Residency Training Program

The Health Sciences Centre and Winnipeg Children’s Hospital are the main sites associated with Neurosurgery residency training at the University of Manitoba.

They are equipped with modern diagnostic equipment including 1.5 and 3T MR imaging (including the intra-operative MRI suite), high-resolution CT scanning, and angiographic capabilities.

Health Sciences Centre is also home to Canada's first Gamma Knife Unit, helpful in treating such conditions as metastatic tumors and vascular malformations, and significant in attracting clinical research.

All offices and clinics of the U of M Faculty of Medicine are side by side at Health Sciences Centre, making other residents and staff easily accessible. Academic days are held on site.

The Section of Neurosurgery has a very close link with the Section of Neurology, which has a strong presence and teaching program at Health Sciences Centre—the General Hospital and Children's Hospital. There is a strong core of neuroscience teaching and research at the University of Manitoba Medical School, the Health Sciences Research Foundation, and the St. Boniface General Hospital Research Foundation

Residents are exposed to the full range of neurosurgical subspecialties, including epilepsy, neuro-oncology, vascular, spinal, functional, and pediatric neurosurgery. In addition to clinical neurosurgery, residents rotate through neurology, neuroradiology, and neuropathology, as well as other surgical and medical subspecialties.

Throughout their six years in training, residents are given increasing responsibility, culminating in overseeing the functioning of the neurosurgery unit during their final chief resident year.

Residents are encouraged to undertake research projects throughout their training. An optional research year of up to 13 periods is included within residency training in the Neurosurgery Program. Residents generally elect to conduct this research within their PGY 3 or PGY 4 years. Those residents who are interested in an academic career are advised to take an advanced degree. Many individuals choose to enroll in the Masters of Science Program open to residents in Surgery at the University of Manitoba. This postgraduate clinical specialty certification program allows residents to earn the MSc as an additional degree to their certification.

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Program Overview

The PGY-1 and 2 years are designed to fulfil the core training requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The initial twelve-month core rotation includes 1 month of general surgery, 1 month of ortho-spine trauma, 3 months of intensive care, 1 month of plastic surgery, 1 month of vascular surgery, and 1 month of specialty medicine.

There is a 3-month neurology rotation in PGY 3, as well as clinical neurosurgery rotations. Considerable elective time is made available for further core subjects, depending on the candidate's field of interest.

Throughout their 36 months of formal neurosurgical training, residents attend clinics, receiving increased responsibility over time. Rotations include a 3-month rotation in neuroradiology, a 3-month rotation in neuropathology, and a 1-month rotation in neuroanaesthesia. Ten staff surgeons provide expertise in the areas of pediatric neurosurgery, epilepsy surgery, complex spinal surgery, skull base surgery (including transsphenoidal surgery), vascular neurosurgery (including endovascular subspecialization) and functional neurosurgery.

By the completion of residency, residents will be proficient in the surgical and non-surgical management of all types of neurosurgical illnesses in adults and children.