Neurosurgical Residency Away Rotation

Neurosurgical Residency Away Rotation

Neurosurgical Residency Away Rotation is an important component in the education of a neurosurgical residentSubspecialization of physicians and regional centers concentrate the volume of certain rare cases into fewer hospitals. Consequently, the primary institution of a Neurosurgical Resident Training Program may not have sufficient case volume to meet the current Residency Review Committee case minimum requirements in some areas. To ensure the competency of graduating residents through comprehensive neurosurgical education, programs may need residents to travel to outside institutions for exposure to cases that are either less common or more regionally focused.

Harvey Williams Cushing 14-month Wanderjahr had a profound effect on his subsequent personal career, which in turn ushered in the modern age of American neurosurgery. From July 1900 to August 1901, he traveled to European neurosurgical centers in EnglandFranceSwitzerlandItaly, and Germany. His excursion happened at a crucial moment in his trajectory; it was built on his existing foundation of Halstedian surgical training and occurred at a time when interest in the special field of neurological surgery was emerging. The research and clinical experiences on his journey-good and bad-undoubtedly informed his fledgling neurosurgical practice. Salwi et al. present a concise account of Harvey Cushing’s time in Europe that consolidates accounts from Cushing’s travel journals, biographers, and other neurosurgeons.

The article of Salwi et al. highlights tensions in prior works and reveals new insights into the transformative nature of his Wanderjahr. Furthermore, he contextualizes his travels and achievements within the broader transformation of American medical education at the turn of the 20th century to elucidate how Europe influenced American medicine. They briefly consider the parallel benefits of Harvey Cushing’s Wanderjahr and modern domestic or international training opportunities and present potential areas of implementation 1)

The selection of the area of research is essential. There are many arguments in favor of selecting research projects to be close to the individual trainee‘s clinical interest. Studies far away from the individual’s clinical interest in most cases are less productive and will not be pursued later. There are also many advantages if cooperation is planned with other institutions. The residency program director or staff members play an important role in the selection of the research project, of an appropriate laboratory or institution, and in the process of financing a research rotation 2)

A neurosurgical residency away rotation allows a neurosurgical resident to spend time at another institution, usually for several weeks or months, to gain additional experience and training in the field of neurosurgery. Some potential benefits of a neurosurgical away rotation may include:

Exposure to a different patient population: Away rotations can expose neurosurgical residents to a different patient population, which may help broaden their clinical skills and experience.

Exposure to different surgical techniques and approaches: The host institution may use different surgical techniques and approaches than the resident’s home institution, which can broaden the resident’s skill set and knowledge of neurosurgery.

Access to specialized equipment and resources: The host institution may have access to specialized equipment or resources that are not available at the resident’s home institution. This can provide a unique learning opportunity and exposure to cutting-edge technology.

Networking opportunities: Away rotations provide opportunities to build relationships with faculty members, residents, and other medical professionals at the host institution. This can be valuable for future job opportunities or collaborations.

Improved residency application: Completing an away rotation at a program of interest can provide neurosurgical residents with an opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities, potentially improving their chances of being accepted into the program.

Overall, a neurosurgical residency away rotation can provide valuable learning experiences, networking opportunities, and exposure to different clinical scenarios and surgical techniques, which can help to enhance the skills and knowledge of neurosurgical residents.

While there are many potential benefits to a neurosurgical residency away rotation, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. These may include:

Disruption of continuity of care: When neurosurgical resident is away from their home institution, they may miss out on some aspects of patient care and continuity of care. This can lead to challenges in communication and follow-up for patients.

Potential differences in practice style: The host institution may have different practice styles, expectations, or protocols than the resident’s home institution. This can create confusion or challenges for the resident in terms of adapting to a new environment and different expectations.

Financial costs: Neurosurgical residents may need to bear the costs of travel, lodging, and other expenses associated with completing an away rotation. This can be a significant financial burden, particularly for residents with limited financial resources.

Challenges adapting to a new environment: Moving to a unique institution, even temporarily, can be stressful and challenging for neurosurgical residents. They may need to adapt to new living arrangements, a new hospital system, and new colleagues.

Limited time for exploration: While an away rotation can provide exposure to a different patient population and clinical setting, the limited amount of time can make it difficult to fully explore and understand the nuances of the institution and its practice.

Overall, a neurosurgical residency away rotation can be a valuable experience, but residents should carefully consider the potential disadvantages before making the decision to participate. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the costs and challenges to determine if an away rotation is a right choice for the individual resident.

ACGME rules regarding away rotations

Gephart et al. sought to evaluate off-site rotations to better understand the changing demographics and needs of resident education. This would also allow prospective monitoring of modifications to the neurosurgery training landscape. They completed a survey of neurosurgery program directors and a query of data from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education to characterize the current use of away rotations in the neurosurgical education of residents. They found that 20% of programs have mandatory away rotations, most commonly for exposure to a pediatric, functional, peripheral nerve, or trauma cases. Most of these rotations are done during postgraduate years 3 to 6, lasting 1 to 15 months. Twenty-six programs have 2 to 3 participating sites and 41 have 4 to 6 sites distinct from the host program. Programs frequently offset potential financial harm to residents rotating at a distant site by the support of housing and transportation costs. As medical systems experience fluctuating treatment paradigms and demographics, over time, more residency programs may adapt to meet the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education case minimum requirements through the implementation of away rotations 3).

In 2019, the ACGME implemented new rules regarding away rotations, in an effort to promote resident well-being, reduce the burden of travel and expense associated with away rotations, and improve the quality of the educational experience for residents. Under these new rules, the ACGME now requires that:

Residency programs must limit the number of away rotations to no more than four weeks per year, per resident. Programs must have a written policy that outlines the process for selecting and approving away rotations, and must ensure that residents receive appropriate supervision and support during their away rotations. Programs must ensure that away rotations do not interfere with resident education and training, and that residents have adequate time to meet program requirements and prepare for board exams. The ACGME’s requirements related to away rotations are part of a larger effort to improve the quality of graduate medical education in the United States, and to ensure that residents receive the training and support they need to become competent and compassionate physicians.


Salwi S, Chitale RV, Kelly PD. Harvey Cushing’s Wanderjahr (1900-1901). World Neurosurg. 2020 Oct;142:476-480. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.07.034. Epub 2020 Jul 19. PMID: 32698081; PMCID: PMC8048037.

Reulen HJ. Basic research vs. applied research. Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2002;83:45-8. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-6743-4_8. PMID: 12442620.

