The fellowship consists of one clinical year in neurosurgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The fellowship is approved by the Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training (CAST) of the Council of the Society of Neurological Surgeons. A research track is offered for fellows with interest in pursuing lab work at MSK, for a recommended minimum of 2 years.
The clinical year provides fellows with extensive experience in surgery and radiosurgery for benign and malignant brain tumors, pituitary tumors and other skull base tumors, spine tumors, and peripheral nerve tumors. MSK also treats pediatric brain tumors and has a pediatric neurosurgery service. In addition, the fellowship offers exposure to the didactic and intellectual environment of one of the world’s premiere multidisciplinary brain tumor centers and a fully integrated spine tumor center.
The broad spectrum of oncological diseases seen at MSK gives our fellows a unique training experience. Upon completing the program, fellows will possess a thorough understanding of both general and neurosurgical oncology. They will not only participate in a large number of surgical procedures on brain and spine tumors, but in long-term postoperative management as well.
Fellows are exposed to more than 1,000 major operative cases during the year and will perform surgical procedures under the direction of an attending surgeon. Fellows are also responsible for preoperative and postoperative patient care, and on non-operating days, they participate in outpatient clinics, doing hospital consultations, and supervising and instructing residents and medical students. Call schedule is shared with residents from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine and is approximately every third or fourth night and weekend.
During time spent on the brain service, fellows gain experience treating:
- Primary brain tumors and metastases
- Endoscopic skull base and pituitary tumors
- Complex combined skull base tumors with head and neck with and without plastic surgery
- Acoustic neuromas
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
During time spent on the spine service, fellows gain experience treating:
- Extradural and intradural tumors
- Percutaneous cement augmentation for spine tumors
- Osteoporotic fractures related to spine treatment
- Pain procedures
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
Core Curriculum & Conferences
The fellowship program is designed within a multidisciplinary setting to provide the education and training necessary for the practice of neurosurgical oncology.
There are a variety of conferences including a weekly meeting for faculty, fellows and residents, featuring outside or local speakers, fellow and resident presentations as well as discussion of recent journal articles. Grand round speakers are invited for weekly conferences combined with the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine program. Brain, spine and skull base/pituitary tumor boards are held regularly, and fellows are expected to attend and present cases.
Treatment Planning Conferences
Fellows attend weekly treatment planning conferences for spine radiosurgery.
Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Neurosurgery has brain, spine, and pituitary and skull base tumor boards every week or biweekly, for the discussion of complex cases in a multidisciplinary setting.
Brain Tumor Center Seminar Series
The Brain Tumor Center offers a monthly seminar series as well as weekly “work in progress” lunches, which fellows are encouraged to attend.
Morbidity and Mortality Conferences
Fellows are required to attend the monthly Morbidity and Mortality conference, which is held in conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine.
Journal Club is held weekly for the review and discussion of subject-specific literature. Fellows are expected to formally present once a month at journal club.
Fellows are expected to participate in weekly spine, brain, and multidisciplinary skull base clinics.
Several courses are also offered annually, including general and surgical oncology, biostatistics, computer courses, and basic research techniques.
Clinical research is highly encouraged during the fellowship year. The department offers an extensively annotated database, access to sequencing data, and the assistance of study research assistants as well as biostatisticians.
Laboratory research is available as a separate track to candidates with lab experience who are willing to spend 2 years in an MSKCC laboratory.