Description of Education Facilities

Neurosurgery Residency Program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center

The main resident’s office is located at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center. It has six computer stations with access to most of the on-line neurological teaching tools and state of the art audio-visual equipment including 42” flat screen TV and the latest recording and editing equipment. All surgical procedures are recorded via either headlight or microscope mounted TV and stored on computer hard drives. Residents select appropriate cases and edit them for presentation at weekly Ground Rounds which are attended by all the neurosurgical attendings and residents, neuroradiologist and residents in Radiology and invited guests. These recordings serve several purposes. The resident can review the surgical procedures in which he/she participated as many times as they feel necessary to fully understand it. In the comfort of their office and with the use of other teaching tools such as books or other information available through the computer searches, they maximize their learning experience. There is a direct TV feed from the OR to the resident’s room so that live surgery can be observed. At the Grand Rounds, the recordings are used to point out anatomical structures, pathology and surgical techniques. The resident’s office contains independent computer stations for the residents with access to Internet, New Jersey Medical School library and several medical search engine programs. In addition to a general Medical Library at CBMC there is a dedicated Otto York Neurosurgical library with large number of titles and tapes and there are many standard neurosurgical, neuroradiological and neurology texts available at the resident’s office. The well endowed Neumann Neurosurgical Education Fund is used to pay for various educational tools, activities, conferences and other educational activities for the residents. The research is funded through the Sandra Christie Research Fund.

Educational Activities

The program has adequate number of surgical procedures and formal educational programs to provide excellent learning experience without resident being overwhelmed by non-learning patient care activities. Both hospitals have the most advanced information technology and computerized data retrieval including medical records. All radiographic diagnostic studies are available on PAC system and can be reviewed in the resident’s office. There are six working computer stations in the resident’s office through which they can access numerous on-line journals from several libraries. A conference room with state of the art audio-visual system was recently renovated with neurosurgical funds to be available for conferences. In addition to routine pre, intra and post op care the residents are exposed to working with frameless stereotaxy system, intra-operative electrophysiological monitoring systems, the LINAC Cyberknife® and Gamma knife radiosurgery system and deep brain stimulation as well as epilepsy monitoring procedures. They also participate in endovascular procedures and treatments of strokes.

The programmed educational activities include:

  1. Daily working rounds with an assigned attending and resident/attending topic discussion with the appropriate attending. Daily working rounds with neurointensivist at the Neurosurgical ICU.
  2. “Grand Rounds” working weekly case conferences with all neurosurgery attendings and a neuroradiologist and radiology residents present. All cases where surgeries were performed that week are discussed by the neurosurgical residents including clinical presentation, and radiographic/ diagnostic studies with specific emphasis on their correlation with the surgical procedure. The neurosurgical residents also prepare/edit video recordings of these procedures and present 5-7 minute clips which serve as an educational tool for both learning the anatomy and surgical pathology as well as surgical techniques followed by a formal power point presentation on the topic. This is the main conference for the program of the week held at CBMC. There is “Departmental Grand Rounds” conference with similar format held weekly at HUMC.
  3. Chief of Service Rounds. A weekly conference with Program Director in resident’s office at CBMC. In hospital cases with their clinical and radiographic findings presented through the Magic Web computer system and their treatment options are discussed. This is followed by semiformal presentation and discussion on related topics. There is a similar conference at HUMC with Dr. A. Fried.
  4. Combined neurology/neurosurgery/neuropathology conference every four weeks. Non-malignant cases are discussed.
  5. Adult Tumor Board Conference once every 4 weeks at CBMC, twice a month at HUMC. This is attended by neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists and their residents. Malignant cases are discussed.
  6. Pediatric Tumor Board Conference twice a month at HUMC.
  7. Bi-monthly mortality/morbidity conference at CBMC, monthly at HUMC.
  8. Combined neurosurgery/orthopedic spine conference at HUMC.
  9. Trauma Conference monthly at HUMC.
  10. Formal Neuroradiology conference presented by Dr. Gesner, Chief of Neuroradiology.
  11. Individual study course using personal computers with access to basic neurology/ neuroradiology/ neurosurgery/neuropathology texts in the resident’s office.
  12. Bi-monthly, in depth, didactic presentation by an attending on Neurosurgical, Neurological,Orthopedic, ENT, Neuroradiology, and Neuropathology topic.
  13. About four nationally and internationally recognized experts are invited to spend a day and present a talk as visiting professors each year starting July 1, 2009.
  14. Yearly Epilepsy Symposium with nationally recognized speakers at HUMC.
  15. Yearly Neuro-oncology Symposium with nationally recognized speakers at HUMC.
  16. Monthly Journal Club.
  17. Residents scrub only on cases with educational value and assume progressively increasing responsibility in operative and non-operative case management.
  18. Residents have access to orthopedic spine surgery cases and to scoliosis surgery under Dr. Dryer.
  19. Extended, specialized training in medical and surgical management of epilepsy under the supervision of Drs. Eric Geller and Werner Doyle is given to PGY1 and PGY 2 during their Neurology rotation. It is also available for those interested in epilepsy as an elective in the fourth year of training at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Treatment center, which is part of the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of RWJBarnabas Health. Residents are exposed routinely to techniques of epilepsy diagnosis, monitoring and treatment as well as electrophysiologic intraoperative monitoring in the Operating room and in the Neuro intensive care unit.
  20. Microsurgery on animals in a laboratory at Hackensack University Medical Center is part of each resident’s compulsory surgical education in each year of their training. This includes performing increasingly difficult tasks using microscope and specialized tools such as high speed drills and micro instruments.
  21. Residents are exposed to pain procedures and osteopathic principles working with Dr. R. Pak and Dr. D. Conyack at the pain center twice a week.
  22. Elective time can be arranged for interested residents in nationally or internationally recognized centers with expertise in subspecialties not available at RWJBarnabas Health or Hackensack University Medical Center in the fifth year of the residency training program. The Chief Resident spends four to six weeks at the Department of Neurosurgery and Orthopedics, Spine at the III. Medical Faculty of the Charles University Prague, Czech Republic.
  23. Residents participate in the yearly national ”In service exam”.

Animal Facilities

The animal laboratory is located at the Hackensack University Medical Center. In addition to animal laboratory for both large and small animals, there is a cadaver facility where brachial plexus and peripheral nerve dissections can be performed. There is a didactic protocol for animal surgery including microsurgery for PGY 2 through PGY 6 residents.