Information for Medical Students

Dear Extern Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the department of neurosurgery at the University of Colorado. We look forward to your time with us and make it our priority to provide you with the best experience possible. The application, due dates, fees, etc. for the externship can be found at the student affairs externship webpage. Please contact the Student Affairs office with any questions regarding the application process. Each extern will rotate on the neurosurgery service at the University Hospital (2 weeks), Denver Health (1 week) and Denver Children's Hospital (1 week). The expectations for each extern will be explained upon arrival by the chief resident on service at the time. In general, our externs are expected to pre-round on patients in the neuro ICU and present them to the team, observe/take part in neurosurgical procedures during the day, take call at night occasionally, take part in our weekly conferences and give a 15-20 minute presentation on a neurosurgical topic of choice. The call schedule is decided upon by the chief resident. The goal of the externship is for the student to get to know our faculty, residents and staff in order to determine if they are a good fit with the team. While an externship is not required to be considered for a neurosurgical residency position at Colorado, it is highly encouraged. Please contact Jennifer Hasenbalg, Education Coordinator at (303) 724-8963 with any questions regarding the specific rotation.

The NSIG (Neurological Surgery Interest Group) is a student-run group devoted to fostering the personal and professional development of medical students interested in neurosurgery.

Are you a medical student interested in research?

The faculty in our department welcome medical student involvement in their clinical research projects. These projects may range from clinical research, such as chart reviews, to longer term projects involving clinical or basic science data analysis and experiments.

These projects require a time commitment, usually of two to six months, or more.   Please review the time commitments and skillsets needed below before contacting the faculty listed.  

Are you interested in spending a research year with us?  First, familiarize yourself with our faculty members and their current research and clinical interests.  Next, we ask that you contact the faculty member whose clinical and research interests most closely align with your goals. Please include your current CV, research year goals and any other pertinent experience you have.  Research years may either be unfunded or funded (depending on the type of research being conducted).  Individuals completing a full year of research with our department will receive a certificate of completion. 

Current Projects 

Project Title/Type ContactSkillset/pre-requisites/time commitment
Craniofacial Distractors Research 
  • CITI training, COI, CHCO EPIC

Time Commitment: 6+ months

Pediatric craniopharyngioma research
  • CITI training
  • COI

Time Commitment:  4-6 mos.

Neuro-biomedical engineering
  • Skillsets TBD

Time Commitment:  6+  months

Brain tumor imaging
  • CITI training
  • COI

Time Commitment:  2-4 mos.

Brain Tumor Research;
Exosome studies;
Tissue Bank studies
  • Bench lab skills 

Time Commitment:  6+ months

Human neural signal analysis: Neuralengineering lab studying the neural signals associated with sensory processing and movement in surgical patients. 
  • Any programming experience is helpful, but not required

Time commitment: 2-6 months

Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Research (StereoEEG)
  • CITI training, COI, CHCO EPIC

Time Commitment: 4-6 months

*UCHealth and CHCO EPIC and facility access is provided via the department.  Once you have selected a project and/or faculty member to work with, please reach out to either Jen Maitlen (adult research) or Susan Staulcup (pediatric research).  They will facilitate your EPIC and facility access.

Prerequisites & Helpful Links: 

(Facility access)*