Academic Day

The Foundation of Our Program

The weekly Academic Day represents a combination of conferences and scheduled academic free time for residents. It is a foundational program for Duke Neurosurgery residency and research, ensuring that each resident becomes a well-rounded neurosurgeon who is also an expert in an area reflecting their passion. Interests can include not only basic or clinical research, but also areas ranging from innovation to global neurosurgery to political advocacy -- training in each of which pervades the university and our program. We are not training simply neurosurgeons at Duke, but tomorrow’s neurosurgical leaders.

Our monthly speaker series includes noted experts from around the world. Additionally, residents are regularly and intimately exposed to our own faculty's and university's academic activities, which are unsurpassed.

The Academic Day occurs every Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with more than eight hours free for development of  junior resident individual interests. In cooperation with their mentors, residents can work in a research laboratory, develop surgical skills in the cadaver lab, invent new surgical technologies through industry collaboration, or devise another type of project that will give them an edge in the marketplace.

Scheduled Academic Day Sessions

Academic Day begins and ends with scheduled educational sessions (6:30-8:30 a.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m.).The typical morning sessions include service-oriented rounds with attendings, morbidity and mortality, multidisciplinary case conferences, evidence-based protocol sessions, and guest speaker series. Evening sessions are typically case-based learning with individual faculty, board review series, residency-improvement meetings with the program directors, and cadaver labs.

Multidisciplinary Case Conference

The focus for the morning Academic Day is the multidisciplinary case conference. Case presentations and discussions are led by the residents with additional input and teaching from faculty in radiology and pathology. Videos from surgery are used for instruction. Related articles are sent out on the weekend before the conference, and each service is responsible for one oustanding presentation per month.