Skip to Main Content

Medical Student Neurosurgery Subinternship

Program Director: Michael DiLuna, MD
Associate Program Director, Joseph King, Jr., MD, MSCE

Offered to and highly encouraged for any senior medical student interested in pursuing neurosurgical residency training to become a neurosurgeon, the Neurosurgery Subinternship provides an invaluable experience in understanding the great privilege and demands of being a neurosurgeon. The Yale Neurosurgery Sub-Internship is required of all Yale medical students who wish to match in any Neurosurgery Residency Program. The Yale Subinternship allows medical students to vastly extend their breadth of knowledge of neurological diseases and how they are managed both surgically and non-surgically. Moreover, it provides both Yale and non-Yale medical students firsthand insight into what makes our Department and Residency Program one of the best in the nation. Simply put, our residents receive comprehensive training which allows them to graduate as competent and capable neurosurgeons.

We are proud of the unparalleled history in our department, dating back to the days of Dr. Harvey Cushing, spanning through the time when Dr. William Collins successfully spearheaded Neurosurgery from a Section of Surgery into its own department and the successful tenure of Drs. Dennis Spencer and Charles Duncan as Chair and Program Director, respectively. With this serving as a strong foundation, our new leadership has continued to expand the Department and Residency Program significantly in a relatively short time. More specifically, we have doubled our clinical faculty to 20 full-time neurosurgeons, who now provide coverage beyond New Haven, with a presence at seven hospitals throughout the state of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Our case volume has increased substantially over the years, and we now perform over 4,000 cases annually. Equally important, our department ranks 6th nationally in NIH funding in 2020 (the latest year for which data are available). Our residents continue to receive clinical and research awards, and nearly all recent graduates have gone on to highly competitive fellowships or academic positions.

Subinterns spend a total of 4 weeks on service and become immersed in our day-to-day service, functioning essentially as a supervised intern, working closely with our cohesive group of mid–level providers, residents and attendings in the inpatient, outpatient and operating room settings. Sub-interns are expected to participate in the evaluation and management of assigned patients, pre-round with writing of ICU notes, make rounds with our teams, attend clinics, assist in ICU procedures and surgeries, and attend academic conferences. Sub-interns are expected to present their scholarly work at one of our academic conferences. Subinternship hours never exceed 80 hours/week with a maximum of 16 hour-shifts, as required by the Yale School of Medicine.

Our service is a busy one and subinterns will have a wide range of surgical and clinical experiences upon completion of the rotation. Examples of surgeries frequently encountered on our service include: aneurysm surgery with craniotomy or endovascular coiling or stenting, carotid endarterectomy, pediatric skull and spine reconstruction and repairs, brain tumor surgery, including awake craniotomy, epilepsy surgery, transnasal surgery, deep brain stimulation, and spine surgery, including minimally invasive and deformity correction surgery, and peripheral nerve surgery. We strongly encourage students to take on as much involvement with our patients as both feel comfortable with and our faculty and staff welcome questions and are dedicated to teaching.