Neurosurgical Residency Training in Latin America: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Opportunities

Ricardo Murguia-Fuentes, Nuruddin Husein, Alfonso Vega, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, J. Marcus Rotta, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Gerardo Guinto, Yoshua Esquenazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: This analysis provides an overview of neurosurgery residency programs in Latin America; it evaluates strengths, weaknesses, and limitations within the Latin American Federation for Societies in Neurosurgery countries. Considering the shared cultural background between these neighboring countries and globalization of neurosurgical education, similarities in training characteristics and equal opportunities are expected. However, program differences are inevitable and should be investigated to promote collaboration and homogenization of training. Methods: A 39-item survey was distributed to 970 neurosurgeons and residents in Latin America to assess aspects including working conditions, teaching, research, training, educational opportunities, and socioeconomics. Results: In total, 276 neurosurgeons (28%) from 16 countries completed the survey. The average participant's age was 37 ± 7 years, and the average duration of residency programs was 5 ± 1 years. Trainees participated in around 5–10 cases during the typical 80–100 work hour week. Only 5% of survey respondents had a day off after a night shift, and 60% worked at least 3 night shifts per week. Only 34% had a mentorship program, Morbidity and mortality conferences were reported by 57% and research activities were compulsory in 45%. Satisfaction with evaluation methods was reported in 29%, although 96% reported satisfaction with their training programs overall. Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to review neurosurgical training in Latin America's. Suggested areas of improvement include regulation of working hours, implementation of mentorship programs and standardized examinations, protected research time, increased support for conferences, and more opportunities for exchange rotations that will potentially bolster collaboration between programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1079-e1097
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Latin America
  • Neurosurgery
  • Residency
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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