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Cross-Post: First Female Neurosurgeon to Become a Medical School Dean: Julie G. Pilitsis Shares Her Path to Success

By CareerNo Comments

Our current series on Making and Maintaining a Neurosurgeon discusses how one transitions from student to resident to practicing neurosurgeon. This cross-post highlights the second chapter after practicing neurosurgery. Eleven years ago, Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD, FAANS, set a goal to become a dean for a college of medicine. Read More

Embracing Innovation: Adapting to New Surgical Technologies

By CareerNo Comments

During my residency training at the University of Pennsylvania, M. Sean Grady, MD, FAANS, repeatedly counseled that residency is intended to teach us how to incorporate innovations in neurosurgery into our practice. Then, we can keep up with the pace of research and technology and, thus, always offer our patients the cutting-edge. My first year out of training was at Stanford University, and I was asked to take on a neurosurgical leadership role in the transcranial focused ultrasound program. I had come from a background where the reversibility and adjustability of deep brain stimulation would always supersede the permanence of an ablation technique. Read More

The Pros and Cons of Pursuing a Fellowship

By CareerNo Comments

After fast-paced, rewarding, but often exhausting years of completing highly technical neurosurgical training as a resident, the decision to pursue an additional one to two years of fellowship training is ultimately highly personal. As a mid-level resident, I weighed the pros and cons of this path after graduating in the context of my professional and personal goals. Read More

Neurosurgery Blog Featured on Medscape’s List of Medical Blogs Physicians Love

By Health ReformNo Comments

On Feb. 16, published an article, “‘Blog MD’: Medical Blogs That Physicians Love,” including Neurosurgery Blog on their list of 10 medical blogs for physicians. The article states, “the blog authored by the AANS and CNS tackles topics beyond brain surgery. Physicians and other specialists could learn from writings about a neurosurgeon’s approach to mentorship, artificial intelligence in the treatment of stroke patients, and creating a pathway for the next generation of neurosurgeons.” Read More

M&M Conference: A Better Process for Better Outcomes

By Career, Quality ImprovementNo Comments

Morbidity and mortality (M&M) is a common conference across medical specialties. It originated in the early 1900s when a surgeon named Ernest A. Codman, MD, attempted to create a systematic way of reporting errors and standardizing practices and procedures. Back then, error tracking and reporting were not the norm, and he lost privileges at his hospital for trying to introduce any evaluation of surgeon competence. He persevered in his work and is now recognized as the founder of the M&M conference. This conference allows surgeons to reflect upon their performance and receive invaluable feedback from their peers on preventing future adverse outcomes. It is (generally speaking) a medicolegally protected peer-review conference to discuss complications and undesired outcomes and is an invaluable tool in resident education. Beyond individual surgeon performance, discussion of cases identifies systemic problems and errors that can be changed to create a more sustainable solution. Read More

Neurosurgery: Critical Resident Education in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

By CareerNo Comments

There is nothing more important to a neurosurgeon than patient safety. We strive daily to provide the right care to the right patient at the right time and place in the best possible way. Beyond each individual encounter, achieving this requires constant assessment and reassessment of all aspects of care delivery — a process called quality improvement. For decades, medicine and neurosurgery addressed quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) but not in a focused, scientific way. Today, however, this represents one of the fastest-growing areas of investigation and implementation in almost every hospital and healthcare system. In response, the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) launched the Clinical Learning Environment reviews (CLER) to achieve an optimal clinical learning environment to achieve safe and high-quality patient care. Early work with CLER led to another program, the Program Directors Patient safety and Quality improvement (PDPQ) program. Read More

The Future of Neurological Surgery: Adapting to GME Changes

By CareerNo Comments

Until the 19th century, surgical training was haphazard with no standardization. The surgical trainee learned through observation of a mentor and finished training when the mentor decided it was time. As surgery evolved from a trade to a profession, surgical training also evolved, pioneered by William S. Halsted, MD. Dr. Halsted’s principles of surgical training included the need to understand the scientific basis of disease, provide supervised care of surgical patients and gain increasing responsibility during training, leading to independent practice. Read More

Cross-Post: Neurosurgery’s glass ceiling: Addressing the gender imbalance in the field

By Career, Cross Post, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

Our current series on Making and Maintaining a Neurosurgeon discusses how one transitions from student to resident to practicing neurosurgeon. In particular, we highlight what our field is doing to improve diversity and the importance of mentorship to those considering neurosurgery. How impactful can mentorship be? Incredibly. Read More

Career Development in Neurosurgery Research for Medical Students, Residents and Young Neurosurgeons: From Finding Mentorship to Starting and Funding a Lab

By CareerNo Comments

Research has always been integral to the field of neurosurgery. Its purpose is to improve patient treatment paradigms and stimulate innovation. Given these efforts, an emphasis on research quality and productivity has become a minimal requirement to enter and progress in academic neurosurgery. However, the barrier to entry in neurosurgery research remains relatively high for medical students, neurosurgery residents and young neurosurgeons — which may be prohibitive for academic progress. Providing transparency in the research process is a necessary step in reducing the barriers that have been formed. Read More