Gephart MH, Derstine P, Oyesiku NM, Grady MS, Burchiel K, Batjer HH, Popp AJ, Barbaro NM. Resident away rotations allow adaptive neurosurgical training. Neurosurgery. 2015 Apr;76(4):421-5; discussion 425-6. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000661. PMID: 25635889.

Neurosurgical Training in Germany

Neurosurgical Training in Germany

There has been a fivefold increase in neurosurgeons over the last three decades in Germany, despite a lesser increase in operations. Currently, there are approximately 1000 neurosurgical residents employed at training hospitals.

Neurosurgery remains an attractive specialty in Germany, but there are two concerns that may impede its appeal in the near future. The administrative burden for a neurosurgeon is onerous: Perhaps 50 percent of a neurosurgeon’s time is spent on administrative responsibilities such as coding and other tasks not involving patient care. Of perhaps greater concern is the limited pay. An international ranking of physicians’ pay published in Der Spiegel magazine in 2006 showed German doctors at the bottom, below their colleagues in other European countries as well as those in the U.S. and Australia. Physician pay in Germany increased by 10 percent after physician strikes in 2006, but the dissatisfaction with pay remains, as was evidenced in September by protests for higher physician pay and increased hospital funding. Neurosurgery is a hospital-based specialty, and most neurosurgeons are salaried employees of hospitals. Neurosurgeons, like most physicians, see private patients to supplement their income.

These concerns are likely to negatively influence the recruitment to neurosurgical training programs in the future. This problem is compounded by the fact that approximately 70 percent of medical students are women, to whom other specialties have appealed more than neurosurgery. Roughly one-third of all neurosurgeons in Germany, including those already certified and those in training, are women.

The neurosurgical training program lasts six years, and trainees work 40 to 48 hours or 50 to 66 hours per week, depending on the state and local hospital arrangements. Providing adequate training within the prescribed time frame remains a challenge 1)

Little is known about the overall training experience and career opportunities for these trainees.

Stienen et al. evaluated the current status of neurosurgical training of residents in Germany.

An electronic survey was sent to European neurosurgical trainees between June 2014 and March 2015. The responses of German trainees were compared with those of trainees from other European countries. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the effect size of the relationship between a trainee being from Germany and the outcome (e.g., satisfaction, working time). Results Of 532 responses, 95 were from German trainees (17.8%). In a multivariate analysis corrected for baseline group differences, German trainees were 29% as likely as non-German trainees to be satisfied with clinical lectures given at their teaching facility (odds ratio [OR]: 0.29; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.18-0.49; p < 0.0001). The satisfaction rate with hands-on operating room exposure was 73.9% and equal to the rate in Europe (OR: 0.94; 95% CI, 0.56-1.59; p = 0.834). German trainees were 2.3 times as likely to perform a lumbar spine intervention as the primary surgeon within the first year of training (OR: 2.27; 95% CI, 1.42-3.64; p = 0.001). However, they were less likely to perform a cervical spine procedure within 24 months of training (OR: 0.38; 95% CI, 0.17-0.82; p = 0.014) and less likely to perform a craniotomy within 36 months of training (OR: 0.49; 95% CI, 0.31-0.79; p = 0.003). Only 25.6% of German trainees currently adhere to the weekly limit of 48 hours as requested from the European Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC, and in an international comparison, German trainees were twice as likely to work > 50 hours per week (OR: 2.13; 95% CI, 1.25-3.61; p = 0.005). This working time, however, is less spent in the operating suite (OR: 0.26; 95% CI, 0.11-0.59; p = 0.001) and more doing administrative work (OR: 1.83; 95% CI, 1.13-2.96; p = 0.015).

Some theoretical and practical aspects of neurosurgical training are superior, but a considerable proportion of relevant aspects are inferior in Germany compared with other European countries. This analyses provide the opportunity for a critical review of the local conditions in German training facilities 2).

As a resident representative, Lawson McLean et al. implemented a mailing list for interested German neurosurgical trainees. Thereafter, they created a survey including 25 items to assess the trainees’ satisfaction with their training and their perceived career prospects, which they then distributed through the mailing list. The survey was open from 1st April until 31st May 2021.

90 trainees were enrolled in the mailing list and they received 81 completed responses to the survey. Overall, 47% of trainees were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with their training. 62% of trainees reported a lack of neurosurgical training. 58% of trainees found it difficult to attend courses or classes and only 16% had consistent mentoring. There was an expressed desire for a more structured Neurosurgical Resident Training Program and mentoring projects. In addition, 88% of trainees were willing to relocate for fellowships outside their current hospitals.

Half of the responders were dissatisfied with their neurosurgical training. There are various aspects that require improvement, such as the training curriculum, the lack of structured mentoring, and the amount of administrative work. They propose the implementation of a modernized structured curriculum, which addresses the mentioned aspects, in order to improve neurosurgical training and, consecutively, patient care 3).


Stienen MN, Gempt J, Gautschi OP, Demetriades AK, Netuka D, Kuhlen DE, Schaller K, Ringel F. Neurosurgical Resident Training in Germany. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2017 Jul;78(4):337-343. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1594012. Epub 2016 Nov 30. PubMed PMID: 27903015.

Lawson McLean A, Maurer S, Nistor-Gallo D, Moritz I, Tourbier M. Survey on training satisfaction among German neurosurgical trainees. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2023 Mar 13. doi: 10.1055/a-2053-3108. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36914157.

Pregnant neurosurgical resident

Pregnant neurosurgical resident

It is possible for a neurosurgical resident to be pregnant, as there are no specific restrictions on pregnant individuals becoming or remaining neurosurgical residents. However, pregnant residents may need to make accommodations for their pregnancy, such as modifying their work schedule or duties, in order to ensure the safety of both the resident and the patient. It is important for the resident to discuss their pregnancy with their program director and to stay in close communication with their obstetrician throughout their pregnancy.

Establishment of a diverse neurosurgical workforce includes increasing the recruitment of women in neurosurgery. The impact of pregnancy on the training and career trajectory of female neurosurgeons poses a barrier to recruitment and retention of women in neurosurgery 1).

