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Most fields in medicine and surgery are increasingly moving towards subspecialized practice. This means an even greater focus on a specific component of an already specialized field. This is influenced by a number of societal and professional factors, including the exponential growth in required knowledge and skills that require extended training, the rapid pace of technological innovations, and evolving definitions of acceptable outcomes. The UCT Division of Neurosurgery, in accordance with its commitment to training specialists at the highest level of clinical expertise and intellectual rigor, offers several fellowships in subspecialty training. The duration of these varies according to the unique requirements in the field and the aspirations of the candidate. All programs are led by experts in their respective fields, who have strong international links in training and research.

Fellowships available at UCT are as follows.

Neurocritical care

This is a two year fellowship administered in collaboration between the departments of neurosurgery and critical care. Prospective candidates over two years will be expected to complete rotations between neurosurgical, general surgical and medical intensive care units. Candidates are expected to register for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in critical care and write the Certificate in Critical Care of the Colleges of Neurosurgery of South Africa.

This fellowship is administered by Professor Ivan Joubert and Professor Patrick Semple.

Paediatric Neurosurgery, Paediatric Neurocritical Care, Intraoperative Neurophysiology

A 1-2 year fellowship program is offered in the only dedicated paediatric neurosurgery service in the country, based at Red Cross Children’s Hospital. The program covers all aspects of paediatric neurosurgery – neuro-oncology, epilepsy and functional, dysraphism, craniofacial, congenital, hydrocephalus, etc.

In addition, the program covers advanced neurocritical care, which includes microdialysis, continuous EEG, brain oxygenation and CBF, high frequency data capture.

The unit also established a training program in intraoperative neurophysiology, having introduced it in 2009.

Candidates are expected to complete a MPhil or MSc Neuroscience. The program is strongly connected with the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town and is supported by neuroscience Masters and PhD students.

Fellowship programs are also offered for neurophysiologists in intraoperative neurophysiology and critical care neurophysiology.

Program administrators are Professor Anthony Figaji and Dr Nico Enslin.

Spine Surgery

The neurosurgery spine fellowship runs separate to the orthopaedic spine fellowship which is run by the department of orthopaedics. The neurosurgical spine fellowship is run for 1 year and covers most aspects of adult and pediatric spine surgery with the exception of adolescent deformity/scoliosis. Fellowship training encompasses clinical management of spine trauma (concurrently with orthopaedic surgery), spine oncology, degenerative spinal deformity and pediatric craniocervical junction disorders.

Program administrator: Dr N Mankahla

Vascular-Neurointerventional Surgery

Program administrator Professor A Taylor and D Lefeuvre​​​​​​​

Pituitary and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

This is a lively and innovative fellowship focusing on endoscopic pituitary and endocrine surgery. This program works in close collaboration with otorhinolaryngology and the endocrinology. As part of this fellowship, training in microsurgical key-hole surgery for sella and supra-sella tumours particularly craniopharyngiomas and pituitary tumours.

Fellowship administrators: Professor Patrick Semple and Dr N Mankahla


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