Residency Program

Penn State Neurosurgery Residency Program

The Penn State Neurosurgery Resident Training Program, under the direction of Robert Harbaugh, M.D., department chair and program director, 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 Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery. Seventeen full-time clinical faculty members in neurosurgery perform more than 3,000 open, endovascular, and radiosurgical neurosurgical procedures per year.

Neurosurgery residents at Penn State Hershey 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 Penn State Hershey Medical Center, the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, 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 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 Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery and Penn State Engineering Science and Mechanics. Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery 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 fifty investigator initiated or industry sponsored clinical studies are underway.

Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery takes the resident education mission very seriously. Each Friday is devoted to resident teaching conferences from 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Additional conferences occur on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before operations begin. 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.