Info for Medical Students

Department faculty participate in teaching clinical neuroscience and neuroanatomy to first- and second-year medical students. Several Pitt medical students spend elective time doing clinical research with faculty members from various centers in the department. During their surgery core clerkship, third-year medical students may elect to take a two-week introductory subspecialty experience in neurosurgery.

Selective fourth-year medical students at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as visiting medical students from other schools, may elect to take a four-week clinical subinternship on the neurosurgery services at UPMC, during which they participate in all phases of the training program as well as in supervised patient care services. Typically, each four-week rotation includes experience on cranial, spinal, and pediatric neurosurgery.

Visiting Medical Students

The Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh offers a clinical elective that is open to enrolled fourth-year medical students in good academic standing at any U.S. medical school. 

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s visiting student program is accepting applications through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) program. Students who have completed their core clinical training and will be in the fourth year of medical education at their LCME- or AOA- accredited home institution in North America may apply for an elective experience at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine through the VSLO. Students can begin submitting their elective requests on or after March 13. Students will be notified of decisions on elective requests beginning in mid May.

If you have any questions, please contact us at Due to the high volume of applicants, we request that you do not phone our office. We can most efficiently route your questions and assist you via email. Thank you.

Additionally, please send your CV directly to Melissa Lukehart at


One-month clerkships offered to senior medical students from other medical schools attract 10-20 students each year. In their senior year selective students may participate in ongoing research projects in the Department of Neurological Surgery under the supervision of an advisor. This experience trains students in basic or clinical neurosurgical research techniques and procedures and offers in-depth education in basic neurosciences. Other medical students seek a more formal and longitudinal exposure to neurosurgical investigation, and complete an approved scholarly project. Pitt medical students often use this educational opportunity as the base for their required graduation scholarly project.

Pitt Med Neurosurgery Interest Group

The Neurosurgery Interest Group (NSIG) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is devoted to fostering an interest in the exciting field of neurological surgery. The group connects medical students to key resources in the Department of Neurological Surgery and provides opportunities to shadow, conduct cutting-edge research, and network with the department. Mentoring from several senior residents in our program helps to stimulate interest in the field.

Under the direction of senior residents and participating faculty, the department offers focused lectures and demonstrations on neurosurgical topics to Pitt medical students. The goal is to provide a background of the current advances in neurosurgery to prospective students interested in a neurosurgical career. 

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Lukehart at 412-647-6777.