Educational Responsibilities

Educational Participation Responsibilities and Requirements


Ongoing participation in the educational program is the mutual responsibility of the faculty and the trainees.  The following expectations are outlined to enhance the educational process.

Ambulatory Patient Care:
Exposure to the continuity established in the preoperative evaluation and postoperative visit(s) is essential to the training of surgical housestaff. Residents will attend the outpatient clinic for their service as stipulated by the Service Chief or Rotation Director, unless the trainees' immediate attention is required for other patient care.
Operating Room Experience:
All trainees, regardless of institutional assignment, are expected to attend the operating room. Trainees are expected to accomplish the following in participating in operative cases:

  • Prior to the operation, make themselves familiar with the patient's history including diagnostic studies, and have an understanding of the indications for surgery.
  • Personally examine the patient prior to operation
  • Document their involvement with a preoperative note (Harbor, VA)
  • Consult with the attending physician regarding the operative care to be delivered
  • Personally participate in the operation
  • Document a Brief Operative Report
  • Personally participate in the immediate in-hospital postoperative care of the patient.

Participation in the outpatient postoperative care of the patient by personally seeing the patient in the outpatient setting and determining follow-up care.

All trainees must perform, under appropriate supervision, the requisite number of invasive procedures to demonstrate competency. Residents are required to demonstrate pertinent Medical Knowledge and procedural competency for specific operations at the appropriate participation level (assistant, senior, lead) as stipulated on the Operative Distribution Matrix .

Invasive Procedures
All first-year trainees will be observed during a probationary period until competency has been established by successful performance of the requisite number of procedures. During this probationary period, the following criteria must be met:

  • All procedures must be performed in the presence of a supervising resident physician or an attending physician
  • Each trainee is expected to learn the indications, technical maneuvers, and possible complications of each procedure
  • Trainees will provide the patient with informed consent regarding the procedure, and document, either by signed consent form, or by progress note that consent was given
  • Trainees will document performance of the procedure with a procedure note in the medical record noting the procedure, indication(s), and their supervising resident or attending physician, anesthetic used, and any complications.


Attendance of Teaching Conferences: Wednesday conferences are an integral component of the educational program. These conferences are compulsory for all residents. The Department of Neurosurgery requires residents to attend all Education Day conferences (first Wednesday of the month) and a minimum of seventy-five percent (75%) of all scheduled didactic core conferences. Core conferences are required teaching in addition to morning reporting and rounds.
Attendance will be documented by personnel signature recorded on the sign-in sheet. The absence of a signature will be regarded as an unexcused absence. Failure to comply with the minimal attendance standards set forth below or the failure to demonstrate an effort to attend conferences may result in probationary action for trainees. Excused absences will be allowed in the following circumstances:

  • Notification of the Neurological Surgery Education Office by email or phone (310 794 7362) prior to or within 48 hours of the conference date
  • Scheduled vacation time
  • Approved absence from the program such as meeting travel, interviews, and leaves
  • Post-call residents

The Department has a policy communicated to all Attendings that residents are protected from clinical obligations to attend conferences on Education day. Official attendance is tracked using sign-in sheets and is periodically reviewed by the Program Director. Non-satisfactory attendance will be addressed by the Program Director during the resident's semi-annual progress meeting. Excused absence from Education day conferences must be obtained in advance from the Residency Program Director.

The conference calendar is created and maintained by the Education Office.

All Neurosurgery Residents are required to attend the monthly Quality Assurance Conference.

Residents rotating on specific rotations are required to attend and participate in the relevant conferences as specified in the Goals and Objectives.

To support conference attendance at other required rotations (i.e. Pathology, Functional, Radiology, and Interventional Radiology), credit will be given for attendance if documentation is forwarded to the Resident Program Administrator. Credit will also be given for non-UCLA lectures if appropriate documentation (i.e. sign-in sheets) is forwarded to the Education Office. It is the responsibility of the resident to forward this information to the Program Administrator.

The Harbor Chief Resident and Harbor Senior Resident are required to attend the Friday morning teaching rounds, radiology lecture, neuropathology lecture, and noontime journal club.

Santa Monica Spine Conference occurs Monday evenings 5:00PM. The Santa Monica Spine Senior is required to attend. All residents on elective and research rotations are encouraged to attend.

There are also several additional meetings/seminars required throughout the academic year. These include R1 and R2 Orientation, Skull-Base Lab lectures, Surgical Anatomy Laboratory, and other courses as directed by the Resident Program Director.


Post-call residents (UCLA service) are required to attend the 7-9am lectures but are excused from the remainder of the Education or academic day lectures. Sign-out must occur before morning conference.

Residents may be excused with permission from the Program Director, Vice-Chairs of Clinical Affairs, or the Chief Resident (UCLA or Harbor) to attend to emergent/urgent clinical service needs.

The Harbor Chief Resident is excused from conferences between 9am-12n on Education Days (Surgical Science, Neuroscience, and Basic Science) to run the Harbor Neurosurgery Clinic.