Our program is designed to provide preparation for a career in academic neurosurgery. Our residency training emphasizes clinical and operative skills under the direction of experienced and internationally known neurosurgeons. Frequent surgical training is essential to create skillful and knowledgeable neurosurgeons. It is important that trainees are exposed in-depth to various subspecialties during their time at the University of Miami Medical Campus /Jackson Memorial Hospital. Residency rotations offer the opportunity to become fully competent in a wide range of subspecialties including neurotrauma, neuroendovascular, neuro-oncology, functional, pediatric, cerebrovascular, skullbase, and spine. The program is structured into 3-month and 4-month blocks. The residency rotations are strategically organized to build crucial skills in preparation for the next stage of the program. The structured sequence allows residents to plan their time, studies, and research efforts in advance.

ACGME Accredited: Yes
Residents or Fellows per year: 3 Residents for a total of 21
Duration: 7 years
Postgraduate Training Required: Medical School
U.S. Citizenship Required?: No. However, at the time of application must have a valid ECFMG Certificate to qualify for residency employment and meet J-1 clinical visa requirements.

Residents/Fellows who have graduated our program in the last 10 years obtained faculty positions at: University of Miami-Jackson Health System, Harvard, Emory, University of Texas Health Science, Baylor, Barrow, Loyola, University of South Florida, University of Florida, Tufts, Washington University, University of Buffalo, University of Oklahoma, Wake Forest, University of Alberta in Canada and the University of Cambridge in UK.

Teaching Hospitals
Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami Hospital, Veterans Administration Medical Center and Miami Children’s Hospital.

To apply for a Residency Position please use the ERAS Matching Service and register with the NRMP. 

Application Requirements

  • USMLE Step 1 and a minimum passing score of 230
  • 3 letters of recommendation (preferable from other academic neurosurgeons)
  • Research experience is preferred, but not required.

Our deadline for application is October 15th of each year. We accept International Medical Graduates (IMG) who meet the qualifications listed and those who have a valid ECFMG Certificate and have completed USMLE Steps 1, 2 and 3, all with a minimum score of 230, and who meet immigration requirements for a J1 Clinical Visa. Previous clinical and research experience in the U.S. is preferred but not required for IMG’s to apply for Residency.

Application Deadline: October 15th of each year

Clerkships or Sub-Internships in Neurosurgery
If you are enrolled in an LCME Accredited Medical School and are planning to apply to our neurosurgery residency program it is suggested that you schedule your sub-internship rotation between the months of August through December via your medical school’s VSAS system. All rotations will be for 4-week periods and must start on a Monday. Interviews for a position in our residency program will be by invitation only. Performing a rotation in our department may support your application, but will not guarantee you an interview.

The goal of year one as a neurosurgery resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) and the University of Miami Hospital (UMH) is to gain an indepth foundation in the principles and practices of general surgery and the clinical neurosciences of fundamental importance to neurosurgery. The PGY-1 year is comprised of three major blocks: 4 months in general neurosurgery, 4 months neurology/ICU, and 4 months of cranial service at JMH.

The PGY-2 year consists of three 4-month blocks at JMH/UMH in the following subspecialties: cranial, spine, and neurotrauma. Junior cranial residents will learn to deliver neurosurgical care in a tertiary care/university hospital setting. They will have daily exposure to the operating room and a variety of neurosurgical specialties; including neurovascular neurosurgery, tumor surgery (acoustic neuroma, glioma, meningioma, and transsphenoidal), and functional surgery including deep brain stimulation, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic biopsy, and adult epilepsy. Junior spine residents will receive daily exposure to the operating room and to the surgical management of degenerative spine disease including minimally invasive techniques and spinal reconstruction. Residents will also be taught stabilization and management of trauma to the spine and spinal cord injury. Junior trauma residents will learn to function as part of the neurosurgical residency team with emphasis on patient assessment in the ER, post-operative care in the ICU, inpatient services, consultation services, outpatient clinics, and trauma craniotomies. While on-call, residents will be exposed to ICU related procedures, including ventriculostomies.

The PGY-3 year consists of a 4-month rotation at JMH in cranial, a 4-month pediatric rotation at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (formally known as Miami Children’s Hospital) located a short drive south of the Medical Campus, and a 4-month rotation at the Veterans Administration hospital (VAMC). The VAMC rotation emphasizes compassionate and empathetic care of the veteran patient. Residents are responsible for histories, physicals, admission and progress notes, operative notes, and management plans for diagnostic workup and treatment while exhibiting thoroughness, accuracy, and timeliness throughout the veteran’s hospitalization. Patient care at all the hospitals, whether on the wards and in the clinics, will be supervised by faculty and staff. The rapid feedback experience will result in a culture benefiting not just inpatient care, but ongoing learning and self-assessment.

