, one to every neurosurgery course coordinator or director at each US neurosurgery residency program (99 questionnaires) and one to the associated parent medical school dean's office (91 questionnaires), to assess the current status of NSCs and the involvement of neurosurgeons at their respective institutions.
We received responses from 86 (87%) of 99 neurosurgery course coordinators or directors and 64 (70%) of 91 medical school deans' offices. Most NSCs do not have didactic lectures (53 [62%] of 86 NSCs), provide their medical students with a syllabus or educational handouts (53 [62%] of 86), or have a recommended/required textbook (77 [90%] of 86). The most common method of evaluating students in NSCs is a subjective performance evaluation. Of 64 medical school deans, 38 (59%) felt that neurosurgery should not be a required rotation. Neurosurgical rotations or clerkships are primarily offered to students in their 4th year of medical school, which may be too late for appropriate timing of residency applications. Only 21 (33%) of 64 NSCs offer neurosurgery rotations to 3rd-year students.
There is significant room for improvement in the neurosurgeon-to-medical student interactions in both the NSCs and during the didactic years of medical school.

11 Reads
  • World Neurosurgery 11/2011; 78(1-2):18-9. DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2011.04.003 · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurological surgery is historically among one of the most competitive residency matches, but data suggests a downward trend in neurosurgical residency applicants in the U.S. In 2002, our department in conjunction with our institution began an initiative to increase exposure to and interest in neurological surgery, targeting both undergraduate and medical students. This study outlines and assesses the factors employed by our institution to successfully prepare and recruit medical students for residency in the field of neurological surgery. This initiative has been divided into four phases to date. In Phase 1, a two-week neurosurgical experience was incorporated into the existing Neurology/Psychiatry third year clerkship and a chapter to the Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) was created. In Phase 2, the neurological surgery department increased efforts recruiting undergraduate students and preclinical medical students for research projects through a summer research program. During Phase 3, new neurosurgical course electives were added for third and fourth year medical students as well as allowing earlier completion of a fourth year acting internship. In Phase 4, a neurosurgical interest group was created. Since the implementation of all four phases, the number of medical students matching successfully to neurological surgery at our institution has increased drastically. An earlier, organized involvement of the neurosurgical department in medical student education can result in an improved understanding of the role of neurosurgeons among other practitioners as well as a greater number of well-qualified residency applicants into neurological surgery.
    World Neurosurgery 08/2013; 80(6). DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2013.08.027 · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • World Neurosurgery 09/2013; 80(6). DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2013.09.004 · 2.88 Impact Factor