The ABMS Member Boards - Neurological Surgery

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American Board of Neurological Surgery
245 Amity Road, Suite 208
Woodbridge, CT 06525
(203) 397-2267


Neurological Surgery

Neurological Surgery constitutes a medical discipline and surgical specialty that provides care for adult and pediatric patients in the treatment of pain or pathological processes that may modify the function or activity of the central nervous system (e.g., brain, hypophysis, and spinal cord), the peripheral nervous system (e.g., cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerves), the autonomic nervous system, the supporting structures of these systems (e.g., meninges, skull & skull base, and vertebral column), and their vascular supply (e.g., intracranial, extracranial, and spinal vasculature).

Treatment encompasses both non-operative management (e.g., prevention, diagnosis—including image interpretation—and treatments such as, but not limited to, neurocritical intensive care and rehabilitation) and operative management with its associated image use and interpretation (e.g., endovascular surgery, functional and restorative surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and spinal fusion—including its instrumentation).

Specialty training required prior to board certification: 7 years of neurosurgical residency training.

As minimums, this time must consist of 4.5 years of core clinical neurosurgery, including

  • 12 months as chief resident,
  • 3 months of basic neuroscience,
  • 3 months of critical care relevant to neurosurgery patients, and
  • 6 months of structured education in general patient care (e.g. trauma, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, etc.).

An additional 2.5 years of electives are required such as neuropathology, neuroradiology, research, and/or more neurosurgery, possibly in areas of special interest such as complex spine surgery, endovascular, or pediatric neurosurgery, and/or clinical and non-clinical neurosciences.

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    Questions to ask your surgeon

    What are the risks/benefits of this procedure?

    What will happen if I don’t have the procedure? Are there alternatives?

    How often have you performed the procedure? What is your success rate?

    How is the procedure performed? What are the complications?

    Do I need to donate blood? How do I do that?

    What should I expect in my recovery?

    Where can I learn more about my condition?


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