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Neurosurgery Residency Program

Outstanding clinical training and surgical experience

The Neurosurgery Residency Program at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston provides outstanding clinical training and surgical experience to residents.

Attending physicians focus on teaching bedside and operating room techniques, while encouraging progressive independence in clinical decisions and the performance of surgery.  At the end of their training, residents are familiar with a wide range of surgical procedures. In addition, we increasingly emphasize the interaction between clinical and the basic sciences and ask that all residents participate in research activities.

Although the neurosurgical service at Tufts Medical Center is very busy, with over 1700 annual procedures performed, attending and house staff have a close and collegial relationship. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are closely collaborating with attendings and residents to make sure we meet our clinical demands.

The Tufts Medical Center Neurosurgery Program is a seven-year program and includes:

  • Fifty-one months of clinical neurosurgery (39 months at Tufts Medical Center and 12 months at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
  • Twelve months of research or enfolded fellowship
  • Six months of elective time (neuropathology, neuroradiology, neuro-opthalmology)
  • Three months of radiosurgery and interventional neurosurgery and outpatient clinics
  • Residents have two off-site rotations: 12 months of neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts and three months of dedicated pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Physician extenders (six physician assistants) help with inpatient discharge paperwork, progress notes and day-to-day patient management. Two nurse practitioners work in the outpatient clinic and also help with notes, phone calls and other paperwork.


  • Journal club - Monday a.m.
  • Neuroanatomy review - Monday a.m.
  • Senior resident case presentation conference - Thursday a.m. 
  • Grand rounds (Neurology/Neurosurgery) - Thursday a.m.
  • Neuroadiology/Neurosurgery conference - Thursday a.m.


  • Resident and attending meeting - Thursday p.m. (week one)
  • Mortality and morbidity conference - Thursday p.m. (week two)
  • Evidence-based Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery topics review - Thursday p.m. (week four)
  • 3D-anatomy - Thursday p.m. (week five, if applicable)

Residents are actively involved in teaching Tufts medical students including first-year Neuroscience course, neuroanatomy lab, and rotating students from medical schools in the United States and abroad.

The department will cover the cost of attending one of the national society meetings (e.g. American Association of Neurological Surgery, Congress of Neurological Surgery) or another educational session per year.

Residents are given progressive clinical responsibility both in and out of the operating room. Mentors are assigned in the research areas to facilitate residents’ research goals. The resident may develop his or her own project or participate in ongoing projects. The medical school core neuroscience group and the basic scientists in the neurosurgery department serve as teachers and consultants for this research.

Annual Intern Boot Camp

The Department of Neurosurgery at Tufts Medical Center has hosted the Annual SNS Intern Boot Camp Fundamental Skills Course since its inaugural year 2010.

This course, sponsored by the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS), the oldest neurosurgical society in the world, brings together approximately thirty interns from nineteen neurosurgical residency programs from the northeast region for two days of lectures and hands-on procedural and simulation sessions.

The course curriculum includes lectures given by Tufts faculty and faculty from other institutions including Yale, Rutgers, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and Columbia University.

The lectures and hands-on procedural and simulation sessions introduce important principles of neurosurgical care to entering PGY-1 residents. The Department of Neurosurgery at Tufts Medical Center is honored to be the annual host of this unique educational experience for incoming neurosurgery residents of the Northeast region.

Residents are fitted with their own operating magnifying loupes in their first year. 

Carl B. Heilman, MD

Carl B. Heilman, MD

Title(s): Neurosurgeon-in-Chief; Chairman of Neurosurgery; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5860
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, skull base surgery, pituitary surgery, Chiari surgery

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James Kryzanski, MD

James Kryzanski, MD

Title(s): Chief, Division of Epilepsy Surgery; Co-Chief, Division of Spine Surgery; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8585
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Epilepsy neurosurgery, skull base surgery, pituitary surgery, neurovascular surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, neurosurgical disorders in patients with achondroplasia, neurosurgical disorders in patients with Down syndrome

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Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Title(s): Chief, Neurovascular Surgery; Director, Cerebrovascular & Endovascular Division Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8200
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, dural fistulas, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial atherosclerosis, arterial dissection

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Ron I. Riesenburger, MD

Ron I. Riesenburger, MD

Title(s): Director, Spine Center; Co-Chief, Division of Spinal Surgery; Neurosurgeon; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8484
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal deformity and scoliosis, complex and reconstructive spine surgery

