Residency Program

Penn State Neurosurgery Residency Program

The Neurosurgery Resident Training Program at Penn State, under the direction of Jonas Sheehan, MD, Program Director and Robert Harbaugh, MD, Department Chair, is a seven-year program accepting two residents per year.   We are proud of the collegial, collaborative environment that exists among the faculty, residents, nurses, and staff in the Penn State Department of Neurosurgery. Seventeen full time clinical faculty members in the Department of Neurosurgery perform more than 3000 open, endovascular and radiosurgical neurosurgical procedures per year.
Neurosurgery residents at Penn State receive excellent clinical training in all areas of neurosurgery, including endovascular and vascular neurosurgery, epilepsy surgery, functional neurosurgery, neuro-oncology and skull base surgery, neurocritical care, neurotrauma, pediatric neurosurgery, peripheral nerve surgery, radiosurgery and spine surgery, under the direction of nationally recognized and fellowship trained neurosurgery faculty members. 
All required clinical rotations occur at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Hospital, the Penn State Hershey Childrens' Hospital, the East Campus Neuroscience Clinic and the Hershey Outpatient Surgical Center, all on the Penn State Hershey Medical Center campus. Elective rotations can be done at our University Park and Wyoming Valley practice sites. Rotations abroad during the resident's independent study year can also be arranged.  
In addition to exceptional clinical training, neurosurgery residents have access to a robust neuroscience research program in the Department of Neurosurgery. Seven full time research faculty members have ongoing programs in a wide range of areas, including our neural engineering program - a joint program between the Penn State Departments of Neurosurgery and Engineering Science & Mechanics. The Neurosurgery Department has more than $8,000,000 in active grants and ranks 18th nationally in NIH funding. An independent study year, can be used for research in an area of the resident's choice. Additional research time is available throughout the training. 
We also have a vigorous clinical research program with a well-developed clinical trials group. More than 50 investigator initiated or industry sponsored clinical studies are underway.
The Penn State Department of Neurosurgery takes the resident education mission very seriously. Each Friday is devoted to resident teaching conferences from 7:00am - 4:00pm. Additional conferences occur on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before going to the operating room. Extensive training in biostatistics, clinical trial design and evidence-based medicine is included in the program.
Our residents finish their training fully equipped to enter an academic or private practice. They are well trained in the preoperative, operative and post operative care of all neurosurgical patients, with an excellent understanding of basic, translational and clinical neuroscience disciplines.