In Pakistan, there are about 300 qualified neurosurgeons. The section of Neurosurgery at the Aga Khan University hospital initiated started residency program in 1998. Since then, 28 residents have graduated from the program. The training program in Neurosurgery at AKU has been designed following the training requirements of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP). The neurosurgeons trained at AKU work in different parts of the country and abroad, most of them at academic centres.
Neurosurgery is not a mandatory undergraduate rotation, although, over the years, it has grown in popularity amongst medical students outside Aga Khan University for elective and selective rotations. The student who chooses neurosurgery works closely with the residents and attends as an integral team member. The residents have responsibility for teaching these students and interns. These interactions with students are an essential guide to mentoring the residents.
An internship is available in the section of Neurosurgery. There is extensive clinical experience, in the wards, in the operating room, and in the clinic. The interns attend conferences and rounds with the residents and attendings. Three to four interns rotate through Neurosurgery every cycle for two to three months each. Attention is given to educating these interns in evaluating and managing Neurosurgery problems, including didactic sessions.
The Neurosurgery Residency Program is a competency-based structured program spread over six years. The program has been designed following the training requirements of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan. There is a gradual supervised exposure to various aspects of patient care. Generally, initial two years the residents are disbursed and assigned in learning the core principles of general surgery including perioperative care. At senior levels, there is gradual exposure to daycare procedures progressing to major surgeries in neurosurgery. The Neurosurgery's residency programme can be checked on the following link: Residency-Neurosurgery | MC, Pakistan | The Aga Khan University (aku.edu).
The fellowship programme at AKU is the first specialized, Surgical Neuro-oncology fellowship in Pakistan. It is a one-year program and is facilitated by the senior faculty and supported by the Department of Surgery, Oncology, and Radiology. Rotations in the programme give fellows exposure to Surgical Neuro-oncology. The association with Oncology and Radiology provides a unique opportunity to enhance skills and give the fellows ample experience in multidisciplinary specialities crucial for complex Neuro-oncology cases. Additionally, a one-month external rotation is arranged to provide insight into international developments.