Clinical Course:Neurosurgery

Master Surgery – Neurosurgery [M.S (Neurosurgery) USM]
The USM Department of Neurosciences of the School of Medical Sciences which is part of the University’s Neuroscience Center of potential excellence in Services and Research awarded in December 2011 by the Minister of Higher Education Datok Seri Khalid Nordin  is currently the leading provider of the comprehensive neurological and neurosurgical services to cater the needs of the whole population in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This civil responsibility and achievement is made possible with the availability of state of the art facilities for patient services whilst ensuring concurrent high quality teaching and research for  medical, surgical and other allied health trainees. As the Malaysia's forerunner in providing clinical and basic neurosciences training for both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the Department is proud to be the first to offer residency training program in neurosurgery in Malaysia since 2001.
This is a four-year residency training program by coursework leading to the award of USM Masters in Neurosurgery. Candidates selection are based on candidates' academic achievement as well as prior general surgical and neurosurgical experiences. This selection is made by a conjoint board appointed by the University. The main objective of this program is to train young surgical trainee to become competent neurosurgeons who will extend their expert neurosurgical skills with the community, conducting research in neurosciences and provide continuing training for medical under- and post-graduates.To date, the program has produced 30 trained and qualified neurosurgeons since 2001, serving the various hospitals/health institutions in Malaysia including Sabah and Sarawak.
Although the course is intended for local Malaysian surgical trainees only for the next 5 years to fulfill the Economic Planning Unit of the Government of Malaysia’s needs.
Foreign nationals working abroad(not working in Malaysian institutions) are invited and encouraged to apply, provided that they meet the following minimum entry criteria: completed M.R.C.S or equivalent qualification and completed at least 48 months* of general surgical posting/rotation in a recognised post (such as a medical officer) within recognised institutions/establishments. Bear in mind that there will be no exemption for such candidates whereby the course duration remains a minimum of 4 years and to sit all examinations required with successful submission and defense of a dissertation. The maximum duration allowed is 7 years. (*: 24 months for Malaysian candidates).The governments sending these candidates will need to make sure that the degree will be recognized in their country when they return back to work as recognized specialist in their country.
Candidates are strongly advised to discuss their expression of interest ahead of submitting a formal application with the Program Coordinator (see details below) to avoid disappointment with their applications for this highly competitive neurosurgical residency training program.
The continuing course assessments is divided in 3 phases of this 4-year training program:
Entrance Examinations:
  • MCQs on General Surgery and Neurosciences and Viva Interview.
  • Must pass this exam to be able to entry Year One.
Phase 1 (Year 1): Part 1 examination.Theory 60% (MCQ 30%, MEQ/Essay 30%) and Clinical/OSCE 40%.No viva borderline since 2013.Candidate attends the Medical statistic course where after a topic for dissertation is presented to Head of Program and thereafter to Ministry of Health Supervisors.Human and Animal ethics Clearance is requested for approval at this stage prior to sitting for the Year one exams.
Phase 2 (Year 2 and 3): Continuous assessment on  log books, case write ups, dissertation experiments by the respective supervisors and pass
2.High Speed Drill course
3. Principles’ of Microscopy ,Neurovascular and anastomosis course
4.Stereotactic,Functional,Tractography and Image Guided Surgery Course
5.Spine Course
6.Pediatric Neurosurgery course
7.Radiotherapy and Radiosurgery course. 
Phase 3 (Year 4):
Part 2 examination.Theory 40% (MCQ 20%;MEQ/Essay 20%). Clinical 60% (Long/short cases 40%;Viva 20%).
Pass all components separately especially Long Case,Short Case and Viva
(Note that the successful completion of each phase is  mandatory before recommendation can be made to ensure the candidates moves  into the next phase; Discipline, attitude unbecoming of a future neurosurgeon may lead to the delay in the movement of the candidate to the next phase till he is rehabilitated:A USM-MOH board meets every 6 months to decide this matter based on supervisor’s report,log books,surgical skills,dissertation progress and case write up progress)
3. ADMISSION CRITERIA (Malaysian Candidates) :
  • Possess basic medical qualification (MD, MBBS, MBChB or equivalent).
  • Successfully completed housemanship/internship training followed by minimum 6 months experience in general surgery(12 months is recommended) and 18 months in other speciality of which one year in Neurosurgery.
  • Credit in Bahasa Malaysia (SPM) for Malaysian or equivalent.SPM or GCE ‘O’ levels must be Grade One with credits in Biology,Physics and Chemistry.
  • Mentally and physically fit.
  • M.R.C.S or equivalent qualification with 24 months of experiences in General Surgery is not an exemption to enter the course.
  • F.R.C.S or Master in General Surgery or equivalent from a recognised institution or with covering letter (if an overseas institution) from the respective medical council or equivalent of the country.
  • The course duration is minimum 4 years and maximum 7 years. The 2 year posting outside of the program prior to entrance is counted. The training is managed by the Department of Neurosciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia  the Ministry of Health of Malaysia.
  • The degree, Masters of Surgery (Neurosurgery) will be awarded by the “Universiti Sains Malaysia” to the successful candidate
You may wish to address any queries to the Program Coordinator:

Associate Professor Dr Zamzuri Idris,
Department of Neurosciences,
School of Medical Sciences,
Universiti Sains Malaysia,
16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Application is made directly via the USM Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), 11800 Penang, Malaysia at or the Kelantan IPS  branch
• Closing date of application: 31st October each year for June intake (or as advertised in all major daily newspapers in Malaysia).

• For foreign applicants: Qualified candidates will be selected by a conjoint board comprising of members from the Ministry of Health, Malaysia and  USM

Contact Us

Department of Neurosciences
School of Medical Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia
16150 Kubang Kerian
Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Faxs :
Email :
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