A Women in Neurosurgery survey evaluated female neurosurgeons’ perception and experience regarding childbearing of female neurosurgeons and identified several recommendations regarding family leave policies. Additionally, pregnancy may carry higher risk in surgical fields, yet little guidance exists to aid both the pregnant resident and her training program in optimizing the safety of the training environment with specific considerations to risks inherent in neurosurgical training. A review of current literature aims to address best practices that can be adopted by pregnant neurosurgery residents and their training programs to improve the well-being of these residents while considering the impact on their education and the educational environment for their colleagues 2)

see The Pregnant Resident By Olabisi Sanusi, MD -March 9, 2021

see Motherhood and Neurosurgery: How to Make it Work

see Surgeons navigating their pregnancies see a bleak picture getting a bit brighter

see Advice to a pregnant surgical resident


Gupta M, Reichl A, Diaz-Aguilar LD, Duddleston PJ, Ullman JS, Muraszko KM, Timmons SD, Germano IM, Abosch A, Sweet JA, Pannullo SC, Benzil DL, Ben-Haim S. Pregnancy and parental leave among neurosurgeons and neurosurgical trainees. J Neurosurg. 2020 May 29;134(3):1325-1333. doi: 10.3171/2020.2.JNS193345. PMID: 32470929.

Tomei KL, Hodges TR, Ragsdale E, Katz T, Greenfield M, Sweet JA. Best practices for the pregnant neurosurgical resident: balancing safety and education. J Neurosurg. 2022 Nov 8:1-8. doi: 10.3171/2022.9.JNS221727. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36683192.

Peripheral nerve surgery training

Peripheral nerve surgery training

Neurosurgery residents exceeded the required minimum number of Peripheral nerve surgery and were increasingly more exposed to PNS. However, compared with their counterparts in orthopedic and plastic surgery, neurosurgery residents performed significantly fewer cases. Exposure for neurosurgery residents remains unchanged over the study period while plastic surgery residents experienced an increase in case volume. The deficiency in exposure for neurosurgical residents must be addressed to harness interest and proficiency in PNS 1).

In 2003, the goal of a study was to determine current practice patterns and attitudes of neurosurgeons toward peripheral nerve surgery.

A 13-question survey was mailed to all active members of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Collected responses were entered into a database and were analyzed using statistical software.

Of 3800 surveys mailed there were 1728 responses for a 45% response rate. Analysis of the data revealed that respondents had a greater comfort level with simple peripheral nerve procedures, such as carpal tunnel release, and a lack of comfort with more complex peripheral nerve procedures, such as brachial plexus exploration. The majority of simple cases were treated by the surveyed neurosurgeons, whereas the majority of complex cases were referred to other surgeons, primarily to other neurosurgeons. The type of medical practice (academic, group, or solo) and the location of the practice (major city, small city, suburban setting, or rural area) showed a statistically significant correlation to simple case referral patterns, whereas the length of time since the respondent underwent training did not. Practice type and location, and years since training showed a statistically significant correlation to complex case referral patterns. Only 48.7% of the respondents believed that they had been given sufficient exposure to peripheral nerve surgery during residency training. The overwhelming majority (97.2%) of respondents favored keeping peripheral nerve surgery as part of the neurosurgical curriculum 2).

Peripheral nerve surgical competency.

Peripheral Nerve Surgery Fellowship (Mayo Clinic Rochester).

Salt Lake City

University of Calgary.

Copenhagen Peripheral Nerve Surgery Course 2022


Gohel P, White M, Agarwal N, Fields P D, Ozpinar A, Alan N. Longitudinal Analysis of Peripheral Nerve Surgery Training: Comparison of Neurosurgery to Plastic and Orthopedic Surgery. World Neurosurg. 2022 Jan 30:S1878-8750(22)00108-5. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.01.094. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35108647.

Maniker A, Passannante M. Peripheral nerve surgery and neurosurgeons: results of a national survey of practice patterns and attitudes. J Neurosurg. 2003 Jun;98(6):1159-64. doi: 10.3171/jns.2003.98.6.1159. PMID: 12816257.

Workplace discrimination

Workplace discrimination

Issues concerning harassmentbullying, and discrimination are not unknown to medical specialties and are likely to be present in neurosurgery as well 1).

The role of women in Western society has changed dramatically in the past several decades. Despite this, many gender inequality still exist for professionals in the health care sector. In neurosurgery, a disproportionately small percentage of the workforce in the United States and Canada is female. These figures are lower than most reported in other medical specialties. A review critically examines factors that may be influencing women’s ability to advance in demanding subspecialties such as neurosurgery.

The literature on women in medicine, and surgery, in particular, were reviewed to identify different issues facing women currently in practice in neurosurgery. In addition, the concerns of prospective trainees were examined.

There remain many challenges for women entering neurosurgery, including unique lifestyle concerns, limited mentorship, outdated career programs, and deep-seated societal beliefs. Discrimination and harassment are also contributing factors.

If neurosurgery is to continues to progress as a subspecialty, the issue of gender inequality needs to be scrutinized more closely. Innovative programs must be developed to meet the needs of current female faculty members and to ensure attracting the brightest individuals of both genders into a career in neurosurgery 2).

Surgeons who abuse other health care workers are in violation of institutional bylaws and compliance regulations and create a hostile environment at work which adversely affects efficient productivity and violates specific State and Federal laws which prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin 3).

The impact of workplace discrimination has gained recognition. Nearly two-thirds of all medical residency applicants reported being asked inappropriate or potentially illegal interview questions. The use of such questions during neurosurgery residency interviews has not yet been studied.

Limoges et al. evaluated the prevalence of inappropriate or potentially illegal questions in residency interviews and the impact on applicants’ rank lists.

All 2018 to 2019 United States neurosurgery resident applicants were anonymously surveyed. The survey included 46 questions focused on demographics; if they were asked questions regarding rank list, agegender, marital status, family planning, religion, sexual orientation, or disability and whether such questions affected their rank list formation.

Of 265 surveyed United States applicants, 133 (50%) responded. Most respondents were male (78%), 24% were married, and 10% had children. During the formal interview, 94% were asked at least 1 inappropriate or potentially illegal question. About 78% reported being asked about marital status, 29% were asked about intent to have children. About 46% reported being counseled on their personal life, 30% were asked about their ethnic background, and 15% were asked about their religion. A total of 2 candidates reported questions about mental illness/disability, and 2 candidates reported being asked about sexual orientation. About 45% of applicants that were asked at least 1 of these questions ranked those programs lower.

Nearly all (94%) neurosurgical residency applicants reported being asked at least 1 inappropriate or potentially illegal question during interviews. The results indicate that inappropriate questions negatively affected program rankings 4).


Gadjradj PS, Ghobrial JB, Booi SA, de Rooij JD, Harhangi BS. Mistreatment, discrimination and burn-out in Neurosurgery. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2021 Mar;202:106517. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106517. Epub 2021 Jan 25. PMID: 33529965.

