Judi's Journey with Alzheimer's
Neurological surgeons, neurologists, and neuropsychologists at the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute were the first in the world to use focused ultrasound to treat a patient with Alzheimer's disease. Judi is the first patient to undergo the phase II clinical trial led by Dr. Ali Rezai, the Institute's leader.

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Programs in Graduate Medical Education (GME) have been conducted at the Health Sciences Center since its opening in 1960. The charter of West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc., formulated at the time of its incorporation in 1984, commits the Hospital to continue its high degree of support for GME.

Recent graduates have gone on to specialized fellowships for further training. Upon completion of their education, 40% go on to academic appointments, 60% go to private practices.

Program Description

The Department of Neurosurgery Residency Program at WVU is a seven-year program under the direction of the Program Director, Joseph L. Voelker, MD, and Assistant Program Director, Cara L. Sedney, MD. Our program is structured to produce neurosurgeons who are broadly experienced, clinically mature, and academically well prepared for clinical practice. Institutional resources of well trained faculty, modern equipment, and a mixed tertiary and primary care patient population, ensure the neurosurgery resident the benefits of extensive hands-on experience in a wide variety of routine and invasive neurosurgical procedures. Residents in this program are required to master the skills needed to function in an environment of progressively graduated responsibility, so that by the completion of training, they are capable of independent performance of the full range of neurosurgical interpretation and procedures. Together, the GME Department, West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc., and the Department of Neurosurgery, strive to provide our residents with the highest quality educational experience available.

Salary Schedule for 2018 – 2019 

Board Examinations

Residents are strongly encouraged to take the written Board examination, through the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Passing the examination is mandatory before a resident graduates the program.

Plan your visit

Residents at baseball game


One of the reasons to continue your education at West Virginia University is the quality of life in Morgantown. Combining the best of small town/rural living with the best of a larger metropolis, Morgantown has something for everyone! Nice, friendly neighborhoods surround the campuses. Do you enjoy dining out? Lots of options including Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Chinese, breweries, and many more. Arts and Entertainment provides access to cultural events of many types. Hiking, biking, rock-climbing, whitewater rafting, downhill and cross-country skiing are just some of the outdoor activities enjoyed by residents. Like sporting events? We have football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and much more! On Wednesdays from May-October just outside the Health Sciences Center, and on Saturdays downtown, we have Farmers Markets so you can get locally grown produce and other items.

Your Future Neighborhood

Educational Support

Each resident will receive $1500 yearly for surgical loupes, books, and some travel expenses. Additionally, expenses will be paid to attend approved courses; such as AANS Resident courses, Board Review, Fukushima Skull Base Course, or any meeting where the resident is giving a presentation. Each resident will also attend a Neurosurgery Boot camp in July of their first year.

Educational Opportunities

Neurosurgery residents participate in weekly resident-run conferences including Grand Rounds, Neuropathology, Neuroradiology, Neurovascular, Board Review, and visiting speakers. Other educational conferences include weekly multidisciplinary Brain Tumor board, Pediatric Brain Tumor board, monthly Spine Conferences (with the Dept of Orthopaedics residents & faculty), Epilepsy conference. There is a monthly journal club meeting where current articles are discussed over dinner.



  • General Care & Clinical Neuroscience - 6 Months
  • Neurocritical Care - 6 Months


  • On Service


  • General Neurosurgery - 9 Months
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery - 3 Months


  • Academic Rotation - 12 Months


  • General Neurosurgery - 8 Months
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery - 3 Months
  • Endovascular - 1 Month


  • General Neurosurgery - 6 Months
  • Chief Resident - 6 Months 


  • Chief Resident - 6 Months
  • Neurosurgery Elective Subspecialty Training - 6 Months