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.

Conferences + Lectures


  • 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. 

Our Faculty

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

More Info

James Kryzanski, MD

James Kryzanski, MD

Title(s): Chief, Division of Epilepsy 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, Division of Neurovascular Surgery; 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): 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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Simcha J. Weller, MD

Simcha J. Weller, MD

Title(s): Chief, Division of Spinal Surgery; 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): 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, Department of Neurosurgery; Chief, Division of 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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Why Choose Tufts Medical Center

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.

Life as a Resident

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.

Current Residents

2015-2016 Residents


Dr. Roguski, a Neurosurgery Resident at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA. Marie Roguski, MD (Chief Resident)

Medical School: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Undergrad: Rutgers University

PubMed >


Dr. Tataryn, a Neurosurgery Resident at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA. Zachary Tataryn, MD

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Undergrad: Colgate University

PubMed >


Dr. Ogbuji, a Neurosurgery Resident at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA. Richard Ogbuji, MD

Medical School: SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine

Undergrad: Cornell University

PubMed >


Dr. Heller, a Neurosurgery Resident at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA. Robert Heller, MD

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

Undergrad: Emory University

PubMed >


Dr. Shutran, a Neurosurgery Resident at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA. Max Shutran, MD

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

Undergrad: Columbia University

PubMed: no listing


Richard Dowd, MD is a neurosurgery resident at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA.Richard Dowd, MD

Medical School: New York University School of Medicine

Undergrad: Salve Regina

PubMed: no listing


Jayde Nail, MD

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University

Undergrad: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

PubMed: no listing


Resident: Year of Graduation  Current Practice
Mina Safain 2016 Brigham and Women's Hospital
Jason Rahal
South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, MA
William Miele 2014 The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Ami Raval 2013 Healthcare Associates in Medicine,  NY 
Abraham Boskovitz 2012 Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA 
Haran Ramachandran 2011 Lahey Hospital, Burlington, MA
Clemens Schirmer 2010 System Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA 
Steven Hwang 2009  Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery; Neurosurgeon; Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Daniel Hoit 2008 Semmes Murphy Clinic, Memphis, TN
Ron Riesenburger 2007 Neurosurgeon, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Vasilios Zerris 2006 Chairman, Henry Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece
Justin Paquette 2005 Paquette Spine Insititute, Beverly Hills, CA
James Kryzanski 2004 Chief, Division of Epilepsy Surgery; Neurosurgeon, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Samuel Kim 2003 Weill Cornell Spine & Brain Center, New York
Tina Lin 2002 Kaiser Permanente, Anahiem, CA
Lyndell Wang 2001 Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, CA
Neil Troffkin 2000 Owensboro Health, Owensboro, KY & St. Mary's Hospital, Evansville, IN
Mark Friedberg 1999 Neurosurgical Consultants, Inc. Norwood, MA
David Estin 1998 Columbia Neurosurgeons, West Long Branch, NJ
Frank Vrionis 1997 Chief of Neurosurgical Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
Michael Gieger 1996 Neurosurgical Consultants, Inc. Norwood, MA
Jonathan Borden 1995 Riverhills Neuroscience- Montgomery, Cincinnati, OH
Patrick Roth 1994 Chairman of Neurosurgery; Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ
Carl Heilman 1993 Neurosurgeon-in-Chief; Chairman of Neurosurgery;Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Robin Koeleveld 1992 Rex Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists; UNC Health Care, NC
Samuel Neff 1991 St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA; Deceased 2005
John Wilson 1990 Wake Forest Baptist Health Center, Winston-Salem, NC
Kenneth Renkens 1989 Indiana Spine Group; Carmel, IN
Stanley Pugsley 1988 Neurosurgery Geisinger, Scranton, PA
Gerald McGillicuddy 1987 UMass Memorial Medical Center; Worcester, MA
Julian Wu 1987 Associate Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery; Chief, Division of Neurosurgical Oncology; 
Jeffrey Yablon 1986 UCSF; Napa, CA
Ramon Batson 1986 Chief of Neurosurgery, Neurological Associates of Southwestern CT; Norwalk & Danbury, CT
Joel Abramovitz 1983 St. John Neurosurgical Center; Tulsa, OK
Thomas Peterson 1982 HackensackUMC; Hackensack, NJ
Eduardo Mercado 1981  
Brad Selland 1980 President, Bradford Distillery; Hingham, MA
Rodney Rozario  1979 Eastern Maine Medical Center; Bangor, ME
Volkar Sonntag 1977 Barrow Neurological Associates; Phoenix, AZ; Retired 2010
Eddy Garrido  1976 Lancaster Neuroscience & Spine Associates; Lancaster, PA

How to Apply

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:

Frequently Asked Questions

Does your program accept International Medical Graduates (IMGs)?
Yes.  We accept highly qualified candidates with competitive USMLE scores. 

What are your criteria for International Medical Graduates?
All IMGs must possess a valid ECFMG certificate prior to the ranking process (mid-February). ECFMG certification is not required for interview consideration.

What visas does your program sponsor?
Tufts Medical Center sponsors J-1 Visas for trainees.

Does your program have a graduation cut-off limitation?
No, there is no limit to the number of years since medical school graduation.

Is United States clinical experience required?
While it is not required, US clinical experience is certainly of benefit and it greatly increases the likelihood of an invitation to interview.

What are your USMLE score requirements?
We seek candidates with minimum scores of 200.

Do you require USMLE Step 2 CS and CK in order to make application to your program?
We do not require the above at the time of application; however, due to new licensing requirements by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, the results of Step 2 are required by the time of the ranking process (mid-February).

How many letters of recommendation do you require?
A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation are requested as part of the application, two (2) should be from Neurosurgeons.

How do I apply?
All applications are submitted through ERAS.  Beginning in September, we will start the process of reviewing applications for interview consideration.  Interviews will take place from December through January for the following Match.

Salary + Benefits

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

Contact Information

To learn more, contact:

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