Department of  Neurosurgery
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A Year in Perspective: PGY-4

Brendan Fong, MD

I chose to pursue a career in neurosurgery largely because of a close friend who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme. That peaked my interest to learn more about treatments for brain tumors. After exploring the field, I found that I enjoyed the strong dedication to research and the intricate nature of the operations.

The best aspect of training in the Department of Neurosurgery here is the department’s commitment to ownership of patients. As a junior resident, I work with two attendings and manage all of their patients every day. Because of that, I strive to know their histories and neurologic exams so that I am better able to care of them. The more I learn, the more I am able to handle increased responsibilities.

My PGY-3 year was a great experience, I survived the majority of call/night float as a second year and I spent the year expanding my operative experiences.  I had an opportunity to operate with a wider variety of attendings and pursue my research interests.  I also spent 4 months at Children’s Hospital where I had the opportunity to work more closely with attendings and gain a more hands-on experience in the operating room. It was a great year and I look forward to starting my fourth year of residency. All of the attendings are very invested in my learning and teach me both inside and outside of the operating room. It’s great to have mentors who provide me with guidance both clinically and with research interests.

So far, we’ve had a fairly robust conference schedule in which we have opportunities to learn outside of the operating room and outside of our clinical duties. I think it’s great that we are provided such a diverse way of adding to our knowledge base.

As someone who’s lived in Los Angeles my entire life, I can honestly say this is a great place to train. I remember allotting an extra 15 minutes to find parking and ended up parking right in front of a restaurant! Within walking distance of the hospitals are restaurants, music venues and Forest Park, a huge resource right next door.

I’m looking forward to the rest of my training.

Fun interests: I play the guitar (sort of!)