• Leadership and Residency

    • Jan 26, 2018

    The CNS Leadership in Healthcare Program: Empowering Surgeons for the Leadership Challenges of Today's Healthcare Environment

    For more than 65 years, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons has been dedicated to developing young leaders in the field. Of course, as the field evolves, so too do the skills needed to lead. The CNS Leadership in Healthcare program was developed and piloted in 2016 when leaders on the CNS Executive Committee recognized that the dynamics of today's health care environment require more of a neurosurgeon than clinical expertise and surgical skill. Through a generous grant from Medtronic and support from experts in their leadership development program, the CNS Leadership in Healthcare program was launched.

    At its core, the Leadership in Healthcare program is designed to empower junior attending neurosurgeons with the information and skills needed to shape their own careers and lead their departments, groups, hospitals, and health systems in a time of rapid change. After a successful pilot course, the Leadership in Healthcare program was expanded for 2017 and applications were opened to all neurosurgeons who completed an ABNS-approved residency program within the past seven years. In addition to a CV and personal statement, each candidate for the 2017 program proposed a personal leadership project they would undertake over the course of the yearlong program, either at their own institution or through a local or national society. A selection committee vetted many applications to select a final roster of 13 Leadership Fellows for the 2017-18 program.

    The curriculum of the Leadership in Healthcare program covers a unique mix of health care finance and business acumen to help surgeons speak the language of hospital decision makers, along with development of soft skills like building influence, communication, and presentation skills needed to lead teams and advance their projects.

    Content is covered in an intensive two-day workshop, through a series of follow-up webinars, and through individual and peer mentorship surrounding each individual's leadership project. This year's course also included a 360° evaluation process, giving each fellow deeper insight into their personal leadership strengths and challenges. The result is a dynamic and adaptive learning experience unlike anything available in the specialty today, and has been well received by the fellows and their mentors back home.

    "This program has already exceeded our early expectations in terms of its impact," said Alan Scarrow, course director and CNS past president. "Already, graduates of our pilot course have gone on to fill leadership roles on the CNS Executive Committee, heading up projects through the CNS Education Division, and as CNS faculty. Their accomplishments with their individual projects have been truly inspiring."

    The CNS is grateful for the continued support we have received from Medtronic for this program and the alignment of vision and synergy between our organizations' resources, which have been instrumental in growing and improving this program. We are looking forward to expanding the program further in 2018 and will be selecting the next cohort of fellows in early March 2018.

    CNS Resident Ambassador Program

    The CNS recognizes that the future of neurosurgery depends on the development of neurosurgical leaders. The CNS Resident Ambassador program (formerly the Resident Leader Fellows program) offers neurosurgeons-in-training an extensive array of volunteer opportunities. The program is comprised of two cohorts of approximately 25 each. Volunteers participate in specific initiatives which augment and refine CNS products and programs. For residents, this is an opportunity to work with volunteer leaders in key CNS committees, such as the Education Division and the Publications Committee. Recent activities include extensive contributions to the Nexus and Neurosurgery Survival Guide (NSG) app.

    Other activities include participation in the CNS Journal Club Podcasts, the Congress Quarterly Editorial Board, SANS Editorial Board, and a wide variety of work groups that have a direct impact on the development and refinement of online education.

    If you are a resident, please consider applying for this rewarding program, where your contributions will advance education within the specialty.

    This program also includes the Neurosurgery Publications Resident Fellowship, a one-year, 10-hour per week engagement that focuses on all aspects of the CNS journals, including training in the editorial process. Publication Fellowship applications are closed for 2018, but visit cns.org/publications/fellowship in January 2019.

    "I'm interested in Resident Education, so I became part of the Education Committee. My first project was working on revitalizing the Journal Club Podcasts. I worked with faculty and Dr. Stippler to put together podcasts of winning papers from the Paper of the Year Awards. It was a great opportunity to review those papers in depth, and have some of the questions that are generated reading a paper answered by the faculty member who is part of bringing that project to life. Our next project is building a classification system for categorizing online learning content. I'm pretty entrenched with what I'm doing at the CNS, and I enjoy it tremendously."

    - Adrienne Moraff, CNS Resident Ambassador

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