Neurosurgical Residency Program

Welcome to the Department of Neurological Surgery’s residency program at the University of Chicago. Our seven-year residency training program is primarily based at the University of Chicago Medical Center, with specific rotations integrated at our affiliated hospital, NorthShore University Health System. We are uniquely situated on the Hyde Park campus of the University of Chicago, which is one of the top academic universities in the world and has been the home to over 90 Nobel laureates.

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Program Overview

The neurological surgery residency program at the University of Chicago is geared towards training men and women who wish to enter a career in academic neurosurgery. Our goal is to educate a group of physician-scientists who will advance the future of academic neurosurgery and make a lasting contribution to the care of adult and pediatric neurosurgical patients. Accordingly, the program offers the opportunity to obtain both outstanding clinical and basic science research experience in an academic medical center located in one of the great American cities.

The residency program at the University of Chicago is structured into a seven-year curriculum. The training provides a progressive increase in skills and responsibility until the resident is ready to become an independent fully trained neurosurgeon.

Currently, the program alternates between one and two new residents each year. As the program is carried out by eight full-time university neurosurgeons, five affiliated NorthShore University HealthSystem faculty, and several clinical faculty associates, there is a high staff to trainee ratio and the individualized needs of each resident are met. Staff assistance and supervision are available at all times. The attending staff, residents, and advanced practice providers work as a team with mutual responsibility for all phases of patient care. Each patient is provided with equal care and attention.

All faculty are members of the Pritzker School of Medicine, the #17 ranked medical school in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report for research-intensive schools. Our medical center is part of the University's Biological Sciences Division and is headed by Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago.

Our comprehensive training program is set on an expanding clinical campus. The University of Chicago Medicine began providing adult trauma care on May 1, 2018; the first patient brought in at noon marked the official activation of the Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, another significant achievement by the organization. The adult trauma program adds to UChicago Medicine's Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center at Comer Children’s Hospital and its Burn and Complex Wound Center services to provide the community with a comprehensive system of care to treat the full range of trauma injuries in patients of all ages.

In April 2021, UChicago Medicine announced that it earned its 19th sequential "A" rating in patient safety from the industry watchdog Leapfrog Group. In April 2018, UChicago Medicine received the prestigious Magnet Recognition status, the gold standard for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care, from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Our medical center holds distinction as a regional, national and international referral center for the specialized care of complex patients with a wide variety of challenging surgical diseases. In addition, we have a long-standing commitment to provide comprehensive care for our South Side community. The jewel of our medical center campus is the Center for Care and Discovery (CCD), our main hospital building, which opened in 2013. The CCD is one of the most advanced clinical and surgical centers in the country dedicated to specialty care, including cancer, gastrointestinal disease, neuroscience, advanced surgery and high-tech medical imaging. The new hospital was designed by world-renown architect, Rafael Viñoly, who created the acclaimed Charles M. Harper Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. This innovative hospital contains ten floors and over 1.2 million square feet for clinical activity. The CCD is an exceptional place to be a patient and creates an enhanced health experience that is focused on quality and safety. We believe that this inspiring atmosphere provides our trainees with a modern environment to learn surgery and conduct world-class research at the forefront of medicine. Our residents have access to state-of-the art simulation training at both the University of Chicago Center for Simulation and Safety and the Northshore Center for Simulation and Innovation. Our goal is to train the best and brightest residents and provide them with the opportunity to seek top-flight fellowships and to eventually become leaders in academic surgery.

Chicago is an extraordinary city and our residency program provides a robust and diverse clinical environment with an ideal blend of community and academic surgical experiences. Our research opportunities are unrivaled, and our leadership is committed to providing a unique educational environment with committed faculty and incredible residents. We believe that after coming to the University of Chicago, you will find that our residents are an exceptional group of some of the most talented resident surgeons in the country.

Program Director

Edwin Ramos

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery

Edwin Ramos, MD, is a neurosurgeon with expertise in oncologic and complex spinal surgery. He cares for patients with malignant or benign tumors of the spine, spinal cord and brain, as well as patients with other degenerative or traumatic spine disorders. Dr. Ramos has significant experience with minimally invasive spinal reconstruction techniques, which aim to preserve function while reducing pain and recovery time.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Ramos is a dedicated educator and active author. He has written several book chapters on spinal tumors, degenerative spine disorders and other topics in complex spine surgery.

