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Neurosurgical Oncology Fellowship (Minnesota)

Curriculum

Clinical training

Neurosurgical oncology (Burns/Parney) Service

You rotate on the Neurosurgical Oncology Service with Terence C. Burns, M.D., Ph.D., and Ian F. Parney, M.D., Ph.D., who alternate clinical and research responsibilities in two-week blocks. You assess patients in the clinic, operate with supervision, and participate in Gamma Knife radiosurgery cases. This will include the full spectrum of intra-axial neurosurgical oncology cases and techniques in the operating room.

Gamma Knife (Pollock) Service

You rotate with Bruce E. Pollock, M.D., specifically focusing on his large Gamma Knife radiosurgery practice. You participate in outpatient clinical evaluation and follow-up, as well as Gamma Knife radiosurgery planning and administration.

Rotation schedule

RotationLength
Neurosurgical Oncology (Burns/Parney) Service 6 months
Gamma Knife (Pollock) Service 3 months
Electives 3 months

Elective time could include:

  • Medical neuro-oncology
  • Radiation neuro-oncology
  • Additional time on Burns/Parney or Pollock services
  • Rotations in neurosurgical oncology at other Mayo Clinic sites or selected non-Mayo Clinic sites with prior approval from Dr. Parney, the program director

Call frequency

You are required to cover outpatient neurosurgery chief-resident call no more than one day out of every 14 days.

Didactic training

Clinical conferences (including a weekly neuro-oncology case conference), journal clubs, and a weekly multidisciplinary neuro-oncology research conference are available.

Conferences

You are encouraged to attend and present at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, which is typically in November each year.

Research training

As a fellow, you are expected to participate in clinical research projects leading to presentations at national meetings and peer-reviewed publications. This could include retrospective reviews, prospective observational studies, anatomic and technique studies, and clinical trials. One day a week is reserved primarily for research activities during the fellowship.

Mentorship is available through the fellowship faculty, with additional formal training available through the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Qualified and highly motivated fellows may also participate in bench research as time allows, but this isn't the primary focus of the fellowship.

Teaching opportunities

You are expected to participate in day-to-day clinical teaching and mentorship for junior residents and medical students rotating on the Neurosurgical Oncology or Gamma Knife services. Additional opportunities for didactic teaching to residents are available for interested fellows.

Evaluation

You receive quarterly evaluations by faculty and support staff, and a formal evaluation at the conclusion of the fellowship. You have the opportunity to provide regular feedback regarding the fellowship and its faculty.

Unique opportunities

The fellowship offers the opportunity for training in academic neurosurgical oncology at one of the busiest neuro-oncology centers in the world. It is our expectation that graduates from this program will be fully trained in the neurosurgical management of intra-axial tumors ranging from the most straightforward to the most complex (for example: dominant hemisphere insular region gliomas).