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Guest Post

Women in Neurosurgery — A Legacy of Achievement and Breaking Barriers

By Career, Guest Post, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

The past century has demonstrated tremendous progress in all disciplines of medicine. Parallel to this progress, and often a direct contributor to breakthroughs and achievements, has been the increasing role women have played in the profession. Neurosurgery is no exception. Although their ranks are small, especially compared to other specialties, the women of neurosurgery have played an outsized role in its rise as a specialty in the last hundred years. Read More

Progress Incremental: Understanding Sexual Harassment in Neurosurgery

By Career, Guest Post, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

Under the table, his hand landed uncomfortably high on my thigh. Our conversation had drifted from our mutual interests in molecular biology research of brain tumors to books and music. Until that moment, I had felt really positive about our connection. It was 1984, and my infatuation with neurosurgery had led me to try and break into an overwhelming male subspecialty. I knew it would take something special to convince a program to make the leap and accept a woman. Throughout the lavish dinner event for the visiting resident applicants, I had foolishly thought, perhaps this was such an opportunity. When the hand landed, the conversation abruptly changed, and the senior faculty leaned very close and, with an unmistakable leer, said, “I would really love to help you become the first woman in our residency program. Shall we make those plans later tonight?” Read More

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Deborah L. Benzil, MD, FAANS, FACS

Medicolegal Issues in Neurosurgery

By CSNS Spotlight, Guest Post, Medical LiabilityNo Comments

Virtually all neurosurgeons will have to deal with a medicolegal issue by the end of their career. Neurosurgeons have the highest annualized rate of lawsuits at >19%. Perhaps shockingly, even by age 45, approximately 88% of surgeons in high-risk subspecialties will have been involved in a lawsuit. This number elevates to >99% by age 65. The concern about professional liability lawsuits is, without a doubt, the highest profile medicolegal issue for neurosurgeons — even though many more issues other than litigation affect our daily medical practices. Medicolegal and socioeconomic topics such as neurosurgical workforce, contracting and employment, and payor/insurance issues such as coverage policies, reimbursement and prior authorization regularly impact each neurosurgeon’s practice in multiple ways — even if it is not immediately apparent. Read More

WINS: Celebrating Women in Neurosurgery

By Career, Guest Post, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

Gender diversity is not just good for women; it’s good for anyone who wants results.”

Melinda A. Gates

Modern neurosurgery recently crossed the century threshold as a medical discipline. The profession has a rich history, and women have played critical roles throughout the development of the specialty. The role of women in neurosurgery began with Louise Eisenhardt, MD, who was at the side of Harvey Cushing, MD, through much of his career. Ruth K. Jakoby, MD became the first woman diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1961. Later, Frances K. Conley, MD, achieved several ‘firsts’ as a woman in academic neurosurgery, culminating in a promotion to a full professorship at Stanford University in 1986. Read More

Physicians Suffer From Moral injury, Not Burnout

By Burnout, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

Burnout has come to be defined as a workplace syndrome from chronic exposure to job-related stress. It is the constellation of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment. More than half of physicians report at least one of these symptoms. The consequences of burnout are not just detrimental to physicians themselves, but also the people around them. Loss in productivity, high-risk behavior, disregard for safety procedures, more referrals, additional diagnostic tests and poor care are among the manifestations of physician burnout. Additionally, substance abuse, family breakups, poor health, depression and even suicide may also be extreme consequences of burnout. Burnout does not have to manifest by these catastrophic events; it can show up in small ways. Some of the subtler indicators of burnout include anger, aggression, nastiness, snide comments and disrespect for other physicians and health care professionals. Read More

Neurosurgeons Launch Campaign to Protect Patient Access to Care

By Access to Care, COVID-19, Guest Post, Health Reform, MedicareNo Comments

Our health care system is under extraordinary pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an uncertain financial future for health care professionals. And now, coming on the heels of this devastating pandemic, Medicare is poised to implement drastic cuts. These cuts threaten patients’ access to timely surgical care and may impact the quality of life for the people neurosurgeons care for every day. To help policymakers and the public understand how these payment cuts will hurt patients and their neurosurgical care teams, on June 18, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), along with 10 other national surgical associations, officially launched the Surgical Care Coalition (SCC). Read More

Stroke Month: Continued Progress in Research and Patient Care

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthOne Comment

On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Acute ischemic stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. and around the world. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that in 2016 there were 5.5 million deaths attributable to cerebrovascular disease worldwide — 2.7 million of those deaths were from ischemic stroke. May is National Stroke Awareness Month and provides the opportunity to remember patients who are survivors of this dreaded disease and highlight the physicians and researchers at the forefront of progress to improve care and outcomes in stroke. Read More

Providing Comfort and Mercy: The U.S. Military’s COVID-19 Response Effort

By COVID-19, Guest Post, Health, Military Faces of NeurosurgeryNo Comments

Editor’s Note: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, neurosurgeons have helped bring aid and comfort to neurosurgical patients and those suffering from the novel coronavirus. Today, on Memorial Day, we wish to salute the efforts of the men and women serving in our U.S. Military, who, too, have provided comfort and mercy during this national emergency. On this day and always, you have our unwavering gratitude for your dedication and service.

I’ve been asked to comment about my experience mobilized in the military reserve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I do so without named authorship secondary to the fact that the mission is ongoing, and the focus should be on a genuinely profound group effort. Read More