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Medical Students

Students interested in neurosurgery can contact to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLUSOM) Chapter of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), which functions as the official neurosurgery interest group for more information on how to get involved in research, journal clubs, and clinical activities. 

Pre-clinical students (M1/M2) can participate in either the neurosurgery elective offered through the elective lottery or set up a clinical or research specialty-designed elective (S.D.E.) with a neurosurgery attending. Medical students in their clerkship year may rotate on neurosurgery during their surgery clerkship. In addition, clerkship students may participate in a clinical and/or research elective during their career-exploration block. Fourth-year medical students can perform a two- or four-week elective or complete their four-week home sub-internship on neurosurgery. To participate in any of these elective career exploration opportunities, please use the Oasis scheduling system when prompted by the SLUSOM Office of Curricular Affairs (OCA).

If you are a high school student, undergraduate student, or an interested observer and would like to shadow a neurosurgeon at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, reach out to Associate Program Director Joanna Kemp, M.D., 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 the medical school, promotes mentorship with SLU faculty, and facilitates participation at a national level for the next generation of neurosurgical leaders.


Faculty Advisors

  • Joanna Marie Kemp, M.D. and Mauricio Avila, M.D. - Chapter Sponsors
  • Nabiha Quadri, M.D. - Chapter Advisor
  • Timothy Wang, M.D. - YNC Quadrant Coordinator

Journal Club

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

Grand Rounds

SLU Neurosurgery Grand Rounds are presented on Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m. via Zoom. Please contact AANS leadership for the information.


For research opportunities, please email Kathleen Botterbush at


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
  • HIPAA (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 Dr. Joanna Kemp at

Student Resources 

  • The AANS website provides information regarding the national organization, including information on the student membership, the AANS annual meeting, and the Journal of Neurosurgery.
    • In addition to the AANS, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) has many opportunities and resources for students, including student membership, the CNS annual meeting, and Neurosurgery (aka the Red Journal).
  • The AANS/CNS Section on Women in Neurosurgery (WINS) offers a mentorship program and opportunities to serve on the Medical Student Committee (MSC). Applications are released in May/June. In addition, follow their social media to get information on webinars, guest speakers, and other events.
  • 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 get 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