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During PGY-3, the neurosurgery resident will:

  • rotate 2 months on neuropathology;
  • learn systematic review of neuropathological slides in all aspects of neuropathology, including approximately 100 slides under 20 different categories. The residents are expected to review the slides independently. The attending will discuss each case with the residents after residents have rendered a diagnosis and read the related chapter for each category of the disease;
  • attend all brain cutting conferences to learn the basic roles in gross examination of the human brain and the common gross pathology of the brain and spinal cord;
  • attend microscopic and didactic lectures in neuropathology; and
  • participate in interpretation of frozen sections and all neurosurgical pathological specimens.


Reading List/Supplemental Reading

  • Surgical Pathology of the Nervous System and its Coverings, Peter Burger, et al, Fourth edition.
  • Neuropathology, a reference test of CNS Pathology, Ellison Love, Second edition.
  • Excourolle and Poirier Manual of Basic Neuropathology, Fourth Edition
  • World Health Organization Classification of Tumours – Pathology and Genetics Tumours of the Nervous System, 2007.


Goals and Objectives   

After the PGY-3 neuropathology rotation, the clinical residents in neurology and neurosurgery will understand the basic pathological features and pathological processes of common disorders of the nervous system. This training will help the trainee to pass the board exam and to offer better patient care by understanding neuropathology.


Medical Knowledge:  After this rotation the resident should be able to:

  • Develop competency in neuropathologic classification and nomenclature.
  • Understand the correlation with clinical and pathological findings and the impact of the neuropathological findings on patient management.

Patient Care and Assessment:  After this rotation the resident should be able to:

  • Develop correlative clinical interpretation skills of gross and microscopic pathological findings in neurological disease and neurosurgical specimens.
  • Utilize neuropathologic correlations to develop neurosurgical and adjunctive patient treatment plans.

Practice-Based Learning:  After this rotation, the resident will be able to:

  • Develop appropriate skills in touch preparation and frozen section techniques in neuropathology.
  • Establish fundamental competency in a gross and microscopic examination of the central nervous system and its pathologies.
  • Actively participate in the examination of neurosurgical case and autopsy specimens.

Systems-Based Practice: During this rotation the resident will be able to:

  • Serve as a liaison between the clinical neurosurgical service and the pathologists.
  • Work closely with pathology residents and attending neuropathologists in the preparation of neuropathology reports.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills – During this rotation the resident should be able to:

  • Establish and foster collaborative interactions with neuropathology colleagues.

Professionalism – The neurosurgery resident is expected to:

  • Engage in a professional manner at all times.
  • Demonstrate consistent adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to all patients regardless of gender, age, culture, religion, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, beliefs, behaviors or disabilities.
  • Promote the principles of confidentiality and informed consent.



At the end of this rotation, the Neuropathology faculty will complete an evaluation form based on the goals and objectives outlined above.


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