Neurosurgery

How to Apply

The Carilion Clinic Neurosurgery Residency Training Program is open to graduates of all Allopathic and Osteopathic Medical Schools. Competition for the single position every year is stiff. Applicants are generally of high academic standing with very competitive medical school board scores. Residency positions are open to applicants of all race, religion, sex and age.

Our program:

  • Is rigorous and demanding intellectually, emotionally and physically
  • Working hours are filled with educationally productive activities, within the 80 hour work week limits.
  • Expects residents to aggressively pursue self study away from the hospital setting.
  • Holds residents to extraordinarily high expectations academically and ethically.
  • Holds residents to high standards of moral conduct and medical systems citizenship.
  • Expects residents to aggressively participate in neuroscience research.
  • Expects residents to actively participate in undergraduate and graduate neuroscience and medical education.
  • Expects residents to actively participate in wellness and resilience building for themselves and other learners.

Those applying for residency positions should do so through the ERAS system, but should also contact the program to underscore their interest and to track their application progress. Residency Program Manager: Erin Kerr, ewkerr@carilionclinic.org.

All applications are reviewed with Invitations to interview being based on review of the following materials:

  • Transcript
  • Letters of Recommendation-3 required
  • Personal Statement
  • USMLE Scores
  • Participation during shadowing rotation at our institution (if applicable)

Please be aware that the incoming resident is responsible to have current BLS and ACLS certifications from the American Heart Association. It is not required to have these for the interview process.

A few tips for the application process.

  • Have all required documentation assembled early and make sure ERAS is complete as of your initial upload. This allows us to issue an invitation and offer you the best choice of interview dates.
  • Have a strong, well written personal statement.
    • Check your grammer and spelling!
    • Articulate what sets you apart from other applicants.
    • Feature special interests and accomplishments
    • Highlight activities that demonostrate your industry, intellectual curiosity, initiative, critical thinking, dedication to others, and "street smarts".
    • Although we appreciate a great sense of humor, be careful not to come across as caustic, glib, predjudicial, or nihilistic.
  • Have strong letters of recommendation. Example: a neurosurgery recommendation would carry more weight than an OB-GYN recommendation. Please do not use a generic letter of recommendation.
  • Read the program requirements as listed in ERAS and do not apply if you do not meet those requirements.

Clearly the defining of a good fit can be quite challenging particularly when based solely on a written application and a one day visit. For these reasons, serious applicants are encouraged to schedule a 2 or 4 week rotation or 3 day shadow visit to better get to know our program and allow us to get to know you. Please note that these visits are not required to apply or to be ranked and do not guarantee a higher rank than those who have not rotated. Please see the visiting students section to find out more details about the types of visits available.  If you are interested in scheduling a visit, please contact our Residency Program Manager, Erin Kerr, at ewkerr@carilionclinic.org.

INTERVIEW PROCESS – AN OVERVIEW

Generally, 20 to 25 applicants are extended interviews. Interviews are conducted November through January.  We will offer available dates on a first come, first choice basis. All interviews are held on Tuesdays. Once invitations are extended, your time with us will look like the following:

Please plan to arrive in Roanoke no later than 3pm on the Monday prior to your schedule interview. We provide accomodations at the Cambria Suites located on the Virginia Tech Carilion medical campus. On the night you arrive for your interviews, the resident staff will take you to dinner. Casual business attire is recommended. Please meet them in the hotel lobby at 6:00 pm. They will have your cell numbers in case of any last minute delays. On interview day, your schedule will look like this:

INTERVIEW DAY

7:00 a.m. Meet with the Program Director or an associate in the coffee shop (Java the Hut) on the first floor,south tower, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH)

8:15 a.m. Move locations to the Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences, neurosurgery office suite.(transportation provided)

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Individual interviews with the faculty. These will be a round robin style with 30 minutes for discussion with each faculty member. There should be approximately 6 faculty members conducting interviews.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch with the resident and advanced care practioner staff following the end of resident clinic that day.

1:00 p.m. Attend Grand Rounds with the resident staff, ACPs, and faculty.

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Participate in neuroscience academic sessions.

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Open forum interview with resident and ACP staff. This is very casual Q & A type session in which you are encouraged to ask questions of us as well.

6:00 p.m. After open forum interviews are comcluded, you are free to leave to return home.

As previously stated, the defining of a good fit can be quite challenging particularly when based solely on a written application and a one day visit. For these reasons, very interested applicants are encouraged to rotate (two to four weeks) or shadow (1 to 3 days) to better demonstrate their qualities to the selection committee members, as well as to better get to know the program. Candidates wishing to spend time on the service should contact the Program Manager, Erin Kerr, ewkerr@carilionclinic.org. Every attempt will be made to accommodate as many interested applicants as possible. All applications for student rotations are managed by the Visiting Students office. Please visit their website: http://www.carilionclinic.org/education/visiting-student-affairs .  Although rotation on the service surely ensures greater exposure to members of the selection committee, it does not guarantee a higher rank than exceptional applicants who have not rotated.

RESIDENT SELECTION PROCESS

Historically the selection committee has focused on many variables and intangibles beyond class rank, GPA, and board scores, in establishing the rank orders. The committee is interested in as close to a ‘perfect fit’ as possible. The ideal candidate will be an aggressive learner and self starter. She/he will be an intellectually curious, critically thinking, empathetic, humane and hard working team player.  She/he will demonstrate significant adaptive intelligence (street smarts) as well as emotional intelligency (superior interpersonal skills).  She/he will be very interested in furthering neuroscience knowledge through research and will be an active and skilled teacher.  She/he will be active in self-care and the supporting and building of wellness in his/her colleagues.

Resident selection is conducted by a committee consisting of the faculty members, residents, coordinator, and ACPs of the service. At the end of the interview season, one or more selection committee meetings are held where all interviewed candidates are discussed and top candidates ranked.

We adhere to the NRMP-OPDA Match Code of Conduct.