Author: Martina Stippler
The CNS Resident Leadership Fellowship is a two-year fellowship for senior neurosurgery residents to experience the leadership and administrative opportunities offered by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). The goal of this fellowship is to engage young physicians early in their careers in organized neurosurgery, and create interest in a path to volunteerism throughout their careers. Dr. Krystal Tomei founded the fellowship in fall 2015, and it is coordinated by Angela Taylor, CNS director of member engagement, and myself, the chair of the CNS resident committee. In January 2017, we had 24 residents from across the United States start their two-year fellowships. Over the next two years, these fellows will participate and be active members in various CNS committees, including the education committee, resident committee and the Congress Quarterly committee. The fellowship is also an introduction to the organization and structure of the CNS.
To date, the fellows contributed to many projects and generated new ideas for future ones. For instance, the CNS Resident Leadership Fellows are hard at work assisting the education committee achieve their goals of innovation and progress. The group is generating content for an online case study and gaining an operative knowledge base platform as part of their assignment to assist the education committee. They also have been very involved in the development of a new application for smartphones geared toward residents that could help them more quickly access facts, data and classifications systems, and guidelines useful in the hectic day-to-day life of a resident. One can really say, "For the resident by residents!" Another group of residents reviewed available online educational content and is working closely with the resident committee to develop new content specifically for residents. Some of the CNS Resident Leadership Fellows chose to be on the Congress Quarterly committee, and you will be able to read their contributions in this issue.
The unique aspects of working with this talented group of young neurosurgeons is that residents bring a new perspective to the status quo and also deal with highly unique challenges: For example, how to get outstanding education in the setting of restricted work hours, how to establish a research career in a difficult funding environment, how to cope in the age of digital information overload, and how to incorporate new technologies in the practice of patient care. This helps the CNS to stay fresh and relevant, and develops distinctive opportunities for neurosurgery residents.
The next cohort of CNS Resident Leadership Fellows will start in the fall of 2017. The first class of CNS Resident Leadership Fellows graduated at the end of 2016. Many of them stayed on and now are part of the CNS resident committee. Hopefully, they will continue to serve on other CNS committees and shape organized surgery. We are excited to host them at the first CNS Resident Leadership Fellows reception for alumni and current fellows at the Annual Meeting in Boston.
Anyone interested in becoming a CNS Resident Leadership Fellow should please visit cns.org/leadershipfellows.