Overview

Program description

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, offers a one-year post-graduate and/or enfolded Neurosurgical Skull Base Oncology Fellowship. This active clinical and research program provides comprehensive training in the diagnosis, treatment and management of complex skull base problems, including:

  • Challenging benign and malignant tumors, such as
    • Schwannomas
    • Meningiomas
    • Glomus tumors
    • Chordomas and chondrosarcomas
    • Malignant anterior skull base tumors, such as esthesioneuroblastomas and adenoid cystic carcinomas
    • Craniopharyngiomas and other pituitary adenoma
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Cranial nerve disorders, such as trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm
  • Skull base reconstruction
  • Spontaneous, post-traumatic, and postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks

Extensive operative experience with both open and endoscopic surgical techniques is provided. Additionally, you have opportunities to learn stereotactic radiosurgery using a Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion device.

The fellowship consists of both inpatient and outpatient experience with primary clinical responsibility. In addition, you have the opportunity to participate in anatomical dissection and basic scientific and clinical research to fulfill the requirements of the program. You are expected to assist with ongoing projects and are encouraged to develop investigations of personal design and interest.

As a fellow, you lead the skull base service during the four quarterly rotations, primarily rotating with Michael J. Link, M.D., and Jamie J. Van Gompel, M.D. Alternatively, there is an option to perform research for a quarter, depending on your interests and future career plans. Rotation to other Mayo Clinic campuses is not required but will be considered on an individual basis.

Mission

The mission of the Neurosurgical Skull Base Oncology Fellowship is to provide advanced training for individuals with a desire to obtain additional expertise in the management of disorders of the skull base. Our ultimate goal is to produce academically oriented, fellowship-trained skull base surgeons to serve as leaders of future skull base teams with uncompromising personal and professional values.

With the range of pathology seen in practice as a fellow, you will be advanced to a level 5 in the medical knowledge and patient care milestones of neurosurgical skull base oncology.

The educational goals of the Neurosurgical Skull Base Oncology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic include:

  • Providing an exceptional didactic and hands-on educational environment to superbly train you in the evaluation, diagnosis, and nonoperative and operative treatment of skull base disorders in adolescents and adults
  • Educating you thoroughly in the decision-making process to understand both the ramifications and possible complications of treatment, rehabilitation or potential revision required to obtain an optimal result
  • Offering an environment to teach and guide you in how to evaluate, manage and follow patients in an outpatient setting
  • Guiding you to develop teaching skills by educating residents and medical students
  • Assisting you in amplifying research skills in both clinical and laboratory settings
  • Familiarizing you with tools and necessary programs to perform outcome research
  • Furnishing basic research experience integrated into clinical rotation

Certification

After successfully completing the program, you receive a certification of completion in neurosurgical skull base oncology training from Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education.

Program history

The Neurosurgical Skull Base Oncology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, officially began in 2016, however, trainees began working one-on-one with our neurosurgeons in 2014. We anticipate that one to two trainees will complete this program annually.