Neurosurgery > Residency

Neurosurgery Residency Program: We Train the Military Neurosurgeon

The National Capital Consortium offers a training program in neurological surgery under the auspices of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The program, located in the metropolitan area of Bethesda, M.D., is the only residency in neurological surgery available in the uniformed military services of the United States. The seven year program is accredited by the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Our goal is to train the military neurosurgeon by incorporating a military unique curriculum into our training, preparing our graduates success as a neurosurgeon and as a military officer.

  • Our program is a Tri-Service program. Active Duty candidates from the Army, Navy, and Air Force can be considered for matriculation. These include graduates of the Uniformed Services University (USU) and Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP).
  • All military, education, and training requirements of active duty military personnel must be satisfied, and the applicant must be in good standing.

  • Applicants are encouraged to complete and submit their applications through the official military website. The process of matching to a residency is different for military medical students than their civilian counterparts. HPSP and USUHS students should apply to both the military Joint Service Graduate Medical Education Selection Board (JSGMESB) and the civilian Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Application Deadline is usually mid-October of the year prior to matriculation.


This curriculum was created in an effort to detail the body of knowledge which should be attained by an individual completing residency training in Neurological Surgery. The specific structure of resident education in Neurological Surgery is defined by the American Board of Neurological Surgery the Residency Review.

Additionally, we have a military unique curriculum that focuses on neurosurgery in deployed settings as well as officer development. Our trainees create the continuity in the lessons learned from past conflicts, so that we are ready to adapt to our next mission.

Our program maintains a culture that empowers residents. Like in any aspect of the military, we operate as a close-knit unit. The fundamental principle is this unit is trust. Residents are graduated through levels of responsibility based on past performance and trust that they will do what is right for our patients.

Graduate Medical Education in the United States is overseen by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and its 26 separate residency review committees (RRC’s). The ACGME evaluates programs based on outcomes demonstrated by residents that can be observed and measured. The ACGME accredits residency programs based on how they teach and evaluate resident performance in six general competencies. All residents, regardless of specialty, are required to demonstrate competency in the following six areas:
  • Patient Care
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Professionalism
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Systems-Based Practice


The neurosurgery program at WRNMMC relies upon the outstanding teaching faculty at our partnering institutions. We also provide rotations in the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Washington Hospital Center, National Institutes of Health, Children’s National Medical Center, Holy Cross Hospital, and the Joint Pathology Center.


Program Director
CDR Chris Neal

Associate Program Director      MAJ Michael Dirks

Program Coordinator
Candis Miller