A detailed knowledge of neuroanatomy is a requirement for becoming an excellent neurosurgeon.  In an effort to promote knowledge of neuroanatomy, the ABNS has decided to create a curriculum and a neuroanatomy examination.  The curriculum will be provided to the new PGY1 residents at the start of residency. The Neuroanatomy Exam will then be given a year later in July of the PGY2 year.   This neuroanatomy exam will supplement the ABNS Primary Exam which is generally taken later on in residency.

The neuroanatomy exam will be different from the ABNS primary exam. The test can only be failed if it is not completed. The test will consist of 100 “mostly fill in the blank” neuroanatomy questions.  The first time the resident takes this exam, the percent correct will be reported to the resident, as well as to their residency program director.  The resident will learn which questions they answered incorrectly.  After a “lock out” period of 1 week to allow for study of the questions missed, the resident will log back into the exam at a time of their choosing and answer questions similar to, but not identical, to the questions they got wrong the first time.   After the second test, the resident will again be informed which questions they answered incorrectly, be locked out for a week, and then be expected to log back in to answer the incorrect questions again.  The resident will have up to a total of 4 attempts to get every question correct. The Program Director will be notified of completion but not subsequent test scores or how many attempts the resident required for completion.

The curriculum for the PGY2 Neuroanatomy Exam consists of the following three sources:

  1. The Rhoton Top 100 Surgical Anatomy Images. https://www.aans.org/education/The-Rhoton-Collection or http://rhoton.ineurodb.org.   This site is free and provided by the AANS.  To view the site and the Rhoton top 100 images, the resident must create a LOGIN.   Once logged in, click on “The top 100 anatomy images” in The Rhoton Top 100.  Then click through the various images of the spine or Rhoton surgical anatomy dissection images.  Any word or anatomic phrase in green to the right of the image is fair game for the exam.  Residents are expected to master every one of the top 100 images in the Rhoton Collection.
    • A smart phone webpage link has been created: http://rhoton.ineurodb.org/mobile. Once logged into this site, use the up arrow at the bottom of your smart phone screen to “add to your home screen”.  Once the Rhoton icon is on your phone, click the link.  Then hit the “Featured” tab and look through the collection.  Click on the “…” at the top right and you can quickly see all the images in the collection and scroll through them.
  2. Neuroanatomy Text and Atlas. John H. Martin 4th McGraw Hill.
  3. Aids to the Examination of the Peripheral Nervous System 5th

The PGY2 Neuroanatomy Exam will consist of 100 questions and the source material for each question is as follows:

Questions 1 – 54:          Rhoton top 100 – Rhoton surgical anatomy dissection images

Questions 55 – 60:        Rhoton top 100 – spine or vertebral images

Questions 61 – 92:         J Martin Neuroanatomy Text. There will be 2 questions from each of the 16 chapters

Questions 93-97:            J Martin Neuroanatomy Text and Atlas. The questions will come from the following Atlas images:

    • Atlas I: Images 1 through 7 (gyri, sulci, cranial nerves)
    • Atlas II: Images 1 through 14, and images 20, 23, 26, and 28 (cross sections of spinal cord and brain)Question 98:                   Aid to the Examination of the Peripheral Nervous System 5th Ed Figure 3: Brachial Plexus

Question 99:                   Aid to the Examination of the Peripheral Nervous System 5th Ed Figure 56:  Lumbar Plexus

Question 100:                 “Commonly Tested Movements” chart on the last page of the Aids to the Examination of the Peripheral Nervous System 5th Edition book