Neurosurgery is the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases and injuries to the nervous system. Top-ranked medical school residency programs offer research laboratories, neurosurgery sub-specialties and extensive surgical experience and patient-care responsibilities. These world-class universities are ranked for indicators, such as academics, student selectivity, research and faculty publications by QS Top Universities or “U.S. News & World Report.”

Harvard University

Harvard University Medical School in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital of Cambridge offers a highly-selective residency for leaders in neurosurgery. Harvard ranked No. 1 as a university and medical college according to “U.S. News & World Report,” CWTS Leiden, QS, Academic Ranking of World Universities and No. 2 according to “Times Higher Education,” however, it is the shear range of opportunities in surgical training, strong research emphasis and the variety and quantity of surgery cases that makes Harvard exemplary. Residents are exposed to clinical training with a large number of cases covering the range of neurosurgery, including specialties, such as in neurovascular treatment, and two years research experience in the laboratory of their choice, culminating with full admitting and operating privileges.

Stanford University

Stanford University School of Medicine at Stanford, California, has a six-year, post-internship residency, admitting three applicants per year. Stanford is consistently top-ranked -- No. 2 by “U.S. News & World Report,” No. 5 by QS and “Times Higher Education,” No. 9 by ARWU and No. 14 by Leiden. The program stands out for its comprehensive focus, including surgical techniques, diagnosis, education, humanistic approach to the patient, support services that preserve the resident’s time plus training in writing and public speaking. The program consists of four clinical and two research years, which will incorporate working on issues such as restoring neurological function after strokes or researching children’s brain tumors.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University Medical School of Baltimore offers a seven-year neurosurgery residency clinician-scientist training program. The University ranks in the top-ten world universities, such as No. 2 according to Leiden, No. 3 by “U.S. News & World Report,” No. 4 according to QS and ARWU and No. 7 by "Times Higher Education." The residency program is exemplary for the range and quantity of surgical cases, state-of-the art operating rooms, an Epilepsy unit and extensive research opportunities. The department performs about 4,000 neurosurgical operations annually at adult and pediatric centers. These centers combine surgery with research, such as investigating hydrocephalus or cerebrovascular disease.

University of California at San Francisco

The University of California at San Francisco provides seven-year residency programs using cutting-edge practices in research and clinical medicine. UCSF ranks No. 4 according to “U.S. News & World Report,” No. 2 by ARWU and No. 4 by Leiden, but it is the wide-range of opportunities provided to residents, such as training for the academic environment, teaching and advanced fellowships, like neuro-oncology, in addition to research and immersion in every sub-specialty of neurosurgery, that makes the program stand out. Residents complete the seven-year program with 12 months of laboratory research and 54 months of clinical neurosurgery as they rotate through four hospital sites.