Competitiveness: Extreme

Neurological Surgery constitutes a medical discipline and surgical specialty that provides care for adult and pediatric patients in the treatment of pain or pathological processes that may modify the function or activity of the central nervous system (e.g., brain, hypophysis, and spinal cord), the peripheral nervous system (e.g., cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerves), the autonomic nervous system, the supporting structures of these systems (e.g., meninges, skull & skull base, and vertebral column), and their vascular supply (e.g., intracranial, extracranial, and spinal vasculature).
Treatment encompasses both non-operative management (e.g., prevention, diagnosis—including image interpretation—and treatments such as, but not limited to, neurocritical intensive care and rehabilitation) and operative management with its associated image use and interpretation (e.g., endovascular surgery, functional and restorative surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and spinal fusion—including its instrumentation).

ENTER YOUR CREDENTIALS Customize your Neurosurgery program list

IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2022:

  • No data available for 2022 Match

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2022:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 246
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 247
  • Research: 4.3
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 73.8
  • Work: 5.6
  • Volunteer: 6.9

Specialty Factors

Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

The Top 5 Most Important Neurosurgery Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (89.5%)
  2. MSPE (73.7%)
  3. Grades in required clerkships (73.7%)
  4. USMLE Step 2 CK score (68.4%)
  5. Class ranking/quartile, Grades in clerkship in preferred specialty (63.2%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Fluency in language of pt population (5.0)
  2. Letters of recommendation in specialty (4,8)
  3. Perceived commitment to specialty (4.8)
  4. NRMP flag for match violation (4.8)
  5. Involvement and interest in research, Interest in academic career (4.9)

Fast Facts

Total Training 7 years
Average Residency Salary $59,090.09
Average Physician Salary $640,501
Average Work Week 58.2 Hours
Peak Interview Months October
Key Organizations and Societies: American Board of Neurological Surgery
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgical Surgery
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Society of Neurological Surgeons
Women in Neurosurgery
World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
American Association of Neurological Surgeons: Trainees
  • Neurosurgery is a competitive specialty, especially for IMGs.
  • It is one of the top-paid specialties in medicine.

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

115 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track PGY-1
Participating Programs 0
Filled Programs 0
Positions Available 0
Filled Positions 0


  • Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology
  • Neurocritical Care

Additional Info