Department History


USC Medical School begins the first medical training program in Southern California. The school was led primarily by a group of physicians working for Los Angeles General Medical Center, which was built to take care of the region’s indigent population. Since its beginning, there has been a close relationship between the two entities.


Dr. Carl Rand starts the neurosurgical service at Los Angeles General Medical Center after serving in the First World War. He had previously trained under Dr. Harvey Cushing in Boston. Dr. Rand’s service was the first Neurosurgery Department west of the Mississippi. Eight years later, he started the residency training program


Los Angeles General Medical Center, an iconic, 1680-bed hospital, one of the largest in the western United States, opens its doors. The hospital would serve the people of Los Angeles until 2008. It remains an architectural landmark in the city.


Dr. Martin Weiss becomes the fourth chairman of the department. His tenure over 36 years would shape the department as we know it today.


Keck Hospital opens as a specialty hospital. In neurosurgery, Keck serves to complement the training received at Los Angeles General Medical Center, with residents split between the two hospitals.


Dr. Steven Giannotta succeeds Dr. Weiss as the fifth chairman, after having served on faculty for 24 years


Los Angeles General Medical Center opens a 600-bed, state-of-the-art hospital adjacent to “Big County.” All patient care has been transitioned to the new facility, but the historic building remains in use for administrative offices, including that of the Department of Neurosurgery.


USC Neurosurgery residency transitions from 2 residents per year to 3-per-year.


USC Neurosurgery receives a NIH/NINDS R25 Grant Award.