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Neurodecision: supporting medical students in making informed decisions for their neurosurgery residency pathways

Neurodecision is a 2-year Cooperation Partnership project funded by Erasmus+,
that Humanitas University is leading in collaboration with:

  • International Neuroscience Institute – Hannover, Germany
  • Univerzitet u Beogradu – Beograd, Serbia
  • Lusiadas Hospital Porto – Porto, Portugal

The project started on October 2022 and will end by the end of September 2024.
Its objective is to design an innovative training course for medical students at the 5th/6th years.

The proposal is a joint collaboration of academic and research partners in the area of medical teaching with a strong focus on responding to a common problem and challenge: high rate of dropouts at the 1st year of the residency programme in neurosurgery. Being aware of this issue, the partners’ motivation is associated with the fact that the current collaboration could be extended to the design of a common solution (for a common problem) that can prepare better the medical students to embrace their post-graduate residencies and to facilitate their decision-making process.

To reach these objectives, an innovative international training course will be co-designed with user’s representatives and tested in a pilot action where the partners will jointly promote and deliver (Promoting inter-connected higher education systems) the course to 5th/6th-year medical students across Europe.

The ultimate goal of this course is to promote, during the medical studies, specific training to 5th/6th-year students in Neurosurgery and neuroanatomy so they can choose a post-graduate education more thoughtfully. Students will be exposed to the most advanced technology training tools outside and inside the operating theatre, and they will have the opportunity to see from the spot what is the real workload of a neurosurgeon, which skills are required, what tools are used, etc.


The objectives of the project are to:

  • Generate awareness of 5th/6th-year medical students for the importance and complexity of medical residencies in Neurosurgery
  • Design an innovative training programme for 5th/6th-year medical students
  • Increase the level of knowledge and readiness of future medical professionals to embrace with no doubt’s residencies on Neurosurgery
  • Reduce the current drop-out rates of medical graduates at Neurosurgery medical residencies
  • Improve the teaching and digital skills of higher education teachers and tutors
  • Boost the attractiveness of the educational offers in medical studies.

The main features of the course (Addressing digital transformation and Stimulating innovative learning and teaching practices) are:

  • Blended learning course making use of the advantages of traditional face-to-face teaching and, distance learning, simulation lab, cadaver lab, clinical wards and operating theatres teaching, complemented with students mobilities.
  • A well-defined programme, including neuroanatomy, neurophysiological, clinical neurosurgery, surgical approaches, clinical follow-up and a list of clinical priorities and training in surgical reconversion in case of resilience.
  • Innovative learning methods will be used, including neuroanatomy applied to surgical approaches, surgical simulation laboratories with dedicated simulators for brain and spine approaches, surgical training laboratories with the possibility of performing sutures and training in microsurgery with the availability of microscopes, etc.
  • The use of electronic neuronavigational systems which can couple neuroradiological images and functional brain and spine activity, will be demonstrated during the training course.


The training package is organized in face-to-face/synchronous sessions and E-Learning activities.

120-140 students will be involved in the pilot phase structured in 25h of face-to-face/synchronous sessions and E-Learning materials for 50h of autonomous work.

16 students will have a mobility experience of 2 weeks abroad in one of the partners’ institutions.

In order to maximize the dissemination of the pilot edition, a guidebook for trainers and teachers is going to be developed, as well as a students’ guidebook in order to face the E-Learning activities.