Nitin Agarwal, MD is a resident at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery, having received his doctorate of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. His funded research activities focus on improving patient education to optimize patient outcomes. To date, he has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and 10 book chapters, and has spoken at several regional and national conferences with over 100 oral and poster presentations. His health literary related research has been published in several high impact factor journals, including JAMA Internal Medicine, and featured by prominent healthcare oriented news outlets such as Reuters Health.

He was appointed as a member of the Young Neurosurgeons Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and serves as the Medical Student Task Force resource coordinator and Top Gun Competition chair. He was also selected as a Council of State Neurological Societies socioeconomic fellow and continues to serve as a past resident fellow mentor as well as an alternate delegate appointee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). Moreover, Dr. Agarwal serves a member of the Joint AANS/CNS Drugs and Devices committee.

He authored Neurosurgery Fundamentals, published in late 2018, as a guide for residents and medical students pursuing a career in neurosurgery. Besides technical information on the basics of neurological surgery, the book distills important socioeconomic topics including training, licensure, credentialing, and advocacy.


Tell us about your background and your educational interests.

I’m a resident at the University of Pittsburgh and am pursing an enfolded fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery there. I plan on completing further training in that subspecialty during post-residency through an approved fellowship with the Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training (CAST) at the University of California, San Francisco.

I also maintain an active role in organized neurosurgery advocating for medical student and patient education. My article “Improving Medical Student Recruitment into Neurological Surgery” was featured online by the AANS. Additionally, I’m an advocate for philanthropic support and have been placed on the board of directors of both the Neurosurgery PAC, as a young neurosurgeon member, and served as a resident liaison for the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation. Besides Neurosurgery Fundamentals, I’m also the co-editor of the book The Evolution of Health Literacy: Empowering Patients through Improved Education.

Outside of neurological surgery, I’m deeply dedicated to martial arts, specifically the disciplines of Taekwondo, Krav Maga, and Jiu-Jitsu.


How did you come to write Neurosurgery Fundamentals?

Through collaboration with several colleagues and mentors, we were able to create a concise and portable, but comprehensive handbook for future generations of trainees.


What was your impetus for writing it? What did you hope to accomplish?

A limited number of academic resources exist for medical students for the subspecialized fields such as neurosurgery. As such, Neurosurgery Fundamentals provides aspiring neurosurgeons with a roadmap to an academic career. While several chapters are devoted to detailing the key fundamentals any trainee should know, I am most fond of the Advice from Masters section. Mentors have played an integral role in my educational development and, in a similar fashion, the aforementioned section offers readers essential guidance from prominent neurosurgeons.


What makes Neurosurgery Fundamentals unique?

The project involved creating a handbook for medical students, residents, and advanced practice providers on the essentials of neurological surgery. Historically, there has been a dearth of information to guide students through the medical school years, residency application, rotations and interview trail. Furthermore, international students, who have no resources whatsoever or mentorship would benefit greatly from this text.



Neurosurgery Fundamentals

The quintessential guide providing a one-stop roadmap to a neurosurgical career!

Neurological surgery is a complex, highly selective specialty. For medical students and residents, navigating a huge array of neurosurgical information can be overwhelming. Neurosurgery Fundamentals by Nitin Agarwal is a portable reference enabling swift assimilation of neurosurgical care essentials.




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