The most important component of the educational mission of the Division of Neurological Surgery is the residency training program. As a small program, residents have close relationships with each attending physician, which optimizes individualized learning. Graduate of our program pursue fellowship, academic positions, and private practice opportunities in neurological surgery.
The primary site is University of Missouri Health Care (which encompasses University Hospital and Clinics, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center). Residents also are educated at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Hospital and Cox Health (Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute) which provide outstanding clinical neurosurgery education for the residents. Clinical care encompasses the range of neurosurgical diseases. The major areas of clinical care and research includes: brain tumors, spinal tumors, pediatric diseases, cerebral vascular diseases, trauma to the head and spine, surgical treatment of seizure disorders, spinal diseases from degeneration and other causes, and hydrocephalus.
The Neurosurgical Residency is a seven year (84 month) program, of which the last twelve months serve as chief residency. Residents participate in busy and varied clinical neurosurgical practices as well as a diverse didactic curriculum. Twelve months of the residency program is spent in Springfield, Missouri at Cox Health (Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute) working with a large group of neurological surgeons in their practice.
Scholarship is encouraged throughout the residency program with each resident expected to participate in research activities to develop new knowledge. The fifth year of the seven-year program is dedicated to research, allowing residents to concentrate on projects conceptualized and/or begun in earlier years in conjunction with faculty mentors. The Residency Program is supportive of academic endeavors by residents and readily reimburses for residents presenting at conferences. First year neurological surgery residents also participate in the Society of Neurological Surgeons Boot Camp as well as the Society of Neurological Surgeons Junior Resident Course to accelerate their development of early clinical skills.
The Division of Neurological Surgery faculty are dedicated to excellent patient care and resident education. We strive to create an environment where bright, articulate, energetic, compassionate, and skillful residents can develop into highly competent neurosurgeons.
Columbia is a small metropolitan area with a population of 111,000 people situation in close proximity to the Ozarks and only an approximate two-hour drive from Kansas City and St. Louis. The city may be small, but offers an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, art galleries, music venues, sporting events, and coffee houses. The area also has numerous hiking trails, golfing, and sports facilities. Columbia offers affordable, spacious living in friendly neighborhoods with good school systems making Columbia a great place to live and work. For more information on the Columbia area, please visit
How to Apply
The program accepts one new resident each year, through the NRMP matching program. Review of ERAS/NRMP applications will begin yearly in September. Your application must be complete to be considered for an interview. Interviews are held from November through December and are granted by invitation only. Communication with applicants will be primarily through email.
Complete applications will include the following: ERAS Application Form (CAF), MSPE, Medical School Transcript, Personal Statement, USMLE and/or COMLEX Transcript, Three Letters of Reference, and a Copy of Current Visa (if applicable). Among the letters of reference should be at least one letter from a practicing US neurosurgeon. Applicants attending non-US medical schools also should include their ECFMG Status Report and Medical School Diploma.
Competitive applicants will present an above average record of performance during medical school, USMLE/COMLEX scores at or above the 80th percentile, a strong record of medical experience in the United States and supportive letters of reference. Participation in leadership activities and research as well as positive personal attributes (intellectual curiosity, maturity, integrity, dependability, interpersonal and communication skills, strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, etc.) are also valued.
Four one-day interview sessions are scheduled, with 7-8 applicants invited for each session. Interview sessions begin at 7 a.m. and end by 4 p.m. Sessions include interviews with all faculty members, clinical staff, residents, and a tour of the facilities. A light breakfast and catered lunch will be provided. An optional dinner the previous evening with residents will be offered to all interviewing candidates.
House Staff Benefits
Information regarding staff benefits as well as contract and staff salaries can be obtained through the Graduate Medical Education website at http://medicine.missouri.edu/gme/home.html.
Residency Program Inquiries
Alison Gorman, Residency Specialist
Phone: (573) 882-3957
Fax: (573) 884-5184
Neurosurgery Program Director
N. Scott Litofsky, MD
Phone: (573) 882-4909
Interested in Rotating in the Neurosurgery Division
Medical Student Education and Away Rotations