Woodrow SI, Gilmer-Hill H, Rutka JT. The neurosurgical workforce in North America: a critical review of gender issues. Neurosurgery. 2006 Oct;59(4):749-55; discussion 755-8. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000232671.44297.DF. PMID: 17038940.

Jacobs GB, Wille RL. Consequences and potential problems of operating room outbursts and temper tantrums by surgeons. Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3(Suppl 3):S167-73. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.98577. Epub 2012 Jul 17. PMID: 22905323; PMCID: PMC3422097.

Limoges N, Zuckerman SL, Chambless LB, Benzil DL, Cruz A, Borden JH, Durham S. Neurosurgery Resident Interviews: The Prevalence and Impact of Inappropriate and Potentially Illegal Questions. Neurosurgery. 2021 Mar 17:nyab059. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyab059. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33733664.

Medical student

Medical student

For students beginning their medical education, the neuroscience curriculum is frequently seen as the most difficult, and many express an aversion to the topic. A major reason for this aversion amongst learners is the perceived complexity of neuroanatomy 1).

The National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition was established in 2013 as a means for students to display this commitment as well as academic ability.

A bespoke 22 item questionnaire was designed to determine career outcomes and the role of competition attendance in job applications. It was distributed using the SurveyMonkey website to the 87 attendees at the 2013 and 2014 competitions.

Responses were received by 40 competitors (response rate 46.0%). Twenty-four (60.0%) responders intend to pursue a career in either neurosurgery (n=18) or neurology (n=6). This included 10 (25.0%) responders who had successfully entered either neurosurgery (n=9) or neurology (n=1). The performance of these 10 (n=11, 57.0% ± 13.6) was significantly better than the other responders (n=30, 46.5% ± 13.5) (p=0.036). Seventeen (42.5%) responders either included their attendance at NUNC in a post-Foundation job application or intend to.

The National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition provides the opportunity for medical students to demonstrate their interest in neurosurgery. It has the potential to be used as a tool for recognizing medical students suitable for neurosurgery training 2).

Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and he was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training. Historically, medical student education in neurological surgery has generally limited student involvement to assisting in research projects with minimal formal clinical exposure before starting sub-internships and application for the neurosurgery match. Consequently, students have generally had little opportunity to acquire exposure to clinical neurosurgery and attain minimal proficiency 3).

Neurosurgery seeks to attract the best and brightest medical students; however, there is often a lack of early exposure to the field, among other possible barriers.

Medical students show varying clinical practical skills when entering their final year clinical clerkship, which is the final period to acquire and improve practical skills prior to their residency. Behling et al. developed a one-on-one mentoring program to allow individually tailored teaching of clinical practical skills to support final year students with varying skill sets during their neurosurgical clinical clerkship.

Each participating student (n = 23) was paired with a mentor. At the beginning students were asked about their expectations, teaching preferences, and surgical interests. Regular meetings and evaluations of clinical practice skills were scheduled every 2 weeks together with fixed rotations that could be individually adjusted. The one-on-one meetings and evaluations with the mentor gave each student the chance for individually tailored teaching. After completion of the program, each student evaluated their experience.

The mentoring program was well-received by participating students and acquisition or improvement of clinical practical skills was achieved by most students. A varying practical skill level and interest in the field of surgery was seen.

A neurosurgical one-on-one mentoring program is well received by final year medical students and allows for individually tailored learning of clinical practical skills 4).

Lubelski et al. sought to identify successful practices that can be implemented to improve medical student recruitment to neurosurgery.

United States neurosurgery residency program directors were surveyed to determine the number of medical student rotators and medical students matching into a neurosurgery residency from their programs between 2010 and 2016. Program directors were asked about the ways their respective institutions integrated medical students into departmental clinical and research activities.

Complete responses were received from 30/110 institutions. Fifty-two percent of the institutions had neurosurgery didactic lectures for 1st- and 2nd-year medical students (MS1/2), and 87% had didactics for MS3/4. Seventy-seven percent of departments had a neurosurgery interest group, which was the most common method used to integrate medical students into the department. Other forms of outreach included formal mentorship programs (53%), lecture series (57%), and neurosurgery anatomy labs (40%). Seventy-three percent of programs provided research opportunities to medical students, and 57% indicated that the schools had a formal research requirement. On average, 3 medical students did a rotation in each neurosurgery department and 1 matched into neurosurgery each year. However, there was substantial variability among programs. Over the 2010-2016 period, the responding institutions matched as many as 4% of the graduating class into neurosurgery per year, whereas others matched 0%-1%. Departments that matched a greater (≥ 1% per year) number of medical students into neurosurgery were significantly more likely to have a neurosurgery interest group and formal research requirements. A greater percentage of high-matching programs had neurosurgery mentorship programs, lecture series, and cadaver training opportunities compared to the other institutions.

In recent decades, the number of applicants to neurosurgery has decreased. A major deterrent may be the delayed exposure of medical students to neurosurgery. Institutions with early preclinical exposure, active neurosurgery interest groups, research opportunities, and strong mentorship recruit and match more students into neurosurgery. Implementing such initiatives on a national level may increase the number of highly qualified medical students pursuing neurosurgery 5).

A medical student training camp was created to improve the preparation of medical students for the involvement in neurological surgery activities and sub-internships.

A 1-day course was held at Weill Cornell Medicine, which consisted of a series of morning lectures, an interactive resident lunch panel, and afternoon hands-on laboratory sessions. Students completed self-assessment questionnaires regarding their confidence in several areas of clinical neurosurgery before the start of the course and again at its end.

A significant increase in self-assessed confidence was observed in all skill areas surveyed. Overall, rising fourth year students who were starting sub-internships in the subsequent weeks reported a substantial increase in their preparedness for the elective rotations in neurosurgery.

The preparation of medical students for clinical neurosurgery can be improved. Single-day courses such as the described training camp are an effective method for improving knowledge and skill gaps in medical students entering neurosurgical careers. Initiatives should be developed, in addition to this annual program, to increase the clinical and research skills throughout medical student education 6).

Medical students in Canada must make career choices by their final year of medical school. Selection of students for a career in neurosurgery has traditionally been based on marks, reference letters and personal interviews. Studies have shown that marks alone are not accurate predictors of success in medical practice; personal skills and attributes which can best be assessed by reference letters and interviews may be more important. A study was an attempt to assess the importance of, and ability to teach, personal skills and attitudes necessary for successful completion of a neurosurgical training program.

questionnaire was sent to 185 active members of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society, asking them to give a numerical rating of the importance of 22 personal skills and attributes, and their ability to teach those skills and attributes. They were asked to list any additional skills or attributes considered important, and rate their ability to teach them.

