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
What started as a brief segment on the evening news has consumed our daily lives as COVID-19 spreads across the globe. As health care facilities became inundated with critically ill patients, the nation’s intensivists, internists, emergency medicine physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists took to the front lines to fight this invisible enemy. With years of education behind us and at the cusp of the most significant health crisis in recent history, many residents are apprehensive of the future. What would be our role? Would we have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical care supplies to care for the sick? How can we keep ourselves and families safe? Read More
In early March, our neurosurgery team at Mount Sinai Medical Center noticed a handful of COVID-19 cases admitted to our medical intensive care unit (MICU), which is just down the hall from the neurosurgical intensive care unit (ICU). The daily news from Asia and Europe was certainly not encouraging, but we proceeded with our normal routine — morning rounds, surgery and academic conference. Read More
To address the need for neurosurgeons to rapidly share experiences and insights during COVID-19, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) recently launched a complimentary Town Hall Xperience for CNS members. Read More
The COVID-19 crisis has produced seismic changes in the practice of neurosurgery. For weeks elective surgeries have been eliminated and shelter in place orders implemented. Patients still develop herniated discs with neurologic deficits, present with brain tumors and need neurosurgical treatment. Telemedicine has provided one option for remaining connected to our established patients and caring for new patients during the pandemic. Read More