Department of  Neurosurgery
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Left to right: Katie McCoy, MD, PGY-7, and Anna Huguenard, MD, PGY-2

The Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine has a long and storied history in educating the finest neurosurgeons.

EducationIn 1911, Ernest Sachs, MD, the first American specifically trained to be a neurological surgeon, joined the surgical faculty of Washington University. Within eight years he pioneered the development of a comprehensive neurosurgical training program and became the world's first professor of neurosurgical surgery. With Harvey Cushing, MD, Dr. Sachs also was instrumental in establishing the Society of Neurological Surgeons in 1920, the first neurosurgical society in the world. 

We offer a comprehensive seven-year residency training program and three options for advanced fellowship training, all conducted on the campus of Washington University Medical Center, which is home to two nationally recognized hospitals — Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital.

  • The 1,442-bed Barnes-Jewish Hospital is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. A quaternary and tertiary care center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital has five dedicated adult neurosurgery surgical suites, including two iMRI ORs. The hospitals 20-bed neuro-intensive care unit is one of the largest in the United States. Neurosurgeons see 2,200 adult neurosurgical cases annually. More than 300 Gamma Knife cases also are handled each year. In addition, neurosurgeons here were the first to perform Magnetic Surgery System (MSS) procedures, a novel approach to manipulating surgical tools within the brain.
  • St. Louis Children's Hospital, ranked among the Top Five of Best Pediatric Hospitals in the country by Child Magazine, has one of the largest pediatric neurosurgery programs in the United States. Surgeons handle 900 pediatric neurosurgical cases annually. The hospital also has two dedicated pediatric neurosurgery ORs and has specialized centers focused on epilepsy, neuro-oncology, pediatric spine conditions, spastic cerebral palsy, birth brachial plexus injury, craniofacial conditions, dysplasia, spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

For those interested in research opportunities, Washington University School of Medicine is ranked in the Top Ten for NIH funding. Neurosurgeons are involved in basic, clinical and translational research projects. Along with collaborative research environment, Washington University offers a wide array of comprehensive research facilities and has one of the largest medical scientist training programs in the U.S.

Our clinical faculty includes:

  • 12 Adult Neurosurgeons
  • 4 Pediatric Neurosurgeons

In addition, faculty with joint appointments include:

  • 3 Interventional Neuroradiologists
  • 1 Radiation Oncologist
  • 1 Medical Oncologist
  • 5 Orthopedic Surgeons
  • 3 Neurologists

Many faculty and graduates of the Washington University neurosurgery training program have held important leadership positions in the major national neurosurgical organizations. These positions include 19 directors of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, with 6 of these directors serving as chairman; 10 presidents and 9 vice-presidents of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons; and 14 presidents and 6 vice-presidents of the Society of Neurological Surgeons.

70 percent of our graduates pursue a career in academic medicine, with 30 percent entering private practice. If you are seeking a dynamic training program that is founded on the principle of excellent training and faculty mentorship, we invite you to learn more about the neurosurgery residency and fellowship training programs at Washington University School of Medicine.