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Cross-Post: Medicare for All, Surgery for Some

By Cross Post, Prior AuthorizationNo Comments

From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they hit the mark on an issue. Today’s post originally appeared in The American Spectator on April 29, 2021. In the op-ed, Richard Menger, MD, MPA, assistant professor of neurosurgery and political science at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. discusses the recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement to begin prior authorization for specific procedures, including spine surgery, starting July 1. Insurance companies currently use prior authorization to limit the services they provide for their customers. Read More

Neurosurgery Rotation and Application Changes Due to COVID-19: A Medical Student Perspective (Part II)

By COVID-19, GMENo Comments

The COVID-19 public health crisis upended many norms in medical education. Most of medical school is built around significant in-person contact. During COVID-19, educators and students have had to adapt to the changing times to protect public health. Perhaps the most strongly affected individuals are those who applied for the 2021 match. Students and program directors alike were in an unprecedented time — trying to find the right resident “fit” without away rotations and in-person interviews. As an applicant to neurosurgery, I was looking forward to learning how different programs operate compared to my home institution while also furthering my education in my field of interest. While COVID-19 significantly affected this plan, the pandemic also allowed for changes and innovations to the neurosurgery match — some of which may persist beyond the 2021 match cycle. 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

Neurosurgery Rotation and Application Changes Due to COVID-19: A Medical Student Perspective (Part I)

By COVID-19, GME, MedEdNo Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes in the neurosurgery residency application process. Early decisions by the Society of Neurological Surgeons led to the canceling of away rotations, installation of virtual interviews, and a required eight-week home rotation in lieu of visiting rotations. Despite being disappointed that I would be unable to visit programs physically, the neurosurgical response to the challenges as a result of COVID-19 was very proactive, and it was a relief to have a definitive idea of the process early on. Read More

Connecting with the Neurosurgery Community in the COVID-19 Era: Lessons Learned at the University of Miami

By COVID-19, GME, MedEdNo Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the neurosurgery community to utilize new technologies to create and maintain connections. With social distancing guidelines in place, much attention has turned to the virtual space to accomplish this. At the University of Miami, we have trialed several virtual initiatives to connect with the neurosurgery community across the country and the world — from medical students interested in our residency training program to attending neurosurgeons interested in hearing from the world-leading experts in various neurosurgical subspecialties. We report the lessons we have learned during these unprecedented and challenging times. Read More