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Medical Students

SLUSOM Medical Students

Students interested in neurosurgery can reach out to the Neurosurgery Interest Group and/or the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Saint Louis Univeristy chapter for more information on how to get involved in research and clinical activities. Third year medical students can rotate on neurosurgery for two weeks during their surgery subspecialty block or during a two week elective period. Fourth year medical students can perform a two or four week elective, or complete their four week subinternship on neurosurgery by using the OASIS scheduling system.

If you are a high school student, undergraduate student, or an interested observer and would like to shadow a neurosurgeon at SSM Saint Louis University Hospital, please reach out to our associate program director Dr. Joanna Kemp at for more information.

AANS Medical Student Chapter

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons student chapters provide early support and leadership training to medical students exploring a career in neurosurgery. The Saint Louis University AANS chapter provides a forum for students to organize professional, educational and research activities within their medical schools promote mentorship and facilitate participation at a national level for the next generation of neurosurgical leaders.


Faculty Advisors

  • Joanna Marie Kemp, M.D. - Chapter Sponsor
  • Maheen Qamar Khan, M.D. - Chapter Advisor
  • Timothy Wang, M.D. - YNC Quadrant Coordinator

Journal Club

The SLU AANS chapter conducts a monthly journal club meeting which intends to introduce students to topics in the neurosurgical literature. Research articles are presented by residents and medical students. Posted below are presentations and articles discussed at past meetings.

  • January 2021: 5-ALA fluorescence-guided surgery in pediatric brain tumors - a systematic review
    • Presentation
    • Article


For research opportunities, please fill out this Google Form and notify Justin Zhang ( or (


AANS chapter members must be up to date on all University-required vaccinations. In addition, students must complete:

  • PPD screening
  • Urine drug screening
  • Mask fit test
  • HIPPA (MED-1) and bloodborne pathogen (MED-2); courses can be accessed through Canvas

For further instructions on accessing scrubs and the operation room, please contact Armando del Valle ( 

Student Resources 

  • The AANS website provides information regarding the national organization, including information on the 2021 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting. 
  • The Neurosurgical Atlas is the largest not-for-profit association for neurosurgical education and research in the world, sharing resources on advanced neurosurgical techniques, cases, neuroanatomy, and more. 
  • provides details on North American residency programs and the residency application process, including how to get launch a career in neurosurgery as a medical student. 

Rotating Medical Students

Saint Louis University School of Medicine offers a four-week rotation in neurosurgery for fourth-year medical students through the Visiting Student Application Service.

Visiting students will spend their four week rotation at the SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, where they will be exposed to a full breadth of adult and pediatric neurosurgical issues. During the rotation, students will have the opportunity to participate in the operating room, clinics, interventional suites, ICU and floor care, academic conferences and more. 

Students will function as an integral part of the team, directly participating in patient care in and outside of the operating room. Students will round each morning with the resident and attending team, and then will be encouraged to spend as much time in the operating room as possible. They will observe a variety of neurosurgical procedures including brain tumor surgery, functional neurosurgery, neuro-trauma surgery, skull base surgery, complex spine surgery, and more, in addition to observing and performing critical bedside procedures. When students are not in the operating room, they will assist the resident team with other patient care activities.

Students will attend the weekly academic conferences on Tuesdays and lecture series on Wednesdays. They will be given the opportunity to present on a topic of their choice, from their own research endeavors to a topic in neurosurgery.

Residents who apply to the neurosurgery sub-internship/externship through VSAS should also contact Virginia Wamser at so we can anticipate applications and assist with any scheduling issues.

For questions and more information, review the VSAS FAQs and contact the residency program coordinator, Jeroen Coppens at