1394. Impact of Neurosurgery Elective for Medical Students

Authors: Simon Buttrick, MD; John Paul Kolcun, BS; Allan Levi, MD, PhD; Ricardo Komotar, MD (Miami, FL)


Neurosurgery is viewed as an inaccessible and esoteric field by many medical students. This is in large part due to the limited exposure most trainees have in medical school.


The authors organized a weekly resident-run neurosurgery elective at the University of Miami with a comprehensive, structured curriculum covering all major areas in neurosurgery with lectures, case discussions, and skills sessions in the cadaver lab and operating room. A survey assessing attitudes towards the field as well as an exam testing basic neurosurgical knowledge were collected at the beginning and the end of the course.


The course improved attitudes towards neurosurgery among medical students and self-reported interest in pursuing neurosurgery as a career. We also found a trend towards higher numbers of applicants since inception of the course. Average scores on the exam increased from 26% to 62% after completion of the course (p<0.05).


Our neurosurgery elective was popular with medical students and significantly improved attitudes towards the field, as well as knowledge of neurosurgical diagnosis and management.