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Mina Safain, MD

Mina Safain, MD

Title(s): Neurosurgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5860
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Pituitary tumors, brain tumors, meningiomas, minimally invasive spine surgery, complex and reconstructive spine surgery, spinal microsurgery, spinal trauma

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Simcha J. Weller, MD

Simcha J. Weller, MD

Title(s): Neurosurgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8686
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Complex and reconstructive cervical spine surgery, spinal microsurgery, surgical treatment of cervical spondylotic myeloradiculopathy, cervical spine trauma

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Jesse Winer, MD

Jesse Winer, MD

Title(s): Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery; Pediatric Neurosurgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5878
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Pediatric neurosurgery

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Julian K. Wu, MD

Julian K. Wu, MD

Title(s): Associate Chairman, Neurosurgery; Chief, Neurosurgical Oncology; Neurosurgery Residency Program Director; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4500
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Neuro-oncology, Gamma Knife radiosurgery, meningiomas, pituitary tumors, gliomas, brain metastasis, trigeminal neuralgia

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Residents complete their training at Tufts Medical Center, a world-class academic medical center located in Boston and the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. It also sponsors nineteen specialty ACGME-accredited clinical training programs.

Tufts Medical Center is a 415-bed robust organization, providing everything from routine medical care to treating the most complex diseases affecting adults and children. Tufts Medical Center is also home to the Floating Hospital for Children, a full-service children's hospital dedicated exclusively to all levels of pediatric care.

Tufts Medical Center provides heart, kidney and bone marrow transplants, is a level I trauma center, provides comprehensive neurological and neurosurgical care, and offers cutting-edge cancer treatments.

Tufts Medical Center is also home to The Boston Gamma Knife Center, the first and only Gamma Knife Center in Massachusetts and northern New England.

What’s it like to live in Boston? It’s an epicenter for health, science and medical research – where visions are born and discoveries are made. With universities on every corner, intellectuals, scientists and artists mingle to create an exceptional culture.

It’s also a fun city that takes its sports teams seriously, but not much else. In the spring and summer, you can enjoy festivals, outdoor concerts and cultural gatherings. Plus, many neighborhoods are booming with art, restaurants and music. Need to get away? Boston is a short trip from beautiful beaches, mountains and lakes.

It’s the perfect mix of urban culture, a small town feel and outdoor beauty.

Learn more about what it’s like to live in Boston

About the Department of Neurosurgery

The Department of Neurosurgery has recently completed a renovation and expansion program supported by the Cam Neely Foundation. The hospital is located in the center of a rapidly changing area of Boston. The center abuts the theater district and Chinatown near the financial district. The medical center campus is adjacent to the Jean Mayer Regional Nutrition Center and the Tufts Dental School. The Tufts Medical School is also in the same campus facilitating research and interdisciplinary conferences.

The Lahey Clinic is a large multidisciplinary group practice located just outside of Boston. The neurosurgical practice is large and varied. It is located about thirty minutes from Tufts Medical Center.

2017-2018 Residents


OgbujiRichard Ogbuji, MD- Chief Resident

Medical School: SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine

Undergrad: Cornell University

PubMed >



HellerRobert Heller, MD

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

Undergrad: Emory University

PubMed >



ShutranMax Shutran, MD

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

Undergrad: Columbia University

PubMed >



DowdRichard Dowd, MD

Medical School: New York University School of Medicine

Undergrad: Salve Regina

PubMed >



NailTara Nail, MD

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University

Undergrad: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

PubMed >



BurkeShane Burke, MD, MBA

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

Undergrad: University of California, Irvine

Pubmed >


Michael Yang, MD is a neurosurgery residentMichael Yang, MD

Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine

Undergrad: University of Colorado


Year of Graduation

Current Practice

Marie Roguski



Mina Safain*


Assistant Professor at Tufts Medical Center

Jason Rahal


South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, MA

William Miele


The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Ami Raval


Healthcare Associates in Medicine,NY

Abraham Boskovitz


Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA

Haran Ramachandran


Lahey Hospital, Burlington, MA

Clemens Schirmer


System Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA

Steven Hwang


Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery; Neurosurgeon; Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Daniel Hoit