Sixty-six (36%) questionnaires were returned. Honesty, motivation, willingness to learn, ability to problem solve, and ability to handle stress were the five most important characteristics identified. Neurosurgeons thought they could teach problem solving, willingness to consult informed sources, critical thinking, manual dexterity, and communication skills, but honesty, motivation, willingness to learn and ability to handle stress were difficult or impossible to teach.

Honestymotivationwillingness to learnproblem solving and Stress management are important for success in a neurosurgical career. This information should be transmitted to medical students at “Career Day” venues. Structuring letters of reference and interviews to assess personal skills and attributes will be important, as those that can’t be taught should be present before the start of training 7).


Larkin MB, Graves E, Rees R, Mears D. A Multimedia Dissection Module for Scalp, Meninges, and Dural Partitions. MedEdPORTAL. 2018 Mar 22;14:10695. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10695. PubMed PMID: 30800895; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6342347.

Hall S, Stephens JR, Myers MA, Elmansouri A, Geoghegan K, Harrison CH, E N, D A, Parton WJ, Payne DR, Seaby E, Border S. The career impact of the National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition. World Neurosurg. 2019 Sep 25. pii: S1878-8750(19)32516-1. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.09.086. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31562974.
3) , 6)

Radwanski RE, Winston G, Younus I, ElJalby M, Yuan M, Oh Y, Gucer SB, Hoffman CE, Stieg PE, Greenfield JP, Pannullo SC. Neurosurgery Training Camp for Sub-Internship Preparation: Lessons From the Inaugural Course. World Neurosurg. 2019 Apr 1. pii: S1878-8750(19)30926-X. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.03.246. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30947014.

Behling F, Nasi-Kordhishti I, Haas P, Sandritter J, Tatagiba M, Herlan S. One-on-one mentoring for final year medical students during the neurosurgery rotation. BMC Med Educ. 2021 Apr 22;21(1):229. doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-02657-0. PMID: 33882933.

Lubelski D, Xiao R, Mukherjee D, Ashley WW, Witham T, Brem H, Huang J, Wolfe SQ. Improving medical student recruitment to neurosurgery. J Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 9:1-7. doi: 10.3171/2019.5.JNS1987. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31398709.

Myles ST, McAleer S. Selection of neurosurgical trainees. Can J Neurol Sci. 2003 Feb;30(1):26-30. PubMed PMID: 12619780.

Neurosurgery Exit Exam Preparation/ Basic Anatomy of Ventricles

Neurosurgery Exit Exam Preparation/ Basic Anatomy of Ventricles

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Neurosurgical Training in Europe

Neurosurgical Training in Europe

Many proposals and guidelines have been published and recommended for neurosurgical training in Europe 1) 2) 3) 4)

Theoretical and practical aspects of neurosurgical training are highly variable throughout European countries, despite some efforts within the last decades to harmonize this.

Some countries are rated significantly above (and others significantly below) the current European average for several analyzed parameters 5).

Although there is a comparable duration of 4 to 6 years of neurosurgical residency across Europe, the content thereof varies widely.

The reason for these diverse training conditions could be explained by (1) the number of sovereign countries in Europe, (2) the unique historical educational concept in each of the European countries, and (3) the different socioeconomical setting of these countries. Another cause can be found in the cultural autonomy of each country and hence the ability of each country’s specific neurosurgical society to implement recommendations of the EANS for resident training only to a varying degree. There rarely is any specific or mandatory neurosurgical curriculum for any teaching hospital 6).

The US residency programs overall tend to be more structured when compared to the corresponding curricula in Europe, although exceptions may apply. This is evident especially via the well-organized monthly and/or yearly rotations, which advance the resident during the consecutive PGYs 7).

Country-specific composite scores for satisfaction with quality of theoretical and practical training, as well as working hours per week, were obtained from an electronic survey distributed among European neurosurgical residents between June 2014 and March 2015. These were related to anonymous country-specific results of the EBE-NS between 2009 and 2016, using uni- and multivariate linear regression analysis.

A total of n = 1025 written and n = 63 oral examination results were included. There was a significant linear relationship between the country-specific EBE-NS result in the written part and the country-specific composite score for satisfaction with quality of theoretical training [adjusted regression coefficient (RC) -3.80, 95 % confidence interval (CI) -5.43-7 -2.17, p < 0.001], but not with practical training or working time. For the oral part, there was a linear relationship between the country-specific EBE-NS result and the country-specific composite score for satisfaction with quality of practical training (RC 9.47, 95 % CI 1.47-17.47, p = 0.021), however neither with satisfaction with quality of theoretical training nor with working time.

With every one-step improvement on the country-specific satisfaction score for theoretical training, the score in the EBE-NS Part 1 increased by 3.8 %. With every one-step improvement on the country-specific satisfaction score for practical training, the score in the EBE-NS Part 2 increased by 9.47 %. Improving training conditions is likely to have a direct positive influence on the knowledge level of trainees, as measured by the EBE-NS. The effect of the actual working time on the theoretical and practical knowledge of neurosurgical trainees appears to be insignificant 8).

The European Training Courses in Neurosurgery

The EANS Training Committee and the Executive Director are responsible for arranging the European Training Courses in Neurosurgery.

What it is: 4 annual 4-day courses covering the key topics of: Vascular Neurosurgery


Head Injury/Functional

Spine/Peripheral Nerves

History: Founded in the 1970s by Professors Brihaye, Pia and Vigoroux, the courses aim to serve the needs of neurosurgical trainees in the latter half of their training in neurosurgery.

The excellence of the courses and their scientific and social value is acknowledged throughout the neurosurgical community, and the current committee would like to acknowledge the tremendous part played by the founders, past chairmen of the Training Committee and previous Executive Administrator, Stephanie Garfield-Birkbeck, in bringing this about.


AOSpine Fellowships

AOSpine has compiled a comprehensive list of available fellowships. Please visit for more information.

The Brain Prize

The Brain Prize of €1 million is awarded annually.

The Prize recognizes highly original and influential advances in research on the nervous system. If several researchers have contributed significantly to this achievement, more than one individual may receive the Prize. Nominees can be of any nationality but the research for which they are nominated must have been conducted in Europe or in collaboration with researchers in Europe. More information available on

Fellowships in Portugal

The Portuguese Society of Neurosurgery is offering a number of clinical fellowships in accredited training programmes, lasting from six months to two years.

