The Society of Neurological Surgeons Resident Courses

SNS PGY1 Boot Camp Courses

July 7-8, 2017
Chicago, IL
Portland, OR

July 14-15, 2017
Boston, MA
Houston, TX

July 21-22, 2017
Atlanta, GA
Philadelphia, PA

Fundamentals of Neurosurgery Boot Camp

Dear Residency Program Directors and Coordinators,

On behalf of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons I would like to welcome you to the Fundamentals of Neurosurgery Course. This course was created by academic faculty who are dedicated to the educational mission of both societies. This course is designed to help you in the critical transition from medical student to playing an active role as a medical professional dedicated to patient safety. The responsibility and accountability that comes with your new role assumes a basic level of knowledge and competency. In this course you will be instructed and assessed in the fundamental knowledge, procedural and learning skills necessary to fulfill your essential role in a collaborative neurosurgery residency team.

The course provides an opportunity to interact with senior faculty in a low key atmosphere, providing a “safe place to fail” as you discuss neurosurgical case scenarios that you will likely encounter and learn basic procedural skills.  You will have an active role in this course, starting with basic pre course preparation.   The course is structured in a “flipped classroom” format with an expectation of pre course study of on line narrated lectures, on line procedural videos, and the course handbook.  You are expected to view these educational materials and arrive at the course ready for an active role in an interactive case-based format.  You will be expected to preview the on line material demonstrating the procedural skills and should be prepared for an on-site simulated competency assessment of procedural skills.  All of these study materials are available on the Society of Neurological Surgeons website at

The faculty of this course has generously donated their time, and is sharing their experience with you in this effort. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from their experience. We thank the faculty, the host institutions, our industry partners, and the SNS staff for all of their hard work in putting this together.

Gregory J. Zipfel, MD
National Course Director
Society of Neurological Surgeons Resident Courses

The SNS Boot Camp Fundamental Skills Course is designed to introduce important principles of neurosurgical care to PGY 1 Residents. Complete with lecture and hands-on lab sessions, residents will be educated on professionalism, communications, hierarchical supervision, and basic procedural skills relevant to internship and junior residency.

Fundamentals of Neurosurgery Boot Camp, a letter from Gregory J. Zipfel, MD,
National Course Director, Society of Neurological Surgeons Resident Courses.

PGY1 Boot Camp Course Handbook

2017 PGY1 Course Study Material

Procedural checklists – Neurosurgical bedside procedures


  • Universal preparation (done for all procedures)
  • Ventriculostomy
  • Intracranial pressure monitor
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Placement of lumbar catheter (epidural / subarachnoid)
  • Shunt chamber tap
  • Transfontanelle / bur hole tap
  • Externalization of ventriculoperitoneal shunt
  • Halo / tong application, cervical traction

Standardized Lecture Videos

Professionalism, Supervision, and Pearls   [Powerpoint without narration]
Neurological and Neurotrauma Assessment
Emergency Cranial Radiology Assessment
Emergency Spinal Radiological Assessment
ICP Management   [Powerpoint without narration]
Emergency Evaluation and Management of Hydrocephalus Shunt Patients
Making the Incision: Surgical Pause to Scalp Blood Supply
Patient Safety and Clinical Communications   [Powerpoint without narration]
Airway Management and Intubation

Craniotomy Skills Stations

Drilling and Bone Dissection
Craniotomy Flap
Dural Closure and Duraplasty
Skin Closure

2017 Junior Resident Course

March 23-24, 2017
West Coast – UCSD, San Diego, Site Co-Director, Joseph Ciacci, MD,
Alexander Khalessi, MD, Site Co-Director

April 12-13, 2017
Midwest – Washington University, St. Louis, Site Director, Dave Limbrick, Jr., MD, PhD

June 5-6, 2017
East Coast – Cornell, NY, Site Director, Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD

National Course Director Intro

Junior Resident Course Centers, Directors, Administrative Contacts

SNS Junior Resident Course Region List

SNS Course Book

Pre-Study Material:

Radiation Safety
Cerebral Vascular Anatomy
Principles of Neuronavigation
Ventricular Anatomy
Surgical Anatomy of the Spine

Standardized Lecture PowerPoint Files

Cerebral Vascular Anatomy
Disclosure of Medical Errors and Risk Management
Handoffs Lecture
ICU Simulator Paper 2010
Leadership and Professionalism in an Era of Neurosurgical Exceptionalism
Medical Leadership for Neurosurgery
OR Crisis
Cranial Fixation
Post-Operative and Chronic Pain Management in Neurological Surgery
Principles of Neuronavigation: Frame and Frameless
Quality Improvement in Neurosurgery
Safety and Surgical Checklists
Surgical Anatomy of the Spine
Informed Consent
Informed Consent Exercise
ICU Crisis
ICU Scenarios 1-4
Goals of Model Based Skills Simulations
Goals of Cadaver Based Surgical Skills
Breaking Bad News
Ventricular Anatomy

The Society of Neurological Surgeons Subcommittee on Boot Camp Courses

Daniel Barrow
Joseph Ciacci
E. Sander Connolly
Bruce Ehni
Richard Ellenbogen
Sean Grady
Isabele Germano
Costas Hadjipanayis
Michael Haglund
Carl Heilman
Michael Kaplitt
Alex Khalessi
Ricardo Jorge Komotar
J. Mocco
Tom Origitano
Vikram Prabhu
Jim Schuster
Philip Steig
Chris Winfree
Julian Wu

For questions, please contact Dr. Zipfel,


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