PGY-4 Year

Educational Program: PGY-4

The PGY-4 year will be devoted to providing the opportunity to develop an understanding of the research process and to provide a dedicated opportunity to become academically productive. The over-arching goal is to acquaint residents with research processes and techniques, allow them to engage actively in meaningful research,  and publish and present. Residents are expected to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals.

During this rotation, residents should become knowledgeable about research design and development as well as statistical analysis as it relates to evaluation of research data. Knowledge in the methods of obtaining funding for research should also be obtained. Residents in this track should learn to critically evaluate clinical and bench research projects. Residents in the research rotation will learn to prepare clinical and bench research information for oral and printed presentation. Residents in the research year may help teach the basic neuroscience curriculum to the University of Nebraska medical students and rotating residents.

During the PGY-4 year, residents will have 12 months dedicated to research. Projects involving laboratory research or clinical research at UNMC, other University of Nebraska campuses, or away from the UN campus may be available. Inter-departmental, collaborative research is supported. During the first three years of residency training, neurosurgery residents should consider their research interests and begin to explore research options. Residents will be expected to have identified a research project and mentor by Spring of the PGY-3 year and take preliminary steps that will allow them to start their research project promptly at the beginning of the research rotation. Research projects should be discussed and approved with the Program Director, or their faculty mentor, for the purpose of ensuring that the project is appropriate and will provide a good research experience; this discussion should take place well before final arrangements for the research project are made to ensure the project is appropriate and that is can start and conclude in a timely manner. A wide variety of resources are available for support of resident research. These resources include those of the basic science faculty of the Division of Neurosurgery and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, neuropathology, and neuroradiology. Projects outside these domains may also be appropriate (e.g., epidemiologic studies). Reasonable financial support will be available for the resident.

Residents will be expected to pass the ABNS written examination (for credit) during the PGY-4 year in preparation to assuming Senior Resident duties at Methodist/Children’s Hospitals during the PGY-5 year. Global evaluation of resident performance will be performed by the neurosurgery faculty and support staff ("360 degree evaluation") following the neurosurgery research rotation. Evaluation of resident performance on non-neurosurgery rotations will be provided by faculty overseeing the residents in those rotations. Residents will evaluate faculty of non-neurosurgery rotations at the conclusion of those rotations and will complete a "self-assessment" and formal evaluation of the neurosurgery program and faculty annually.