Further information is available from the SPNC or

AANS Fellowships

The AANS also offer a range of fellowships.

Pain and Spine Fellowship

Scott & White Neuroscience Institute

The comprehensive Pain & Spine Fellowship at Scott & White is designed to provide educational experience in spinal and pain pathology to a graduate of a Neurosurgery training program or senior neurosurgery resident. Clinical and research experiences will be included. Both US and International candidates will be considered.

Contact: Vasilios A. Zerris, MD, MPH

Cervical Spine Research Society – European Section Research Grant

The Cervical Spine Research Society is a multidisciplinary organization that provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and promotes clinical and basic science research of the cervical spine. The organization values collegial interaction and strong scientific principles.

To faciliate research in the field of cervical spine the Cervical Spine Research Society – European Section (CSRS-ES) has the opportunity to offer € 25.000,- annually to research projects.

European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery

see European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery.

European Association of Neurosurgical Societies

see European Association of Neurosurgical Societies.

Working Time directive

The introduction of the European Working Time directive 2003/88/EC has led to a reduction of the working hours with distinct impact on the clinical and surgical activity of neurosurgical residents in training.

A survey was performed among European neurosurgical residents between 06/2014 and 03/2015. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between responder-specific variables (e.g., age, gender, country, postgraduate year (PGY)) and outcome (e.g., working time).

A total of 652 responses were collected, of which n = 532 responses were taken into consideration. In total, 17.5, 22.1, 29.5, 19.5, 5.9, and 5.5 % of European residents indicated to work <40, 40-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, or >80 h/week, respectively. Residents from France and Turkey (OR 4.72, 95 % CI 1.29-17.17, p = 0.019) and Germany (OR 2.06, 95 % CI 1.15-3.67, p = 0.014) were more likely to work >60 h/week than residents from other European countries. In total, 29 % of European residents were satisfied with their current working time, 11.3 % indicated to prefer reduced working time. More than half (55 %) would prefer to work more hours/week if this would improve their clinical education. Residents that rated their operative exposure as insufficient were 2.3 times as likely as others to be willing to work more hours (OR 2.32, 95 % CI 1.47-3.70, p < 0.001). Less than every fifth European resident spends >50 % of his/her working time in the operating room. By contrast, 77.4 % indicate to devote >25 % of their daily working time to administrative work. For every advanced PGY, the likelihood to spend >50 % of the working time in the OR increases by 19 % (OR 1.19, 95 % CI 1.02-1.40, p = 0.024) and the likelihood to spend >50 % of the working time with administrative work decreases by 18 % (OR 0.84, 95 % CI 0.76-0.94, p = 0.002).

The results of this survey on >500 European neurosurgical residents clearly prove that less than 40 % conform with the 48-h week as claimed by the WTD2003/88/EC. Still, more than half of them would chose to work even more hours/week if their clinical education were to improve; probably due to subjective impression of insufficient training 9).


Training in Neurosurgery in the Countries of the EU: A Guide to Organize a Training Programme

Editors: Reulen, H.-J. (Ed.)

Agreed standards and guidelines are the heart and soul of improving the differing training systems and to harmonize neurosurgical training in the European countries. Such standards and guidelines have been laid down in the European Training Charter of the European Union of Medical Specialists and recently novellated. This book, written by experienced neurosurgeons, offers all those concerned with neurosurgical training – trainers and trainees – practical advice to implement the above mentioned standards and recommendations. It has been written as a manual: “How to do it”. It describes the tasks of a chairman (programme director), the tasks of the teaching staff, the organisation of a training curriculum, a rotation plan or a morbidity and mortality conference, the periodic progress evaluation, the course of an external audit and many more important topics. It contains a lot of practical tips, check lists and useful examples. Well educated young colleagues offer “safe neurosurgery” to our patients.

Table of contents (15 chapters) Introduction Antunes, J. Lobo Pages 1-2

UEMS charter on training of medical specialists in the EU — the new neurosurgical training charter Steers, J. (et al.) Pages 3-11

Neurosurgical training programme director position and responsibilities Neil-Dwyer, G. (et al.) Pages 13-16

Teaching staff Antunes, J. Lobo Pages 17-19

The ideal neurosurgical training curriculum Long, D. M. Pages 21-31

Internal regulations and general guidelines of a neurosurgical department and training programme Reulen, H.-J. (et al.) Pages 33-38

Principles of teaching in a structured training programme, the rotations, and the surgical training plan Steiger, H.-J. Pages 39-50

A structured neurosurgical training plan and the neurosurgical logbook in the UK Lindsay, K. W. Pages 51-57

The European Neurosurgical Log-Book (UEMS/EANS) Reulen, H.-J. Pages 59-66

Morbidity & mortality conferences — How can we do it? Brennum, J. (et al.) Pages 67-71

Problem-based learning in residency training and the tutorial process for training and education in neurosurgery Winkler, P. A. (et al.) Pages 73-76

Research rotation in a trainee’s curriculum Reulen, H.-J. (et al.) Pages 97-101

The accreditation of a training programme Reulen, H.-J. Pages 103-106

The European Examination — its present status and potential development Haase, J. Pages 107-114

Neurosurgical subspecialization: pros and cons Schackert, G. (et al.) Pages 115-119

PASSION Resident project

PASSION Resident project

Neurosurgical Training in Germany

Neurosurgical Training in Germany


Kleineberg et al. found substantial variation among European countries in the duration of residency training programmes, and especially in the choice of obligatory rotations to external medical disciplines. Despite a presumably similar spectrum of patients, neurology residency training programmes across Europe are not harmonised. The structure of the programme should be determined by its relevance for neurologists today and in the future 10).


Martin M, Burn SC. Neurosurgical residency in the United States: a trainee’s experience. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2005;147(11):1211–1212. discussion 1212.

Neil-Dwyer G, Lang DA, Trojanowski T. European Union of Medical Specialists. Neurosurgical training programme director position and responsibilities. Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2004;90:13–16.

Steers J, Reulen HJ, Lindsay KW. European Union of Medical Specialists, Joint Residency Advisory and Accreditation Committee . UEMS charter on training of medical specialists in the EU—the new neurosurgical training charter. Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2004;90:3–11.