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  • Phone: 773-795-4622


Associate Program Director

Peleg M. Horowitz, MD, PhD, is a neurosurgeon with expertise in brain tumors and skull base tumors. He provides multidisciplinary care as a member of the neuro-oncology and skull base tumor teams. Dr. Horowitz uses endoscopic and open surgical approaches to the skull base, including advanced stereotactic and 3-D surgical planning for operative treatment and radiosurgery of both benign and malignant brain tumors. In addition to his specialization in neurosurgical oncology, he also provides general neurosurgical care, treating patients with a wide range of conditions, including hydrocephalus, head trauma, and spine pathology in adults and children.

Dr. Horowitz conducts clinical and basic science research, with emphasis on the genetics of brain and skull base tumors. His scholarly work has focused on the pathogenesis and management of nervous system tumors and on the genetic characterization of tumors, controversies in current management and decision-making, surgical technique and complication avoidance. His research on tumor genetics has been published in Nature Genetics and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and identified several novel genes that drive the formation of meningiomas and pediatric gliomas. His research has been funded by the Brain Science Foundation and the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program.

  • Email:
  • Phone: 773-795-4622


Educational Administrator

Amy Johnson

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  • Phone: 773-834-0685


Most aspects of the training program are carried out at the University of Chicago Medical Center located on the Hyde Park campus. This centralized location provides enormous advantages, including the availability of faculty members with particular expertise to advise and assist in the management of all patients, as well as the opportunity to utilize the facilities afforded by one of the great universities in the country. In addition, clinical, laboratory, library and conference facilities all occupy adjoining space on the same floor. The pediatric patients are seen in the Comer Children's Hospital, which is attached to the medical center complex. Neurosurgical patients are hospitalized in the new, state-of-art hospital pavilion.

The University of Chicago Medical Center houses a Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NeuroICU). It offers a 12-bed unit with the most advanced monitoring and treatment for patients with brain injuries and neurological diseases. Our faculty sees both adult and pediatric patients at Evanston NorthShore, a teaching affiliate of The University of Chicago.

The Surgery Brain Research Institute, an integral part of the medical center which houses the neurosurgical staff offices and Sean Mullan Library and Conference Room, also contains 6,000 square feet of space exclusively developed for neurosurgical research. In addition, there is also the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center. The Department of Neurological Surgery has a research area that adjoins the clinical area and with the neurosurgical faculty offices, which occupies 24,000 square feet in the Surgery Brain Research Institute. The laboratories are well-equipped for channel studies, microfluorometry, blood flow measurement, cellular neurophysiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, microscopy, biochemistry, tissue culture, histology and animal pathology. Superb operating facilities are available in the building for animal experimentation.

There are strong ancillary services in neurology, neuropathology, neurophysiology (including electroencephalography and video monitoring) and a sleep laboratory. Three full-time neuroradiologists, trained and experienced in interventional neuroradiology, work closely with the neurosurgical service.

There are 5 nurse practitioners, trained in the management of neuroscience patients, who assist on both the pediatric and adult services to ensure that non-educational activities are minimized for residents.

A neuroanatomical dissection laboratory, adjacent to the residents' offices, is available for practicing microdissection and vessel anastomosis, as well as dissection of human material. A well-equipped neurosurgical conference room adjacent to the resident's offices includes an excellent contemporary neurosurgical book collection.

There is an active program of neurosurgical education with mandatory resident participation. Each Wednesday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the neurosurgical faculty and other faculty from departments within the University of Chicago are devoted to providing a series of lectures designed to expose the residents to issues related to neurosurgical patient management. Neurosurgical grand rounds are held every Wednesday.

Moreover, residents are exposed to weekly subspecialty conferences, including neuro-oncology, a pediatric neurosciences, vascular, neuro-endocrine, neuropathology, epilepsy and spinal conferences. There are weekly attending rounds and ample opportunity for residents and faculty to interact. We routinely evaluate and update our educational activities. An "indications conference" is held monthly. We also hold surgical labs, including virtual reality simulation; the most advanced of its kind in the world.