The ABNS believes that the culmination of neurosurgery residency training is chief residency (PG-6 or 7), during which the resident evolves during that 12-month experience into an independent and safe neurosurgeon (Milestones 4). Fellowship is advanced clinical training (Milestones 5) in which subspecialty expertise is developed based on the experiential platform of residency training commencing as a PG-1 resident through chief residency.
Commencing on July 1, 2021, the ABNS will only recognize enfolded fellowships completed in the PG-7 year after chief residency in the PG-6 year, two exceptions apply. See below:
- Enfolded fellowships in neurocritical care may be taken prior to the trainee’s chief resident year
- CNS endovascular training requires an initial training experience in the performance of angiography. This training period may occur prior to the chief resident year. The second year of CNS endovascular interventional training, as of July 1, 2021, must occur after the chief resident year, thus PG-7
For avoidance of doubt, the ABNS does not require fellowships (enfolded or otherwise) as a requirement for initial ABNS certification.
A fellowship may be required for neurosurgeons who wish to achieve an ABMS “Focused Practice Designation” in certain areas of neurological surgery practice.