From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other sources that we believe are relevant to our audience. We wanted to bring attention to this article from the Winter 2021 issue of Congress Quarterly titled “Considerations for Private Practice Groups in the Age of COVID.” Stacey Lang, an executive administrator at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a volunteer with the Neurosurgery Executives’ Resource Value & Education Society, outlines both short-term and long-term considerations for practice restructuring in the COVID-19 era, including staffing, facility and scheduling matters. Read More
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
The economic, medical, political and psychological tsunami unleashed by the COVID-19 virus is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime. The traumatic disruption of 9-11 was limited in comparison to our current crisis. While impossible to include up to the minute statistics, already more than 15 million cases have been confirmed with at least 620,000 deaths, and U.S. unemployment is approximately 11%. Is it possible that any good will come of these months of tragedy and lock-down? What do we know about the immediate and longer-term consequences on us as humans, on the health care community and neurosurgery? I have been given the monumental task of trying to peer into that future as the Neurosurgery Blog’s focus on COVID-19 draws to a close. Read More
Neurosurgeons never stop learning. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, previously obscure terms such as airflow and aerosolization — the dispersal of a substance such as medicine or viral particles in the form of an aerosol — have entered our regular lexicon. We can now readily identify which of our operating rooms has the highest airflow — usually the smallest room — and the standard for the minimum number of air exchanges per hour, which is at least 15. Read More
Recent global circumstances have had considerable effects on neurosurgery. In the latest articles from AANS Neurosurgeon, the official socioeconomic publication of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), authors discuss the state of neurosurgical education. Practices have taken steps to not only adapt to a multitude of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to thrive among them, while helping their patients do the same. Browse the Education issue for a scientific, artistic and realistic view from those tasked with providing and navigating valuable educational experiences during a time when there is no such thing as “normal.” Read More
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
“I want to touch the world.”
George Perry Floyd, Jr.
We are living in trying and turbulent times in our country. A global pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people across America and has threatened to overwhelm our health care systems in some of the worst affected areas. On top of this health crisis, we are now facing the greatest civil unrest our country has experienced in over 50 years in response to a recent series of tragic deaths of black men and women — the cataclysmic event being the deplorable death of George P. Floyd, Jr. while in police custody. Read More
The current COVID-19 pandemic has been a singular event with far-reaching societal and medical ramifications. The enormity of the crisis and the alacrity of its spread across the globe has led to a rapidly evolving understanding of the disease. Current knowledge of the pandemic and the effect of the virus on the human body may become obsolete by week’s end. The COVID-19 crisis’s impact on the care of stroke patients is emblematic of these issues. Over the past few months, several data points have emerged that have been interpreted in divergent ways. Read More
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
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
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused sweeping systemic changes to the landscape of medicine and society as a whole in the few short months since the virus arose. The pandemic has impacted all medical specialties, and those still in training have experienced significant disruptions to their education. Medical schools were quick to respond to the spread of the virus to keep medical students safe. The first warnings from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD) administration came in early March — students were informed that those who intended to travel during spring break might be required to quarantine upon their return. At the time, the magnitude of the impending pandemic was unknown, and social distancing measures were still on the horizon. Read More