Neurosurgery Clerkship

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You have a few options to get exposure to Neurosurgery. You have the option to spend the whole month or two weeks doing Neurosurgery. You also can take Neurosurgery call once or twice to have exposure to Neurosurgery in the acute setting.

The two or four week course option requires you to take the same exam as the Neurology option, which has its pros and cons. On the plus side you will have an excellent understanding of neuroanatomy and surgical technique which may help you in your future surgical rotation or allow you to implement your previously acquired surgical skills. However, on the negative side, you will have less exposure to basic Neurology principle. Nevertheless, you will be required to attend the same lectures as the other students in Neurology, which will help you keep up with the intended/tested curriculum. You will have the option to be at one of the many hospitals in Indianapolis. Listed below are the various hospitals that you will have the option to choose from; all are equally rewarding.

  • Indiana University Hospital   
  • Wishard Memorial Hospital
  • Riley Children’s Hospital
  • Veteran’s Affairs Hospital
  • Methodist Hospital

**Different hospitals and residents have various requirements for medical students. It is imperative that you figure out what is expected within the first few days in order to get the most out of this course.

The pearls for Neurosurgery are not drawn from lectures, but are basic topics that will come up with attendings.

Recommend Texts (by no means required):

  • Handbook of Neurosurgery: Mark S. Greenberg—this book is large, however it will fit in your pocket. It is considered by most to be the “Bible of Neurosurgery.”
  • Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases: Hal Blumfield—a great book for any rotation in a Neuroscience field.

*Dr. Barbaro (Dept. Chairman) will give you a packet of information your first day which contains a large amount of great information pertaining to Neurosurgery and the cases that it deals with.

*Operative Manuals are very expensive and available at the Neurosurgical Library in the office at Emerson Hall for your information; it may be valuable to read up on various procedures so you have a concept of what you may be looking at during a given procedure.

General Tips for Success:

  • Follow along with the Neurology curriculum, and try not to fall behind. This may seem daunting but it is very doable. Focus on the principles that you do not have exposure to during the course such as multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, etc.
  • Use this rotation to learn/reinforce Neuroanatomy
  • Participate in resident or attending weekly clinic. This will allow you to sharpen your neurological exam skills which is the most important aspect of the entire course.
  • Make the interns' lives easier. Offer to write notes, read up on patients, and overall try to be of value to the team.