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World Neurosurg. 2015 Sep;84(3):727-33. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2015.04.051. Epub 2015 May 2.

Neurosurgery Residency Websites: A Critical Evaluation.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA. Electronic address:



To evaluate the accessibility of educational and recruitment content of Neurosurgery Residency Websites (NRWs).


Program lists from the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA), Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) were accessed for the 2015 Match. These databases were assessed for accessibility of information and responsive program contacts. Presence of online recruitment and education variables was assessed, and correlations between program characteristics and website comprehensiveness were made.


All 103 neurosurgery residency programs had an NRW. The AANS database provided the most number of viable website links with 65 (63%). No links existed for 5 (5%) programs. A minority of programs contacts responded via e-mail (46%). A minority of recruitment (46%) and educational (49%) variables were available on the NRWs. Larger programs, as defined by the number of yearly residency spots and clinical faculty, maintained greater online content than smaller programs. Similar trends were seen with programs affiliated with a ranked medical school and hospital.


Multiple prior studies have demonstrated that medical students applying to neurosurgery rely heavily on residency program websites. As such, the paucity of content on NRWs allows for future opportunity to optimize online resources for neurosurgery training. Making sure that individual programs provide relevant content, make the content easier to find and adhere to established web design principles could increase the usability of NRWs.


Education; Internet; Neurosurgery; Recruitment; Residency; Website

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