hadley 166x237UAB has a seven-year neurosurgical resident education program, dedicated to the clinical, surgical and professional development of our residents. Beginning with a neurosurgical internship, and culminating in the chief residency year, our trainees participate in a contemporary neurosciences educational paradigm and enjoy a graduated level of experience and responsibility in the care and management of neurosurgical patients. Graduates of our program pursue fellowships, academic neurosurgical junior faculty positions and private practice opportunities in neurological surgery throughout the country.

In addition to providing superior technical training, our program is uniquely structured to the professional development of our residents, with the goal of creating leaders in the field of neurosurgery. Through our Clinical Research Office, our residents receive formalized training in evidence-based medicine and clinical outcomes research techniques.

Competency-Centered Curriculum

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has one of the top-ranked neurosurgery residency training programs in the United States with a formalized, structured curriculum centered upon the six ACGME core competencies outlined/defined by the ACGME and the seven major sub-specialty areas within neurosurgery. Each resident receives a copy of the UAB Division of Neurosurgery Resident Handbook and Curriculum Guide, both as a working binder and an electronic teaching tool. This valuable resource contains a detailed description of the neurosurgery curriculum on each and every topic specific to each level of training (junior level resident, intermediate level, and senior level resident).  We utilize didactic teaching, self-directed learning, computer-based education, anatomic cadaveric dissection, and apprentice experiences to enrich each resident’s educational experience.

Clinical Neurology (3 months)

Neurosurgery (3 months)
Neurointensive Care (3 months)
General Surgery (3 months)
Research Year (12 months)
Vascular Service (4 months)
Tumor Service (4 months)
Spine Service (4 months)
Pediatric Neurosurgery, Senior (4 months)
Adult Neurosurgery, Senior (8 months)
Pediatric Neurosurgery (6 months)

Veterans’ Administration (6 months)
Critical Care (4 months)
Chief Residency (12 months)
Vascular Service (4 months)

Tumor Service (4 months)
Spine Service (4 months)

Resident-Directed Studies

Resident Study Name Faculty Advisor(s)
Christoph Griessenauer, MD Gamma Knife for Large Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) – AVM IRR project Winfield S. Fisher III, MD
Joshua Menendez, MD Effects of short-term antifibrinolytic therapy before early treatment of ruptured intracerebral aneurysms on subsequent development of hydrocephalus: A case-control study Winfield S. Fisher III, MD
Mark R. Harrigan, MD
Andrew Romeo, MD Outcomes of Epilepsy Surgery on MRI Negative Patients Kristen O. Riley, MD

Medical Evidence-Based Curriculum

res3Formalized didactic training in interpretation of medical evidence is directly incorporated into the resident curriculum at the University of Alabama. Beverly Walters, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS coordinates this initiative and conducts a monthly Medical Evidence Conference and a resident-led Journal Club. The purpose of this initiative is to teach the resident-in-training how to systematically and critically appraise scientific papers in the medical literature with regard to study design, bias, validation of assessment, common types of errors, and introductory statistical assessment. The residents are introduced to these concepts through a standardized curriculum. The residents then use these concepts to direct our monthly journal clubs according to contemporary standards of evidence-based medicine.

Evidence-Based Medicine: Development of Clinical Guidelines

Drs. Mark N. Hadley, Beverly C. Walters, and other faculty members including Dr. Mark Harrigan and Dr. Curtis Rozzelle within the Department of Neurosurgery have published multiple compilations of medical evidence-based guidelines for neurosurgical disorders. The guidelines were developed with the support of the Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Neurosurgery book cover with traintrachs   Journal of Neurosurgery - Spine   Neurosurgery Cover - Brown   Harrigan Handbook cover

Link to Guidelines for the Management of Acute Cervical Spine and Spinal Cord Injuries

Find out more about UAB Neurosurgery

UAB Department of Neurosurgery Faculty and Residents

City, Family and Camaraderie

Birmingham Skyline at night


Birmingham, AL is a major metropolitan area with a population of 1.2 million people. The city is famous for its culture, dining, and recreation. For our residents, Birmingham offers a dynamic and diverse environment, with affordable and spacious living near the hospital. The area sports numerous outdoor venues, with numerous parks and lakes. Popular activities include golfing, hiking, fishing/camping. Birmingham also hosts a number of social, musical and cultural events – including many night clubs, concert venues, an annual film festival, a crawfish broil, and multiple museums (art, motorsports, civil rights, to name a few).

UAB’s neurosurgery residency program supports residents and their families. Approximately 50Trophy-adjusted-199x300% of our residents are married with children, many born during residency. Most of our residents own their own homes, and live within a 10-20 minute drive from the hospital. This allows a suburban lifestyle with only a short daily commute. Spacious homes, friendly neighborhoods, and great schools make Birmingham an ideal place to live and raise a family. As a community, Birmingham life is centered around healthy family-based and kid-friendly activities.There is a natural camaraderie among the residents in our program. Annually, the residents compete in the Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament held in Central Park, NY each June. Residents participate in numerous social outings, and frequently travel to national meetings (CNS, AANS, SNS, Section Meetings). Previous destinations include San Diego, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Sea Island, Boca Raton, and Denver. The program is very supportive of academic travel and readily reimburses for presenting at these events. Neurosurgery interns participate in The Society of Neurological Surgeons’ “Boot Camp Courses” each year to accelerate their development of early clinical skills.