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Schedule & Information

General schedule

  1. On Monday morning, please go (in scrubs) to the Milstein 4th floor neurosurgical operating rooms (14, 15, 16, 17) at 7:30am, and introduce yourself to the residents. One of the chief residents will assign the call schedule. Each student is expected to take one night of call to evaluate new consults with the senior resident on call and scrub in on any operative procedures.
  2. Check in with your preceptor’s office on Monday morning to find out when your daily teaching session will occur. Meet with your attending preceptor daily at the time he determines.
  3. Try to observe surgeries in each of the four subspecialty services: Vascular, Tumor/Functional, Spine, and Pediatrics.
  4. Scrub in on at least one case, either head or back during the week. A formal workup does not have to be done, but you are encouraged to interview the patient and review the X-rays with the resident and/or attending.
  5. Attend the mandatory conferences (please refer to the Conference Schedule). You are encouraged to attend other conferences listed, as well.

The OR schedule for the following day is available at the Milstein 4th floor OR desk after 5pm. Please only request one copy per day for your group of students. Spend most of the day in the neurosurgical operating rooms (14, 15, 16, 17, and Babies 3). Try to observe as many different types of neurosurgical cases as possible. To receive scrubs for the week that you will be on Neurosurgery, you will have to contact Donna or Robert Harris at (212) 305-2841. Please have the last four digits of your social security number available, as they will need this in order to give you a code to get scrubs.

For your convenience, shared lockers have been designated for storing personal belongings when necessary in the following locations:

Female Locker Room: 4th Floor Milstein OR
Locker #17 (orange locker in the rear of the locker room)
Combination: 7-24-1

Male Locker Room: 3rd Floor Milstein OR
Locker #32
Combination: 15-28-21

Medical emergency information

Blood exposures are a medical emergency — wherever they occur

A bloodborne pathogen exposure can result not just from a needle stick but also from the exposure of nonintact skin or any mucosal surface to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids (e.g., semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk, CSF, peritoneal or pericardial fluid, saliva in dental procedures, or any fluid contaminated by blood).

Follow these steps immediately!

  1. Immediately cleanse the injury using soap and water.
  2. Immediately notify your resident, preceptor, or attending to arrange for prompt counseling and testing of the source patient for HIV, HCV, and hepatitis B. Getting the source patient tested can potentially save you a month of prophylaxis, drug side effects, and many months of anxiety.
  3. Let your resident know that you are expected to seek medical attention immediately:

    – at the Student Health Service if you are at Columbia

    – at the Emergency Room if SHS is closed

    – if you are on an away rotation, at the Occupational Health Service or Emergency Room of that hospital

  4. If you are away, or have to use the ER at CUMC, notify the SHS (days) or the clinician on call that an exposure has occurred (212-305-3400); we will be responsible for follow-up. If you are away, we will send you a questionnaire to fill out.

There will be no charge to you.

  1. If you have the student insurance, the ER bill will be paid by Chickering. SHS will pick up the $50 copay.
  2. Use your insurance card for any medications prescribed. SHS will reimburse you for the copays.
  3. If you have other insurance, submit your bills to them for payment. SHS will reimburse you for copays on ER bills and prescriptions.
  4. Save your bills, explanation of benefits, and receipts for reimbursement.
  5. Remember, if you have not notified us, we will not know to reimburse you.

Remember the acronym CITES: Clean, Inform (need for immediate evaluation), Testing of source patient, Evaluation at SHS (or ER if SHS is closed or you are away).

Please contact Dr. Polly Wheat (; 212-342-3941) or Elsa Caraballo (; 212-342-3953) with questions about reimbursement or procedures.

Because of the short nature of the rotation, this is a pass/fail rotation. Neurological Surgery does not give a formal test at the end of the week; however, attendance is mandatory: (1) in the operating room every day, (2) with the attending surgeon for his daily discussions, and (3) at Thursday morning conferences. The weekly conference schedule is attached. Mandatory conferences to attend are in bold. Attendance will be monitored by the assigned attending. Failure to be present without a bona fide excuse will result in failure. You will be evaluated by your preceptor at the end of your rotation. Included is a copy of the course learning objectives. Each attending will have a different emphasis. Feel free to request topics of particular interest to your group of students.

Third-year students interested in a career in Neurosurgical Surgery are encouraged to meet with their preceptor attending or the Course Director, Guy M. McKhann II, M.D.

Guy M. McKhann II, MD
Department of Neurological Surgery
Neurological Institute
710 West 168 Street
New York, NY 10032
Office: (212) 305-0052

Please remember to fill out your course evaluations and return your reference book so that we may release your pass/fail evaluation to Student Affairs. We look forward to your rotation and hope that you enjoy your experience in Neurological Surgery.

patient journey

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