Without question, neurosurgeons can be competitive; it seems to come with the territory. Nearly every day, they fight for the many patients who suffer from neurological diseases and problems, including: head trauma; brain tumors; spinal disorders; functional and neurodegenerative diseases; birth defects; and more. A disproportionate number of neurosurgeons also excel at competitive sports, with some — like AANS president, H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FAANS — deciding to pursue neurosurgery and give up a promising athletic career. In 2003, a small group realized the enormous value of capitalizing on these two character traits and the Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament was established.
This year, on May 30, 2015, in New York City’s Central Park, the 12th Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament will feature thirty-two teams of neurosurgeons from top medical institutions from across the country. The event will be hosted by the Department of Neurosurgery at Columbia University, sponsored by the New York Yankees, and will benefit brain tumor research.
This year’s competitors include neurosurgeons from The University of Alabama, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Barrow Neurological Institute, University of California-San Francisco, University of Colorado Denver, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, University of Florida, The George Washington University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Louisiana State University, Mayo Clinic, University of Miami, University of Michigan, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Puerto Rico, University of South Florida, University of Tennessee, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Toronto, The University of Utah, Yale University, Vanderbilt University, and Weill Cornell Medical College/Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Significant funds will be raised — in excess of $100,000 — to support neuro-oncology fellowships for brain tumor research via the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
Neurosurgeons help their patients every day. Now they are stepping up to the plate to hit a grand slam to support the ever important task of training the next generation of neurosurgeons.