Skip to main content


Affiliate Hospitals:

  • Tufts Medical Center
  • Lahey Clinic
  • Baystate Medical Center
  • St. Elizabeth's Hospital
  • Maine Medical Center.

Teaching Activities:

Preclinical Activities:

  1. First Year Neuroscience Course: The Tufts Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery Attending Staff gives several of the formal lectures in this course.  Neurosurgery Attending Staff from Tufts Medical Center and Lahey Clinic lead the small group seminars about Classic Neurology Case Vignettes.
  2. TUSM students in the first and second year can elect to participate in a Neurosurgery Selective.  Students on Selective rotations spend one afternoon a week for a few months with one of the neurosurgeons in the department.


Teaching medical students is an important aspect of the Tufts Neurosurgery Department¹s educational mission. Dr. Ron Riesenburger is in charge of medical student education. There are on average one to two medical students on our service at a given time. These include two-week rotations of third or fourth-year students on their surgery block and one month sub-internship students, many of whom are interested in pursuing a career in Neurosurgery. Medical Students on clinical rotations learn how to evaluate and treat patients with acute neurological conditions. They perform consultations, evaluate patients in the Emergency Room, see patients in the outpatient clinic, and scrub in on surgical cases. They also learn about the surgical treatment of patients with brain and spinal disorders. Medical Students participate in conferences on Neurosurgery Case Presentation, Neuroradiology, Morbidity and Mortality, Neuropathology, and Journal Club. The sub-internship students are required to give a 15-minute presentation on a relevant neurosurgical topic at the conclusion of the rotation. We also encourage medical students to conduct research in our department. Please contact Dr. Riesenburger at 617-636-8484 with any questions about medical student rotations or research.

At the Lahey Clinic there are routinely three to four medical students on service for one-month blocks.  They are comprised mainly of fourth-year students obtaining their neuroscience exposure.  The students are provided weekly one-hour lectures by various attendings, providing them with a synopsis of neurological surgery and various subspecialty areas. Medical students also receive educational instruction while assisting in the operating room and attending required outpatient clinic periods on a weekly basis. The Neurosurgical residents conduct daily educational rounds with the medical students.


The Tufts Neurosurgical Training Program is a seven year neurosurgery curriculum, including one research year. The program accepts one resident per year via the ERAS/NRMP Match. In addition to Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children, residents spend one year at Lahey Clinic Medical Center to supplement their epilepsy, and functional experience. They also spend 3 months at Children’s Hospital Boston to broaden their pediatric neurosurgery experience. All aspects of clinical service and education are directly monitored by the neurosurgical faculty and local program directors at these three institutions, but overall supervision is under the Tufts Medical Center Program Director.

The goal of our neurosurgery residency training program is to provide outstanding clinical training and surgical experience to the resident. The attending staff stresses both bedside and operating room teaching while encouraging progressive independence in clinical decisions and the performance of surgery. The abundance and variety of surgical procedures ensure that the finishing resident will be familiar with and competent in “state-of-the-art” neurosurgery. Participation in research and the acquisition of research skills is required.  The attending and house staff encourage a close and collegial relationship.


Dr. Al Charest is the director of the Brain Tumor research laboratory at Tufts Medical Center which supports brain tumor research in the department.   Staff for this laboratory includes postdoctoral fellows, a graduate student, two technicians and our PGY-5 resident. The Brain Tumor laboratory is located in the Molecular Oncology Research Institute (MORI) at Tufts Medical Center, which occupies a state-of-the-art facility with an approximate area of 45,000 square feet and space for 17 laboratories. The Charest laboratory occupies approximately 2,000 square feet of space within MORI and consists of fully equipped biochemistry, tissue culture and surgical procedures labs.

Dr. Adel Malek conducts research at The Malek Cerebrovascular Research Laboratory which investigative efforts are concentrated in two related areas sharing as a common conceptual framework the important effect that external mechanical forces exert on cellular structure and function. Dr. Malek's computational cerebral hemodynamic studies evaluate the effect of blood flow on brain aneurysm formation and rupture.  The Malek lab is also involved in a joint endeavor with the Draper laboratory in Cambridge, MA in the development of software tools for next-generation "Smart Cerebral Angiography" which would enable the detection on-the-fly of branch occlusions and flow alterations during endovascular procedures. Dr. Malek strongly encourages students from TUSM to participate in these research efforts.

Carl Heilman, MD
Professor and Chair