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Neurological Surgery Residency

The residency program at UC Irvine's Department of Neurological Surgery is designed to provide experience in adult and pediatric neurosurgical practice. Practice settings include the university's medical center, health maintenance organizations and private practice sites.

Training takes place at UC Irvine Medical Center, San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, Kaiser Permanente Orange County -Anaheim (KPOCA) and CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange. These settings offer our residents exposure to a wide variety of patients with neurosurgical conditions.

In addition to these clinical rotations, our residents are trained in neuropathology and neuroradiology. Residents also undergo an extensive didactic program of core lectures, seminars and neurosurgery journal clubs, conferences and grand rounds as well as a full year of research activities that they select.

The residency program, which is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), was officially launched on July 1, 2008. The seven-year program generally accepts one new resident trainee each year.

Overview »

The first year (PGY-1) includes five months of surgical training tailored toward neurosurgical relevance; three-months rotation in neuro-critical care; one-month rotation in trauma and a three-months rotation in basic neuroscience. During the the next 6 years, residents receive a variety of required neurosurgical training that includes, for example:

  • PGY-2, 12 months neurosurgery at UC Irvine Health Medical Center
  • PGY-3, 9 months neurosurgery at Kaiser Permanente OC-Anaheim; 3 endovascular neurosurgery at UC Irvine Health Medical Center
  • PGY-4, 6 months pediatric neurosurgery at Childrens Hospital of Orange County; 2 months of stereotactic radiosurgery at San Antonio Regional Hospital; 1 month of neuro-oncology; and 3 months clinical neurosurgery at Kaiser Permanente OC-Anaheim
  • PGY-5, 12 months of research at UC Irvine Medical Center or 12 months of subspecialty electives  (skull base neurosurgery; epilepsy and functional neurosurgery; complex spine; endovascular neurosurgery; neuro-critical care) at UC Irvine Health Medical Center
  • PGY-6, Option 1:  3 months pediatric neurosurgery at Childrens Hospital of Orange County; 2 month peripheral nerve surgery at UC San Diego;  an elective consisting of 2 month of interventional radiology, including endovascular surgery, and 2 months of multidisciplinary spine service, both at UC Irvine Medical Center; and 3 months as chief resident at UC Irvine Medical Center
  • PGY-6, Option 2: 3 months of pediatric neurosurgery at Rady Children's Hospital (UCSD);   2 months peripheral nerve surgery at UC San Diego;  an elective consisting of 2 months of interventional radiology, including endovascular surgery, and 2 months of multidisciplinary spine service; and 3 months as chief resident at UC Irvine Medical Center
  • PGY-7, 9 months as chief resident at UC Irvine Medical Center; 3 months of subspecialty elective

Beginning with the PGY-2-7 year, residents are expected to prepare and submit at least one manuscript annually for peer review publication.

They are expected to take the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) written examination for either practice or credit each year of training beginning with the PGY-1 year. The earliest year they can take the examination for credit is PGY-4. Residents must pass the ABNS exam by the completion of PGY-6 in order to progress to the final chief residency year.

Assuming these requirements are met and faculty evaluations are satisfactory, a resident will complete the entire program in 7 years.

Affiliated Hospitals »


CHOC Children's Hospital of Orange County

CHOC is a 202-bed, not-for-profit pediatric hospital in Orange that offers a full spectrum of healthcare services including most specialties. CHOC has pediatric medical/surgical units, a pediatric intensive care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit, a cardiovascular intensive care unit, a neuroscience unit and an oncology intensive care unit. At present, it is the 15th busiest pediatric hospital in the United States.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Anaheim

Kaiser Foundation Hospital-Anaheim is a 167-bed hospital with five neurosurgeons who treat the full spectrum of neurosurgical cases. The facility is also a referral center for cerebrovascular cases from the Kaiser system. The hospital has the capability for both microsurgical and endovascular procedures. It has a considerable volume of neurosurgical procedures, which will enhance residents' experience in adult neurosurgery, particularly for general primary and secondary neurosurgical cases as well as cerebrovascular neurosurgery.

San Antonio Regional

SARH is a 271-bed, not-for-profit, acute care hospital in Upland, where residents receive training in radiosurgery at the Southern California Gamma Knife Center.

Application Process »

Residency Match applications are processed online through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Applicants must register with both ERAS and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)to participate in the services of each.

PGY-1 is a categorical year of training under the direction of the Department of Neurological Surgery.

For more information on matching, please visit the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) website.

International medical graduates must have the following to be considered: 

Meet our 2015-2016 Neurological Surgery residents ›

View our residency program alumni ›

For more information about the Department of Neurological Surgery's residency program, contact:

Cindy Wang
Residency Education Coordinator
Department of Neurological Surgery
UC Irvine School of Medicine
200 S. Manchester Ave., Suite 210
Orange, CA 92868
Phone: 714-456-3402