Members of the Neurosurgical Community:
We are living in trying and turbulent times in our country. A global pandemic has claimed the lives of over 100,000 people across America and has threatened to overwhelm our health care systems in some of the worst affected areas. On top of this health crisis, we are now facing the greatest civil unrest our country has experienced in over 50 years in response to a recent series of tragic deaths of black men and women — the cataclysmic event being the deplorable death of George Floyd while in police custody.
While we look to our politicians for the political answers that will heal the strife in our country, we are all struggling with our personal feelings and response to these events. In reflecting on our organizations’ responsibilities, we return to our Mission and Values espoused by both the AANS and CNS.
As a profession, we in neurosurgery aim to promote the highest quality of patient care and advance the specialty of neurosurgery and neurosurgical education while espousing the values of integrity, leadership, excellence, and professionalism. As organizations and as a profession, we are committed to inclusion and diversity within our neurosurgical community. As neurosurgeons, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to all segments of our society. Indeed, our principles are only relevant to the extent they apply to the most disadvantaged in our society.
As principled health care professionals, it is imperative to stand against all forms of discrimination and acts of violence — particularly that which is driven by intolerance and hatred. We encourage you all to engage your patients, your colleagues, and your communities in discussions as to how we can help heal our country and care for all who need us, including our most vulnerable.
We pray that all of you and your families remain safe and healthy as we navigate these tumultuous and difficult times. The AANS and the CNS will continue to support our members and our missions. Thank you all for your dedication and professionalism to our patients.
John A. Wilson, MD, FAANS
Steven N. Kalkanis, MD, FAANS