Trojanowski T. Report of the JRAAC on the situation of the accreditation training programmes in Europe. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2008;150(8):851–853.
5) , 8)

Stienen MN, Netuka D, Demetriades AK, Ringel F, Gautschi OP, Gempt J, Kuhlen D, Schaller K. Residency program trainee-satisfaction correlate with results of the European board examination in neurosurgery. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 Oct;158(10):1823-30. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-2917-y. Epub 2016 Aug 12. PubMed PMID: 27517689.

Burkhardt JK, Zinn PO, Bozinov O, Colen RR, Bertalanffy H, Kasper EM. Neurosurgical education in Europe and the United States of America. Neurosurg Rev. 2010 Oct;33(4):409-17. doi: 10.1007/s10143-010-0257-6. Epub 2010 Apr 29. PubMed PMID: 20429023; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3683626.

American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) ABNS Board Certification. 2009

Stienen MN, Netuka D, Demetriades AK, Ringel F, Gautschi OP, Gempt J, Kuhlen D, Schaller K. Working time of neurosurgical residents in Europe-results of a multinational survey. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 Jan;158(1):17-25. doi: 10.1007/s00701-015-2633-z. Epub 2015 Nov 14. PubMed PMID: 26566781.

Kleineberg NN, van der Meulen M, Franke C, Klingelhoefer L, Sauerbier A, Di Liberto G, Carvalho V, Berendse HW, Deuschl G; RRFS national representatives’ network. Differences in neurology residency training programmes across Europe – a survey among EAN-RRFS national representatives. Eur J Neurol. 2020 Apr 5. doi: 10.1111/ene.14242. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32248603.

Simulation-based training

Simulation-based training

Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.

The recent emphasis on simulation-based training in neurosurgery has led to the development of many simulation models and training courses.

Simulation-based training is increasingly being used for assessment and training of psychomotor skills involved in medicine. The application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies has provided new methodologies to utilize large amounts of data for educational purposes. A significant criticism of the use of artificial intelligence in education has been a lack of transparency in the algorithms’ decision-making processes.

A study aimed to 1) introduce a new framework using explainable artificial intelligence for simulation-based training in surgery, and 2) validate the framework by creating the Virtual Operative Assistant, an automated educational feedback platform. Twenty-eight skilled participants (14 staff neurosurgeons, 4 fellows, 10 PGY 4-6 residents) and 22 novice participants (10 PGY 1-3 residents, 12 medical students) took part in this study. Participants performed a virtual reality subpial brain tumor resection task on the NeuroVR simulator using a simulated ultrasonic aspirator and bipolar.

Metrics of performance were developed, and leave-one-out cross validation was employed to train and validate a support vector machine in Matlab. The classifier was combined with a unique educational system to build the Virtual Operative Assistant which provides users with automated feedback on their metric performance with regards to expert proficiency performance benchmarks. The Virtual Operative Assistant successfully classified skilled and novice participants using 4 metrics with an accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of 92, 82 and 100%, respectively. A 2-step feedback system was developed to provide participants with an immediate visual representation of their standing related to expert proficiency performance benchmarks. The educational system outlined establishes a basis for the potential role of integrating artificial intelligence and virtual reality simulation into surgical educational teaching. The potential of linking expertise classification, objective feedback based on proficiency benchmarks, and instructor input creates a novel educational tool by integrating these three components into a formative educational paradigm 1).

Patel et al. aimed to identify the currently available simulators and training courses for neurosurgery, assess their validity and determine their effectiveness.

Both Medline and EMBASE were searched for English language articles that validate simulation models for neurosurgery. Each study was screened according to Messick’s validity framework, and rated in each domain. McGaghie’s model of translational outcomes was then used to determine a level of effectiveness (LoE) for each simulator or training course.

Upon screening of 6006 articles, 114 were identified either validating or determining a LoE for 108 simulation-based training models or courses. Achieving the highest rating for each validity domain were: six models and training courses for content validity; 12 for response processes; 4 for internal structure; 14 for relations to other variables and none for consequences. For translational outcomes, 6 simulators or training achieved a LoE of greater than 2 and thus demonstrated skills transfer beyond the simulation setting.

With the advent of increasing neurosurgery simulators and training tools, there is a need for more validity studies. Further attempts to investigate translational outcomes to the operating theatre when using these simulators are particularly warranted. Finally, more training tools incorporating full immersion simulation and non-technical skills training are recommended 2) 3).

The current simulation technology used for neurosurgical training leaves much to be desired. Significant efforts are thoroughly exhausted in hopes of developing simulations that translate to give learners the “real-life” feel. Though a respectable goal, this may not be necessary as the application for simulation in neurosurgical training may be most useful in early learners. The ultimate uniformly agreeable endpoint of improved outcome and patient safety drives these investments 4).

Medicine and surgery are turning towards simulation to improve on limited patient interaction during residency training. Many simulators today utilize virtual reality with augmented haptic feedback with little to no physical elements.

To optimize the learning exercise, it is essential that both visual and haptic simulators are presented to best present a real-world experience. Many systems attempt to achieve this goal through a total virtual interface.

Bova et al., approach has been to create a mixed-reality system consisting of a physical and a virtual component. A physical model of the head or spine is created with a 3-dimensional printer using deidentified patient data. The model is linked to a virtual radiographic system or an image guidance platform. A variety of surgical challenges can be presented in which the trainee must use the same anatomic and radiographic references required during actual surgical procedures.

Using the aforementioned techniques, they have created a ventriculostomy simulators, percutaneous stereotactic lesion procedure for trigeminal neuralgia, and spinal instrumentation.

The system has provided the residents an opportunity to understand and appreciate the complex 3-dimensional anatomy of the 3 neurosurgical procedures simulated. The systems have also provided an opportunity to break procedures down into critical segments, allowing the user to concentrate on specific areas of deficiency 5).

Multiple simulators have been developed for neurosurgical training, including those for minimally invasive procedures, vascular, skull base, pediatric, tumor resection, functional neurosurgery, and spine surgery.

Advances in imaging and computer technology have led to the development of different simulation models to complement traditional surgical training. Sophisticated virtual reality (VR) simulators with haptic feedback and impressive imaging technology have provided novel options for training in neurosurgery. Breakthrough training simulation using 3D printing technology holds promise for future simulation practice, proving high-fidelity patient-specific models to complement residency surgical learning 6).

Shakur et al., developed a real-time augmented reality simulator for percutaneous trigeminal rhizotomy using the ImmersiveTouch platform. Ninety-two neurosurgery residents tested the simulator at American Association of Neurological Surgeons Top Gun 2014. Postgraduate year (PGY), number of fluoroscopy shots, the distance from the ideal entry point, and the distance from the ideal target were recorded by the system during each simulation session. Final performance score was calculated considering the number of fluoroscopy shots and distances from entry and target points (a lower score is better). The impact of PGY level on residents’ performance was analyzed.

