Neurosurgery

Visiting Students

Are you a visiting student? The Neurosurgery Elective Acting Internship is open to non-PSU CoM students. (The Neurosurgery Third-Year Elective is not.)

Find out more
Apply using VSAS

The elective programs in neurosurgery are short rotations that provide a setting for medical students to learn needed neuroscience skills.

Contact Us

Lynne Hamann
Residency Program Coordinator II and Medical Student Course Coordinator
Penn State Department of Neurosurgery
30 Hope Dr., Building A, EC110
P.O. Box 859
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone:  717-531-1279
Email: lhamann1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
Fax: 717-531-3858

Elective information can be found below.

NSURG 750: Neurosurgery Elective Acting Internship

Credits: 5

Program Director: Robert E. Harbaugh, MD

When Offered: All rotations

Length of Course: 1 month

Description: The Neurosurgery Elective Acting Internship is designed to introduce fourth-year medical students to basic and intermediate principles of evaluating and managing patients with neurosurgical disease.

Students will gain experience in evaluating and caring for patients with a wide variety of neurosurgical conditions and will improve their ability to obtain a neurological history, perform a neurological examination, recognize and interpret normal and abnormal neurological responses, and develop treatment plans for both non-operative and operative management. Students will learn the basics of neurosurgical patient care, focusing on common symptoms such as headache and back pain, and common medical problems such as stroke, trauma, neurocritical care, vascular and neuro-oncology, and degenerative spine disease.

The elective builds on skills gained in the evaluation of patients with neurological complaints during the core third-year rotations and also provides an expanded opportunity both to obtain direct patient care (with appropriate oversight) and operating room experience developing technical skills and participating in a wide variety of neurosurgical procedures.

Students will also engage with the neurocritical care team in the management of critically ill neurosurgical patients. Students also have an opportunity to focus on individual neurosurgical subspecialties as interest dictates.

NSURG 750A: Neurosurgery Third-Year Elective

Credits: 2.5

Program Director: Robert E. Harbaugh, MD

When Offered: All rotations

Length of Course: 2 weeks

Description: The Neurosurgery third-year elective is designed to introduce third-year medical students to the basics of evaluation and management of neurosurgical patients.

Students will gain experience in patient care, focusing on common symptoms such as headache and back pain and common medical problems such as stroke, trauma and degenerative spine disease. Students will also be instructed in performing and interpreting the neurological examination and obtaining a focused medical history for neurological symptoms.

The experience on this elective will allow students to solidify skills gained in the evaluation of patients with neurological complaints gained during their core third-year clerkships.

The elective will also give students the opportunity to explore the field of neurosurgery early enough in their medical school curriculum to consider this field as an option for residency training. For those students who do choose a neurosurgical career path, it will allow them to develop an early relationship with a neurosurgical mentor.

Students on this elective will serve as an integral part of the neurosurgery team with neurosurgical faculty, residents physicians assistants and nurses. Didactic teaching will be accomplished by discussions with the neurosurgery faculty on rounds, in the clinic, in the emergency room and in the operating room. Students will be expected to attend and participate in departmental teaching conferences every Friday.