David L. Kelly, Jr.
1979, Las Vegas
David L. Kelly, Jr., was born in Elkin, North Carolina, April 25, 1935. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina. He was elected to Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the University of North Carolina Medical School having been elected to Alpha Omega Alpha in 1959. He received his neurosurgical training at Bowman Gray School of Medicine/North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, Children's Hospital and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, and did a fellowship in neurophysiology at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1965 he joined the faculty at Bowman Gray and was promoted to professor in 1978. In 1979 he was made chairman and head of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Bowman Gray.
Dr. Kelly's major clinical and neurosurgical interests are in vascular malformations of the brain, spine stabilization, pituitary and acoustic tumors, and tic douloureux. His major academic interests are in resident education and training, as he has served as chairman of a committee for the Society of Neurological Surgeons to do a longitudinal study of resident selection and evaluation.
Dr. Kelly served for 6 years on the American Board of Neurological Surgery. After having participated in organized neurosurgery for a number of years, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), then as secretary, vice president, and president from 1990 to 1991. He served as secretary and then president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and has also chaired many of its committees. He served as vice president of both the Neurosurgical Society of America and the Southern Neurosurgical Society.
Dr. Kelly has over 100 publications to his credit, and he has served on a number of editorial boards. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of North Carolina in 1990. At the present time, he remains chairman and head of the Department of Neurological Surgery and occupies the Eben Alexander Chair of Neurological Surgery.
During his years of leadership with the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, a Certification Committee of the Congress was established which was designed to assist those individuals who had not been successful in passing the oral examination by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. That program was extremely successful in terms of having a high percentage of candidates receive their certificate following intensive study and preparation. Also, during his year as president of the Congress, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons extended an invitation to the Congress to become amalgamated with the AANS. The Executive Committee felt that move would not be in the best overall interest of neurosurgery. The AANS and the Congress jointly formed a Spine Section which rapidly became one of the most active and important sections in neurological surgery. The Joint Socio-Economic Committee gained stature and recognition within the Congress of Neurological Surgeons to the point that they became an integral part of the decision-making and issue discussion process. There was some discussion as to whether the Joint Socio-Economic Committee should perhaps become aligned with the Congress, but it was felt that the major role of the Congress should be in education and development of the young neurosurgeon.