2023 Interviews

We welcome your interest in the Department of Neurological Surgery Residency Program at UC Davis. We will conduct virtual interviews on December 5 and December 12, 2023.  The Society of Neurological Surgeons has developed the 2023-2024 SNS Recruitment Guidelines. We encourage you to review this information.  

Letter From the Program Director: 

Dear Prospective Residents, 

Thank you for your interest in our neurosurgery training program at the University of California, Davis! We are very excited about the quality of our program, which provides a comprehensive training experience in all neurosurgical subspecialties. UC Davis is a busy Level 1 trauma center and Comprehensive Cancer Center, and our program offers a strong clinical experience that includes early operative exposure, high operative volume, and hands-on training in all subspecialty areas of neurosurgery using cutting-edge technologies (e.g. LITT, spine robot, cranial robot, endovascular robot). Residents also receive comprehensive didactic teaching, a broad outpatient clinical experience, and specific research training with opportunities for high academic productivity. We actively promote a positive work-life balance and a healthy work culture. Our faculty are heavily involved in all aspects of teaching and also provide formal mentorship and transition-to-practice guidance. We graduate excellent neurosurgeons with strong knowledge and clinical skills that are fully prepared for independent practice. 


Our program was founded in in 1967 by Professor Julian Youmans, the founding editor of the textbook series titled “Youmans Neurological Surgery”.  Over the past ​55 years, the program has experienced significant and exciting growth and we have successfully trained many neurosurgeons that have gone on to establish very successful and fruitful careers.  


Located in the state capitol of Sacramento within a short drive of the Bay Area, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, UC Davis Medical Center is a world-class hospital ranked #1 in the region and #36 in the United States by the US News and World Report. UC Davis Medical Center serves as the region’s only Level 1 Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center, and it the only academic medical center for a very large Northern California catchment area that includes 65,000 square miles, 33 counties, and over 6.5 million people. The hospital has 627 beds, 56 operating rooms, and 80 adult and 24 pediatric ICU beds. The clinical campus includes the following Centers of Excellence:  Comprehensive Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital, Trauma Center, MIND Institute and Telehealth Program. In addition to UC Davis Medical Center, our PGY4 and ​PGY6 residents also rotate at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento, gaining substantial operative experience in a community neurosurgery practice. 


Our training program ​is based on a "6 + 1" model, with the PGY1 to 6 years providing exposure to all neurosurgical subspecialties: neuro-oncology, skull base and pituitary surgery, endovascular surgery, cerebrovascular neurosurgery, epilepsy and movement disorders, peripheral nerve surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, complex and minimally invasive spine surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and traumatic brain injury/neurocritical care. ​The PGY7 year can be dedicated to Research, Transition to Practice, or one of our 5 ACGME/CAST-approved fellowships (Endovascular, Stereotactic and Functional, Skull Base, Spine, Neurocritical Care).


Tuesday mornings are dedicated to educational and clinical care conferences, with active resident involvement and participation. These academic sessions include neuroradiology, mock oral boards, journal club, surgical approaches, Grand Rounds, research, faculty lectures, and neuropathology review. Clinical case conferences and tumor boards cover topics such as brain tumor, epilepsy, deep brain stimulation, skull base, vascular, spine, spine tumor, spine deformity, and pain medicine/spine. Residents also participate in a monthly Leadership Development Program, a bimonthly Resident Research Workshop, and a quarterly Wellness Presentation. Every fifth Tuesday is dedicated for an off-site, team-building event for the ​entire resident team, including water sports, go-karting, and other fun activities.


Our faculty members are dynamic, involved, and dedicated to providing outstanding patient centered care and committed to resident training.  They are academically productive clinician-scientists with exciting research programs at the frontiers of neurosurgery, such as, treating spina bifida with fetal surgery, separating craniopagus conjoined twins, using photonics to distinguish tumor margins​, and creating vascularized brain organoids (to name a few).  Our innovative faculty members provide our trainees with support, direction and the opportunity to engage in exciting clinical cases and research. In addition, our department faculty includes neuroscientists with NIH-funded laboratories at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. This provides our residents with exposure to renowned translational scientists, who act as advisors and mentors to residents throughout their training. The residency program includes dedicated time that residents can choose to invest in the lab on a scholarly project. 


It’s a wonderful time to be a part of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UC Davis.  We would welcome your joining us for Grand Rounds and appreciate your interest in our program! 


Best wishes,

Allan R. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Program Director


Kia Shahlaie, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Residency Program Director

UC Davis ranks among the top 50 U.S. hospitals for adults and children and one of the top six hospitals in California as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.  Read the UC Davis Health 2020 Points of Distinction to see what makes us one of the best.  

Learn more about UC Davis Medical Center which serves the Sacramento Community: