Authors: James S. Harrop, MD, FACS
The CNS Annual Meeting boasts an expanded menu of optional courses this year, with 17 new practical courses and 25 new luncheon seminars covering topics across the subspecialties, as well as practice management and career development issues. These new courses are a direct response to requests from you, our membership, based on the last three years of course reviews and discussion with members.
Optional courses provide attendees the flexibility to customize their learning according to their particular needs and interests. Practical courses take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25, and provide either a half day or a full day of focused learning with expert faculty. Luncheon seminars take place Monday through Wednesday, September 26–28, and are an intense, focused one and a half hours on a specific neurosurgical topic, discussed over a catered lunch. Following are new optional course highlights, organized around our meeting theme Advance, Adapt, Achieve.
A number of courses have been added to advance participants’ knowledge of the most current treatment and management strategies for brain and spine pathologies. For cranial tumor surgeons, there are updates on management of acoustic neuromas (M11), low-grade gliomas (M13), meningiomas (T26), pituitary adenomas (PC24), and benign cranial tumors (PC33). Cerebrovascular neurosurgery courses are directed toward current treatment of cranial AVMs (M09), aneurysms (T16), carotid artery disease management (T30), and management of hemorrhagic stroke (W41). Spine surgeon courses include management of spinal column metastases (M12), treatment of cervical radiculopathy (M15), degenerative thoracic spine disease (T27), and more. One luncheon seminar that was introduced last year and had very high reviews was the case-directed spine deformity (W39), a course that was solely case presentations and focused discussions. Trauma courses cover intracranial pressure in trauma patients (T29) and sports-related pediatric head trauma (W38).
Many of the new practical courses offer updates via case-based learning on topics such as cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities (PC02), surgery/SRS for malignant tumors (PC17), and spinal trauma (PC31). Some courses utilize high-definition 3D surgical videos to maximize the learning experience for participants. For example, the course on complex skull base and brain tumor surgery (PC06) features a focused 3D surgical anatomy review, followed by clinical cases presented with 3D surgical videos by senior faculty. An advanced course on cerebrovascular surgery (PC19) offers both 2D and 3D operative video highlighting difficult cases and special challenges such as intraoperative rupture of aneurysms.
With advances in technology and medicine as well as changing regulations and economic realities, our medical landscape evolves constantly. New optional courses are designed to help neurosurgeons adapt and thrive with these medical and socioeconomic changes.
Luncheon seminars cover the state-of-the-art in skull-base endoscopy (W33), innovations in the treatment of spinal deformity (M04) and acute cervical spine and cord injuries (W31), and emerging treatment strategies for epilepsy (W42) and other technological advancements in functional neurosurgery (M14). Trauma neurosurgeons can expect cutting-edge updates on how to limit sports-related head and spinal cord injuries (PC32), while tumor experts discover the latest approaches for brain metastases radiosurgery (T19) and surgery and adjuvant therapy for malignant gliomas (T24).
On the socioeconomic side, a new practical course, eNeurosurgery: Adapting Your Practice for 2016 and Beyond (PC16), focuses on real-world strategies to identify your online reputation through private and federal websites and databases, build an online presence, identify and surpass metrics used to rate neurosurgeons, reduce medical malpractice, and more. Another valuable course focuses on quality care from the neurosurgical perspective (PC26), revealing novel strategies to increase revenue using quality data.
Of course, neurosurgeons have personal and professional goals that go beyond the operating room, and several new courses aim at helping participants achieve those goals.
For residents, the ABNS Primary Examination High Yield Review (PC14) and the Women in Neurosurgery luncheon seminar on mentorship and becoming a neurosurgery leader (W42) are particularly relevant, as younger residents prepare to pass the board exam and senior residents seek to launch their careers. For advance practice providers, a full-day ANSPA course (PC13) equips physician assistants and nurses to advance their practice as they apply neurosurgical principles in their triage and treatment of patients.
Neurosurgeons of all ages and levels of experience can benefit from new courses on how to get a job (W40) and how to negotiate with hospitals to achieve their real worth (PC23). For an even bigger-picture perspective, a new course (PC29) focuses on developing a strategic plan for the future, from age 35 to 100. With a financial expert among the speakers, the course addresses a range of challenges and considerations, from planning for a second career to dealing with job loss, retirement, caregiving for parents, family issues, financial planning, types of investments, and much more.