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Guest Post

The Long Game: The CNS’ Investment in the NINDS/CNS Getch K12 Scholar Award

By Career, DEI, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

In 2012, the Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program (NRCDP) set a goal to grow a diverse corps of neurosurgeon scientists at institutions across the United States. The Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and the CNS Foundation became early partners in this effort by establishing the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)/CNS Getch K12 Scholar Award, named in honor of the CNS Past President Christopher C. Getch, MD, FAANS, a respected neurosurgeon, friend and leader, who passed away unexpectedly soon after his presidency. Read More

Neurosurgery Lost a Leader, and I Lost a Dear Friend — Randall W. Smith, MD, FAANS(L)

By Guest Post, Loss of LifeNo Comments

On Oct. 25, neurosurgery lost a leader, and I lost a dear friend. Randy’s accomplishments in organized neurosurgery, especially in California, are too numerous to list and have been chronicled by others in recent days. Today, I want to tell you the main lessons Randy taught me over our decade-long friendship. Read More

Permanently Funding CHIP is Essential for the Health of Our Children

By Guest Post, Health Reform, PediatricsNo Comments

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a health insurance program that provides coverage to children from low-income families. CHIP was established in 1997 with strong bipartisan support and is an essential state-federal partnership. As many as 15% of children lacked health insurance coverage at the time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Medicaid and CHIP provided health insurance to more than 50% of U.S. children in 2012, making both programs combined the nation’s largest insurer. These children and their families depend on federally subsidized state Medicaid for their health insurance. Read More

Congressional Docs Urge Americans to Take Action and Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

By Congress, COVID-19, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

Last year, the entire world was forced to face the COVID-19 pandemic head on. And now, we — the American people — have the opportunity to achieve peace of mind and live life as free as before by choosing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Concerned for the health and safety of our nation, I recently joined some of my fellow colleagues in Congress — each of us are also health care professionals — in a public service announcement encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. Very soon we will have more COVID-19 vaccines than we have people willing to take it. In fact, almost half of adults in my home state of Kansas are uncertain about getting vaccinated. Read More

Diversity in Neurosurgery: Forcing Change Leads to Greater Success

By Career, Guest Post, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

Should we take a stand to increase diversity? Yes! As neurosurgeons, we should talk about diversity in neurosurgery. If we don’t urge, even force change, it will not happen, or it will happen unbearably slowly. One hundred years into the history of neurosurgery, only 5% of all board-certified neurosurgeons are women. African-Americans are also underrepresented. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) calculates that African-Americans represent 4% of all active neurosurgeons in the U.S. Read More

The Use of Social Media in Addressing Gender Disparities in Neurosurgery

By Career, Guest Post, Healthcare Social Media, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

The importance of social media in neurosurgery, and medicine in general, has increased significantly over the past several years. As searched on PubMed, academic publications that include the search terms “social media neurosurgery” have increased over the last 10 years. Through various social media platforms, neurosurgeons can participate in educational endeavors, share scientific findings, build their brand and collaborate with others in the field despite geographical distance. The interactions that social media offers also provide an opportunity to network — to find mentors, role models and even friends outside one’s local academic and geographic environment. Read More

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