The objective of this clerkship is to expose students to patient care in the Neurosurgery Intensive Care setting, with emphasis on patient management issues, such as differential diagnosis, rational laboratory and radiologic testing, acute and chronic management of patients with multiple medical and surgical problems.

Issues for patients with life-threatening neurological disorders will include:

  • Ventilator management
  • Acute pharmacologic therapy for hemodynamic instability
  • Effective antimicrobial therapy
  • Nutritional support
  • Multisystem dysfunction

Responsibility for supervision of students will lie with the house staff and faculty from the Critical Care section of the Department of Anesthesiology.


Patient Care

Students will participate as an integral part of the Critical Care Team that co-manages the patients in the neurosurgical intensive care unit (NS-ICU).

Students will assume supervised responsibility for

  • Evaluation
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Initiation and evaluation of therapy

Students will be exposed to patient-care issues such as

  • End of Life decisions
  • Organ donation
  • Family health care dynamics

Students will be exposed to and have the opportunity to care for patients with a wide variety of life-threatening neurological and neurosurgical problems including:

  • Ischemic stroke
  • Intracranial / intraparenchymal hemorrhage
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Acute brain injury (traumatic and non-traumatic)
  • Acute spinal cord injury

Other complications of neurological injury such as bleeding, venous thrombo-embolic disease, pneumonia, and sepsis may also be addressed.

Students will be exposed to and have the opportunity to observe, participate in, or perform a variety of procedures, such as

  • Arterial line placement
  • Central line placement
  • Hemodialysis catheter placement
  • PA catheter placement
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring and drains
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Thoracentesis
  • Paracentesis
  • Lumbar puncture

Students may participate in other ICU procedures when available.

Patient Simulation Laboratory (PSL)

Students may spend time in the Patient Simulation Laboratory (PSL), where they will have the opportunity to learn and practice management skills relating to

  • Acute cardiovascular
  • Pulmonary
  • Renal
  • Neurologic intensive care

Airway management skills such as

  • Eask ventilation
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Ventilator management 


Attendance at the daily Intensive Care lecture series, given by faculty members from the Critical Care Section of the Department of Anesthesiology is required.

How to Apply

Applications for an acting internship rotation in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit are accepted through the Visiting Student Application System (VSAS).

Applications will be accepted according to the dates in VSAS. Applications must be submitted 60 days prior to the requested rotation, and per university policy, all visiting students must rotate on the School of Medicine’s block dates.

International Students

Interested International Students can apply through Global Health

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarship and Grants may be available for Clerkship programs.