Seventy-one residents provided their PGY-level and simulator performance data; 38% were senior residents and 62% were junior residents. The mean distance from the entry point (9.4 mm vs 12.6 mm, P = .01), the distance from the target (12.0 mm vs 15.2 mm, P = .16), and final score (31.1 vs 37.7, P = .02) were lower in senior than in junior residents. The mean number of fluoroscopy shots (9.8 vs 10.0, P = .88) was similar in these 2 groups. Linear regression analysis showed that increasing PGY level is significantly associated with a decreased distance from the ideal entry point (P = .001), a shorter distance from target (P = .05), a better final score (P = .007), but not number of fluoroscopy shots (P = .52).

Because technical performance of percutaneous rhizotomy increases with training, they proposed that the skills in performing the procedure in there virtual reality model would also increase with PGY level, if this simulator models the actual procedure. The results confirm this hypothesis and demonstrate construct validity 7).

Simulation technology identifies neurosurgical residency applicants with differing levels of technical ability. These results provide information for studies being developed for longitudinal studies on the acquisition, development, and maintenance of psychomotor skills. Technical abilities customized training programs that maximize individual resident bimanual psychomotor training dependant on continuously updated and validated metrics from virtual reality simulation studies should be explored 8).

Surgical education is moving rapidly to the use of simulation for technical training of residents and maintenance or upgrading of surgical skills in clinical practice. To optimize the learning exercise, it is essential that both visual and haptic cues are presented to best present a real-world experience. Many systems attempt to achieve this goal through a total virtual interface.

To demonstrate that the most critical aspect in optimizing a simulation experience is to provide the visual and haptic cues, allowing the training to fully mimic the real-world environment.

Bova et al approach has been to create a mixed-reality system consisting of a physical and a virtual component. A physical model of the head or spine is created with a 3-dimensional printer using deidentified patient data. The model is linked to a virtual radiographic system or an image guidance platform. A variety of surgical challenges can be presented in which the trainee must use the same anatomic and radiographic references required during actual surgical procedures.

Using the aforementioned techniques, they have created simulators for ventriculostomy, percutaneous stereotactic lesion procedure for trigeminal neuralgia, and spinal instrumentation. The design and implementation of these platforms are presented.

The system has provided the residents an opportunity to understand and appreciate the complex 3-dimensional anatomy of the 3 neurosurgical procedures simulated. The systems have also provided an opportunity to break procedures down into critical segments, allowing the user to concentrate on specific areas of deficiency 9).



Mirchi N, Bissonnette V, Yilmaz R, Ledwos N, Winkler-Schwartz A, Del Maestro RF. The Virtual Operative Assistant: An explainable artificial intelligence tool for simulation-based training in surgery and medicine. PLoS One. 2020 Feb 27;15(2):e0229596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229596. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 32106247.

Patel E, Aydin A, Cearns M, Dasgupta P, Ahmed K. A Systematic Review of Simulation-based Training in Neurosurgery, Part 1: Cranial Neurosurgery. World Neurosurg. 2019 Sep 18. pii: S1878-8750(19)32430-1. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.08.262. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31541755.

Patel E, Aydin A, Cearns M, Dasgupta P, Ahmed K. A Systematic Review of Simulation-based Training in Neurosurgery, Part 2: Spinal and Paediatric Surgery, Neurointerventional Radiology and Non-Technical Skills. World Neurosurg. 2019 Sep 18. pii: S1878-8750(19)32442-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.08.263. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31541754.

Konakondla S, Fong R, Schirmer CM. Simulation training in neurosurgery: advances in education and practice. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2017 Jul 14;8:465-473. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S113565. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 28765716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5524176.
5) , 9)

Bova FJ, Rajon DA, Friedman WA, Murad GJ, Hoh DJ, Jacob RP, Lampotang S, Lizdas DE, Lombard G, Lister JR. Mixed-reality simulation for neurosurgical procedures. Neurosurgery. 2013 Oct;73 Suppl 1:138-45. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000113. PubMed PMID: 24051877.

Rehder R, Abd-El-Barr M, Hooten K, Weinstock P, Madsen JR, Cohen AR. The role of simulation in neurosurgery. Childs Nerv Syst. 2016 Jan;32(1):43-54. doi: 10.1007/s00381-015-2923-z. Review. PubMed PMID: 26438547.

Shakur SF, Luciano CJ, Kania P, Roitberg BZ, Banerjee PP, Slavin KV, Sorenson J, Charbel FT, Alaraj A. Usefulness of a Virtual Reality Percutaneous Trigeminal Rhizotomy Simulator in Neurosurgical Training. Neurosurgery. 2015 Sep;11 Suppl 3:420-5; discussion 425. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000853. PubMed PMID: 26103444.

Winkler-Schwartz A, Bajunaid K, Mullah MA, Marwa I, Alotaibi FE, Fares J, Baggiani M, Azarnoush H, Zharni GA, Christie S, Sabbagh AJ, Werthner P, Del Maestro RF. Bimanual Psychomotor Performance in Neurosurgical Resident Applicants Assessed Using NeuroTouch, a Virtual Reality Simulator. J Surg Educ. 2016 Jul 6. pii: S1931-7204(16)30026-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.04.013. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27395397.

Hubris syndrome in neurosurgery

Hubris syndrome

Hubris syndrome (HS) is an acquired psychiatric disorder that affects people who exercise power in any of its forms. It has been reported in many fields, from politics to finance. The physician-patient relationship is also one of power. A lack of humbleness and empathy in this situation can lead to qualities such as self-confidence and self-assurance becoming pride, arrogance and high-handedness, which characterise a doctor suffering from HS.

The diagnostic criteria for HS initially reported in political leaders with government responsibilities are analysed and transferred to the medical field of neurosurgery. Two forms of medical HS are described and ten diagnostic criteria are proposed that are valid for any physician-patient relationship.

HS is an acquired psychiatric disorder that is triggered by power and enhanced by success, and can easily be observed on a daily basis in physicians working in settings that are very close to us. Early identification of these medical behaviours is necessary to be able to mitigate their consequences 1).


Gonzalez-Garcia J. [Hubris syndrome in neurosurgery]. Rev Neurol. 2019 Apr 16;68(8):346-353. doi: 10.33588/rn.6808.2018355. Review. Spanish. PubMed PMID: 30963532.