Semmes Murphy Clinic, Memphis, TN

Ron Riesenburger*


Neurosurgeon, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, Director of the Spine Center

Vasilios Zerris


Chairman, Henry Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece

Justin Paquette


Paquette Spine Insititute, Beverly Hills, CA

James Kryzanski*


Chief, Division of Epilepsy Surgery; Neurosurgeon, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Samuel Kim


Weill Cornell Spine & Brain Center, New York

Tina Lin


Kaiser Permanente, Anahiem, CA

Lyndell Wang


Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, CA

Neil Troffkin


Owensboro Health, Owensboro, KY & St. Mary's Hospital, Evansville, IN

Mark Friedberg


Neurosurgical Consultants, Inc. Norwood, MA

David Estin


Columbia Neurosurgeons, West Long Branch, NJ

Frank Vrionis


Chief of Neurosurgical Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Michael Gieger


Neurosurgical Consultants, Inc. Norwood, MA

Jonathan Borden


Riverhills Neuroscience- Montgomery, Cincinnati, OH

Patrick Roth


Chairman of Neurosurgery; Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ

Carl Heilman*


Neurosurgeon-in-Chief; Chairman of Neurosurgery;Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Robin Koeleveld


Rex Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists; UNC Health Care, NC

Samuel Neff


St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA; Deceased 2005

John Wilson


Wake Forest Baptist Health Center, Winston-Salem, NC

Kenneth Renkens


Indiana Spine Group; Carmel, IN

Stanley Pugsley


Neurosurgery Geisinger, Scranton, PA

Gerald McGillicuddy


UMass Memorial Medical Center; Worcester, MA

Julian Wu*


Associate Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery; Chief, Division of Neurosurgical Oncology at Tufts Medical Center

Jeffrey Yablon


UCSF; Napa, CA

Ramon Batson


Chief of Neurosurgery, Neurological Associates of Southwestern CT; Norwalk & Danbury, CT

Joel Abramovitz


St. John Neurosurgical Center; Tulsa, OK

Thomas Peterson


Hackensack UMC; Hackensack, NJ

Eduardo Mercado



Brad Selland


President, Bradford Distillery; Hingham, MA

Rodney Rozario


Eastern Maine Medical Center; Bangor, ME

Volkar Sonntag


Barrow Neurological Associates; Phoenix, AZ; Retired 2010

Eddy Garrido


Lancaster Neuroscience & Spine Associates; Lancaster, PA

*= Tufts Medical Center Faculty

Application materials should be submitted no later than October 1st. The following information must be submitted to ERAS by the deadline in order for your application to be considered complete:

  • ERAS Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae, including any honors, publications and presentations
  • Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE) or Dean’s Letter
  • Official medical school transcript
  • USMLE scores (Step I required, Step II and III if available). COMLEX scores are accepted.
  • A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation; two (2) should be from Neurosurgeons. It is recommended that the letters be written by someone who is very familiar with your clinical work and who is accustomed to writing letters of recommendation (Clerkship Director, Program Director, Director of Service or a senior clinician)
  • Personal Statement
  • Photograph
  • ECFMG certificate (for foreign medical grads)

To initiate your application and obtain information regarding dates and other key details, visit:

Interviews are conducted on Thursdays throughout December and January. Candidates will spend the entire day visiting our department and will have ample time to observe conferences, tour the hospital and meet with residents in addition to interviews with faculty members.

We will work with applicants in selecting an interview date that is most convenient and best coordinated to accommodate multiple Boston or nearby interview sites.

International Medical Graduates

We accept foreign graduates who are highly qualified and have competitive USMLE scores. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section for more information regarding requirements for IMGs.

For more information, visit:

Graduate Medical Education (GME) stipend levels:

2015 - 2016

PGY-1    $52,682.91

PGY-2    $54,801.70

PGY-3    $57,459.38

PGY-4    $60,980.59

PGY-5    $64,920.59

PGY-6    $68,740.46

PGY-7    $70,860.33

To learn more, contact:

Crys S. Draconi, C-TAGME
Education Manager, Neurosciences
Phone: 617-636-2605

Neurosurgery training session at Tufts Medical Center - students smiling together afterwards.

Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS)’s Boot Camp: Fundamental Skills Course

Tufts MC hosts regional neurosurgery boot camp for interns, leaders impart fundamental skills.

Learn more about the hands-on skills course