Drexel University

Neurosurgery Pathway

Curriculum through Class of 2019 only. For students graduating Class of 2020 and beyond, please see new curriculum link.

  • Introduction
  • Sites and Personnel
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Description of Pathway
    • Pathway Summary Table
    • Required Rotation In Neurosurgery
  • Textbooks and Learning Resources
  • Evaluation


Pathway 2018-2019: email Dr. Liebman and cc: Katie Tilbury for an advising appointment. Include your Step scores, CV and medical school grades.




The Department of Neurosurgery offers a senior year discipline-based pathway in Neurosurgery. The Neurosurgery Discipline-Based Pathway provides basic experience in Neurosurgery, with additional exposure to various subspecialties of Neurosciences. Because Neurosurgery is a field that is integral to almost all of medicine, students will be encouraged to diversify their course selection. Required courses will include the Sub-internship in Internal Medicine and the Neurology courses which are essential for practice of medicine in different settings. Hospital-based, clinic-based, and urgent-care courses are encouraged, as is exposure to both pediatric and geriatric practices where neurosurgical interventions are common. All students must also complete the required Intersession course. Involvement in research in the neurosciences is becoming increasingly important in this highly competitive residency.


The website http://www.neurosurgerywins.org is a useful guide for students considering neurosurgery as a career choice. It provides a wealth of information as well as useful links to other sites.

The student is encouraged to explore all other fields of medicine since many interface with Neurosurgery
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Sites and Personnel

Pathway Co-Directors:
Drexel University College of Medicine

Kenneth Liebman, M.D.
Global Neurosciences Institute
Phone: 844-464-6387
Fax: 215-239-3037

Katie Tilbury
Global Neurosciences Institute
Phone: 609-964-4897
Fax: 215-239-3037


The Neurosurgery course in the discipline-based pathway will be available as described in the course catalogue. Please work with the Pathway Director to determine what rotation would be the best option for you.

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Description of Pathway

Click here for a summary table of the Neurosurgery Pathway.

Goals And Objectives

The primary goal of the senior year discipline-based Neurosurgery pathway is to provide a framework for students to structure their senior year in preparation for a future career in Neurosurgery. Neurosurgery programs currently range from 5-7 years following an internship year. Neurosurgery is a far-ranging discipline in which the practitioner sees young and old patients with both systemic and localized diseases, as well as patients with conditions necessitating surgery. Therefore, the Departments of Neurosurgery encourage students to take electives that will expose them to the many and varied conditions that they will be encountering in caring for future patients.

The pathway includes the four  required courses and several elective opportunities. The required Medicine Sub-internship and Neurology must be taken at "home," and all other courses may be taken at "home" or "away" sites. No more than three (3) four week elective courses may be taken at "away" sites by College of Medicine regulation.

The required subinternship in Medicine and the Neurology course are College of Medicine graduation requirements, and are described elsewhere in detail. The required Neurology rotation is not required by Drexel to be taken prior to Neurosurgery but may be required by Away institutions. The Neurosurgery required rotation should be taken early in the year so that the student may acquire some familiarity with the field in order to make an informed choice of professions, as well as for letters of recommendation.

The Pathway recommends that the student selects two additional Neurosurgery Electives.   These are listed under "Recommended Elective"

The remaining electives are “Free Electives” although there are several electives that are suggested as complimentary for students interested in Neurosurgery.

Anesthesia is a discipline which is closely allied to Neurosurgery. The student should be exposed to the techniques of intravenous sedation, regional anesthesia, and general anesthesia. The rotation should provide the student with extensive exposure to airway management and clinical pharmacology.

Infectious Diseases is a medical subspecialty which will familiarize the student with the treatment of sepsis, acute and chronic infections, and surgical infections. The student will become familiar with the use of antibiotics, as well.

Otolaryngology is a rotation where the student should learn to do a proper head and neck examination, and become familiar with complaints and conditions relating to the ears and sinuses, both of which have considerable overlap with the central nervous system.

Endocrinology is a field of medicine wherein the student will become familiar with diseases that also often affect the central or peripheral nervous system. A familiarity with endocrinologic diseases will greatly enhance the students understanding of related neurosurgical diseases.

Radiology is a rotation where the student will become familiar with imaging techniques used in neurosurgical disorders e.g. reading Cat Scans and MRIs as well as plain films. Ability to read and interpret these studies will be very helpful in future neurosurgical training.

Required Rotations In Neurosurgery
This is a four week course that should familiarize the student with the broad scope of neurosurgical practice, both medical and surgical. The student should become familiar with neurosurgical terms and common surgical nervous system diseases, as well as with Neurosurgical findings in systemic diseases. The rotation will be structured as a subinternship so that the students is actively involved in patient care and functions as an integral member of the neurosurgical care team in all settings including critical care units, operating rooms, the emergency department and the outpatient clinics.

All students are required to create a presentation on a subject of their choice in Neurosurgery which will be evaluated by faculty.

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Textbooks And Learning Resources

  1. Handbook of Neurosurgery. Greenberg, M (ed) 6th Edition, Thieme
  2. Neurosurgery. An Introductory Text. Black, P (ed.) Oxford University Press
  3. Essential Neurosurgery. Kaye, A (ed) 3rd Edition. Blackwell Press
  4. The ICU Book. Marino,P (ed) 2nd Edition. Williams and Wilkins
  5. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. Q&A. Mckhann, G (ed). Thieme

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Evaluation Of Student Performance
Each student will be evaluated by the attendings with whom the student spends the most time during the elective. The Pathway Directors will review and sign all evaluations.  All students will receive feedback at the midpoint and at the end of their rotation.

Evaluation Of Pathway
At the conclusion of the Neurosurgery rotation, all students are required to complete a final evaluation on line assessing the quality of their experience. These critiques will be shared with the Neurosurgery faculty and will help to revise the rotation as needed. Students will also be asked at the end of the year to evaluate the pathway and rotations.

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The provisions of The Student Handbook of Drexel University College of Medicine are not to be regarded as a contract between any student and the College of Medicine. The College of Medicine may, at any time, change any provisions, curriculum requirements, teaching facilities, affiliated teaching sites and/or their amenities, bylaws, rules, regulations and policies as may be necessary in the interest of the University, Drexel University College of Medicine of Medicine, and its students.

Revised 02/24/2017  -- Specific questions or comments about the content of this page may be directed to the Division of Clinical Education