The PGY-4 year consists of one 4-month block in a Neuroradiology/ Neurointerventional rotation at JMH, and one 8 month research block or elective. The eight months of dedicated, protected research time will be used for either a clinical or laboratory-based project. This endeavor will allow the resident to develop the study design, analytical, and manuscript preparation skills, create a poster presentation of the research project to present at an appropriate national forum, and submit one or more manuscripts from the laboratory-based research and/or clinical series for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. The cranial mid-level resident makes rounds on the entire inpatient service and is expected to see consults on inpatients as requested by other departments. The resident will see the patient, obtain the appropriate clinical information, review the available data and then present a case summary to the faculty. The resident is expected to initiate a plan of care based on review of the literature and interaction with the faculty and see it through to completion. This involves communication with the other medical teams caring for the patient. The mid-level spine resident develops mature clinical judgment related to the spectrum of problems encountered in spine pathology and injuries. Residents will also demonstrate a mature understanding of surgical strategies and approaches to common and unusual spinal pathology and injuries. Residents are responsible to delegate appropriate responsibilities to medical students and interns and to ensure their implementation, and supervise junior and medical students in daily patient assessment and care. Spine residents must demonstrate the ability to function independently in all phases of management of patients with spinal disorders. Residents will acquire a fundamental understanding of a wide range of neurosurgical disorders in children during their pediatric rotation. Residents learn general principles of neurosurgical management of pediatric patients and become adept in interacting with pediatricians, pediatric specialists, and families; and become familiar and comfortable with pediatric neuroradiology. Residents serve as the primary surgeon under appropriate supervision for basic pediatric neurosurgery procedures.

PGY – 5
In the fifth year, the resident has the option of continuing in an approved research project or achieving special clinical competence through a one-year in-residency “enfolded fellowship” in an area of the resident’s choosing such as spine, neuroendovascular, neurotrauma, or functional. Twelve months of research includes continuation of their PGY-4 clinical or laboratory-based research project. Residents will continue to develop their study design, analytical, and manuscript preparation skills and will participate in Foundations of Translational Research – “Bootcamp”. This is a course given by the University of Miami for training in the areas of clinical study design, critical literature review, statistics, ethics in research, introduction to translational research, and IRB preparation. Residents also have the option to participate in a structured year of enfolded fellowship such as spine, led by Dr. Michael Wang, neuroendovascular led by Dr. Eric Peterson, neurotrauma led by Dr. M. Ross Bullock, functional neurosurgery led by Dr. Jonathan Jagid, and surgical neuro-oncology led by Drs. Ronald Benveniste and Ricardo Komotar.

PGY – 6
The PGY-6 year is spent completing 4-month blocks each of senior level cranial and spine at JMH and UMH. The cranial senior resident develops skills to independently perform fundamental procedures in general neurosurgery. Significant portions of surgeries in subspecialty areas are performed, including vascular, epilepsy, functional, and tumor neurosurgery. The spine senior resident develops the knowledge to independently assess fundamental spine and peripheral nerve pathology and injury. The resident learns to independently perform the following fundamental procedures in general neurosurgery: laminectomy (both cervical and lumbar) and peripheral nerve release procedures. It is also required to understand and be able to perform anterior and posterior approaches for cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. The resident should be able to perform, with assistance, procedures such as cervical and lumbar laminectomy, anterior and posterior fusion procedures for thoracic and lumbar spine, and spinal reconstruction with full range of instrumentation.

PGY-7 is the chief residency year. The chief residents organize the operating schedule and spend 4 months as Chief of the Cranial Surgery Service at JMH, 4 months as Chief of the Spinal Surgery Service at JMH, and 4 months as Chief Resident of Neurosurgery at UMH. Chief cranial residents are responsible for all aspects of service. This includes the teaching of junior residents and medical students at the appropriate level, gathering essential and accurate information about all neurosurgical patients, and understanding indications for and interpreting the meaning of all laboratory studies and imaging. A chief resident must also be able to devise patient care plans at the level of an independent neurosurgeon for medical and surgical management of traumatic brain injury, simple and complex brain tumors, aneurysms, AVMs, DAVFs, and medical and operative complications. Chief spine residents direct the operations of a university hospital neurosurgical service. This includes interfacing directly with faculty to formulate treatment plans, performing all major spine neurosurgical procedures at an independent level, yet under the supervision of an attending surgeon, and working with other services to provide the optimal care of the patient, including various operative approaches. Residents will also gain advanced experience working with the department chairmen on administrative and clinical duties of the entire department and the implementation of advanced neurosurgical problem management techniques.

Board Exam Requirements
All PGY 2-6 residents are required to take the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) examination for practice annually. Satisfactory progress must be shown before the resident is recommended to take it for credit and before advancing to the next level of training. The examination must be passed for credit prior to the chief residency year. Wednesday evening teaching is led by the both residents and faculty to prepare our residents for the exam. The faculty also holds a “mock” oral board exam to assist in examination preparation.

Educational & Other Experience
Refer to Program Curriculum

Refer to Program Curriculum                       

Refer to Program Curriculum

Roberto C. Heros, MD
Neurosurgery Residency Program Director

Howard J. Landy, MD
Neurosurgery Medical Student Clerkship Director

Please refer all inquiries to;
Ingrid Menendez,
Administrative Director of Programs in Neurosurgery Residency, Fellowship & Medical Education
Tel. 305-243-6751

Brittney Duarte
Neurosurgery Senior Program Coordinator
Tel. 305-243-9605

If you are interested in applying for a fellowship in Neurosurgery please email your CV to nrstraining@med.miami.edu and specify your preferred academic year and fellowship subspecialty.

Contact Information
Phone: 305-243-6751
Fax: 305-243-3180
Email: nrstraining@med.miami.edu