Building a Better Match: Efforts of the SNS Medical Student Committee

By Career, MentoringNo Comments

It has been a pleasure to serve as the chair of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) Medical Student Committee. This group of neurosurgical leaders is deeply engaged in finding better approaches to training future neurosurgeons. Our responsibilities include enhancing exposure to the field for students exploring future careers, providing a framework of mentorship for those considering a neurosurgical residency, and ensuring that The Match® is fair and efficient for both applicants and programs. It has been clear that forces are making this last goal more challenging for some time. Read More

Cross-Post: Medicare cuts ensure disaster to doctor-patient relationship

By Congress, Cross PostNo Comments

On the Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they may interest our readers. In case you missed it, we wanted to bring attention to a recent op-ed by Reps. Greg Murphy, MD, (R-N.C.), Brad Wenstrup, DPM, (R-Ohio) and Michael Burgess, MD, (R-Texas) in titled, “Medicare cuts ensure disaster to doctor-patient relationship.” On Jan. 1, 2024, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cut payments to physicians by nearly 3.4% for services rendered to Medicare patients, which will cripple independent physicians and rural health care providers across the country. Read More

Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS Retires from Neurological Surgery

By AANS Spotlight, CareerNo Comments

Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS, a neurosurgeon at the forefront of advocacy efforts, retired from neurosurgery practice at Carle BroMenn Medical Center on Nov. 22, 2023. Throughout her career, Dr. Stroink has been an in advocating — in the halls of Congress, before the Illinois state legislature, with health plans and within organized medicine — for sound health policy to ensure patients have timely access to care. Throughout her career, she held critical leadership roles within organized neurosurgery, including president of the Illinois State Neurosurgical Society, chair of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Council of State Neurosurgical Societies, chair of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee for Neurological Surgery and AANS president. Read More

Cross-Post: Medical Student Tamia Potter Makes History

By Career, DEI, MentoringNo Comments

Our current series on Making and Maintaining a Neurosurgeon discusses how one transitions from student to resident to practicing neurosurgeon. In particular, we highlight what our field is doing to improve diversity and the importance of mentorship to those considering neurosurgery. How impactful can a mentor be? Incredibly. Especially when it comes to forging a path few before have traveled. Read More

The Transformative Power of Mentorship: Establishing a Personal Board of Directors

By Career, MentoringNo Comments

Stepping into the inaugural American Society of Black Neurosurgeons (ASBN) dinner in 2022, surrounded by almost 30 Black neurosurgeons, residents and medical students, was an indescribable experience. In that room, I encountered past program neurosurgery department chairs and senior attendings, who welcomed me into the fold with open arms. The presence of such accomplished individuals who shared my background and experiences left an indelible impact on me. Read More

Cross-Post: How artificial intelligence is changing health care in treating stroke victims

By Digital Neurosurgery, StrokeNo Comments

On the Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they may interest our readers. Today, we wanted to bring attention to a recent op-ed in titled, “How artificial intelligence is changing health care in treating stroke victims.” Neurosurgeon Paul S. Saphier, MD, FAANS, discusses the importance of early intervention and how artificial intelligence (AI) is helping surgeons save even more patients. Read More

Cross-Post: Gender Differences in Medicare Practice and Payments to Neurosurgeons

By Cross Post, Medicare, Women in NeurosurgeryNo Comments

From time to time on the Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they may interest our readers. Today, we wanted to bring attention to a recent publication in .​ The article — “” by Temitope O. Oshinowo, AB, et al. compares practice metrics and earning potential between female and male neurosurgeons and examines gender disparity in Medicare reimbursement. Read More

Pathway to Neurosurgery Program: Creating the Next Generation of Neurosurgeons

By Career, MentoringNo Comments

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are vital components of strategic planning in a growing number of organizations across all sectors. The health care sector is especially relevant since DEI directly affects health outcomes. In the United States, most people are aware of the racial reckoning that has resulted in the necessary dialogue around implicit bias’s harmful effects. It has also drawn attention to the Black, indigenous, and people of color who are disproportionately impacted by long-standing systems that were not created with their whole personhood in mind. Together, we can foster equitable access to high-quality care for a wide range of people while building cultural competencies that increase a sense of belonging in spaces where people might not have been able to feel included before. Within neurosurgery, DEI initiatives that engage and educate teams have great potential. Read More

Training the Next Generation of Neurosurgeons: Inclusive Excellence in Neurosurgery

By Career, MentoringNo Comments

The Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University is committed to inclusive excellence at all levels of education and training. Investing in outreach and pipeline programs exposes students to knowledge and opportunities otherwise unavailable. Our reach extends beyond Stanford and the surrounding community — we have reached students from all over the world who are interested in the neurosciences and are dedicated to learning. We are proud of the department’s work with outreach, including students locally, nationally and internationally. The future of neuroscience is bright. Read More

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