Author: Brian L. Hoh, MD
I am honored to serve as President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the organization which I hold so dear and owe so much. I hope to further advance CNS’ mission of improving health through education and scientific collaboration despite current challenges and the extraordinary times we live in. My goal this year for the CNS is to support neurosurgeons and those who can impact our patients amidst the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Congress of Neurological Surgeons is dedicated to delivering the most relevant and cutting-edge educational content to help our members expand their knowledge and skills in our rapidly advancing specialty. We provide innovative and adaptable content and content delivery to ensure our programs remain robust and keep pace with advances in neurosurgical technology and technique while remaining personal enough to meet individual member’s needs.
For all the CNS’ focus on the future, even we could not have anticipated just how drastically and rapidly our world and our practices would change in 2020. It has been an incredibly challenging year in so many ways for all of us, our hospitals and practices, staff and patients. Through it all, the CNS has remained focused and responsive.
Last year, we were disappointed that we did not personally connect with you and were unable to showcase the incredible accomplishments of leaders in our field. We decided that protecting the health and practices of our members took precedence in unprecedented times. I know many of you were also disappointed when our 2020 Annual Meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19 but that does not mean you will miss the outstanding content we had planned.
I am proud to say that the CNS Executive Committee and Annual Meeting Committees are already working tremendously hard to ensure that many of the outstanding sessions originally planned will be incorporated into our 2021 CNS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX, in September. When added to the program for our 2021 Annual Meeting Committee, I believe you will find this a truly unforgettable meeting. We will have the privilege of hearing from 2021’s CNS Honored Guest Dr. William A. Friedman, as well as 2020’s Honored Guests Dr. Bob S. Carter and Dr. Mark L. Rosenblum—and there will be an incredible lineup of keynote lectures from luminary minds outside of neurosurgery. The 2021 Annual Meeting, “Vision for the Future,” will envision neurosurgery 25 plus years from now. What technology will we use to treat our patients in 2050? What will be the next evolution of telehealth or other innovative methods of bringing care to our patients? These are the questions that we will explore at the conference and hope to provide significant insights.
But most of all, we are looking forward to reconnecting with all of you, our colleagues, members, and friends—with masks on, of course, as we take precautions to help keep our attendees safe.
In the interim, our CNS Education Division and its army of volunteers have worked tirelessly to create new ways for us to stay connected with members and industry partners. We launched a catalog of new virtual learning opportunities and adapted existing programs to an updated platform, including the Skull-base Fellows Course and the CNS Career Guide for New Attending Physicians and Fellows. The CNS Townhall Xperience series, developed early in the pandemic, allowed members to communicate quickly and transparently about critical topics impacting their practices. A popular new Virtual Visiting Professor program brings experts in every neurosurgical subspecialty to programs across the country for a virtual visiting professor lecture experience. Plus, our webinar catalog continues to grow, bringing new clinical topics and exciting new formats like SANS Live!, which utilizes a question and answer, quiz-show format to help participants enhance their surgical knowledge and decision-making skills.
We have also partnered with the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) to introduce a Virtual Brain Tumor Board series, in which globally recognized experts in brain tumor management discuss actual cases presented by our faculty. If you haven’t already accessed these great new offerings, I encourage you to browse at cns.org.
Although it is still difficult to predict where our world and our specialty are headed over the year ahead, it seems increasingly clear that we are not simply waiting for life to “return to normal” but, rather, we are learning to navigate and thrive under a new normal.
One thing is certain though. I and my colleagues on the CNS Executive Committee remain steadfastly committed to working on your behalf. We will always strive to be your trusted, essential resource as you navigate the new challenges in the world and our profession. And, we will work tirelessly to ensure you have the resources and information needed to stay ahead, including practical and timely content and dynamic and collaborative educational programs—virtually, and in-person when it is safe and practical to do so. We will also continue to monitor new developments, mapping out a path forward for neurosurgery. We will always listen to you, our members, and if there is anything the CNS can do or offer to help you and your colleagues navigate the year ahead, I encourage you to reach out to us at email@example.com.