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 Medical Center offers a clinical elective that is open to enrolled fourth-year medical students in good academic standing at any U.S. medical school. 

The elective rotations (subinternships) are four weeks in length and must correspond with the School of Medicine’s dates. The application requests will begin in February of each year. Assignments will be made after our fourth-year students finalize their schedules at the end of March. Once the student affairs office verifies each application, they will forward the application to the department. Reviewing of applications will start mid-April.

To request an application, please visit the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs website. After completing the web-form and paying the $25 non-refundable application fee via secure online credit card payment, you will receive an official application, checklist, and immunization form to your email address. Background clearances will also be needed.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or securing background clearances, please contact the student affairs office at Please complete the application/backgrounds clearances and send them directly to the student affairs office at:

Office of Student Affairs (OSA)
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
3550 Terrace Street, S-532 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Additionally, please send a CV, USMLE Step 1Report, and a letter of recommendation 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.