Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain, and peripheral nerves. It is first and foremost a surgical discipline, and with rare exception, its practitioners are physicians who operate on the nervous system.

Because the nervous system encompasses all parts of the body, a neurosurgeon may operate on the brain, spine, or extremities in a given day or week. Neurosurgeons operate on patients of all ages, treating abnormalities that range from congenital anomalies of the newborn, to trauma, to tumors, to vascular anomalies or infections of the brain or spine, to abnormalities of the aging such as stroke or degenerative diseases of the spine. Like the neurologist, the neurosurgeon is an expert in the diagnosis of neurological disorders, capable of interpreting a variety of radiological studies such as CT scans, magnetic resonance images, and angiograms. Unlike the neurologist, the primary focus of the neurosurgeon is on surgical approaches to the treatment of their patients. This information was adapted from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons website.


  • Length of training: 7 years (including a year of basic surgical training)
  • Match: NRMP
  • Application Service: ERAS

Ohio State Department of Neurological Surgery

  • Department Chair: Russell Lonser, MD
  • Residency Program Director: Andrew Grossbach, MD
  • Residency Program Coordinator: Sarah Hancock, 614-293-0821
  • Education Director: Ciaran Powers, MD, PhD
  • Medical Student Coordinator: Sarah Hancock, 614-293-0821

Learn more about the Department of Neurological Surgery

Specialty Champions

  • Brian Dalm, MD
  • James B. Elder, MD
  • Andrew Grossbach, MD
  • Douglas Hardesty, MD
  • Russell Lonser, MD
  • John McGregor, MD
  • Shahid Nimjee, MD, PhD
  • Ciaran Powers, MD, PhD
  • Daniel Prevedello, MD
  • Ammar Shaikhouni, MD, PhD
  • Stephanus Vilijoen (Spine)
  • David Xu, MD
  • Patrick Youssef, MD


AAMC Careers in Medicine: Neurological Surgery