Introduction: The Young Neurosurgeons Committee (YNC) was founded in 1991 by Dr. Roberto C. Heros. It has grown to become the major voice of young neurosurgeons to the leadership of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). It has been said that the YNC is “the training ground for the future leaders of organized neurosurgery.” This study follows the leadership involvement of past YNC members in organized neurosurgery.
Methods: We performed a retrospective study of all past members of the YNC compared with similarly aged neurosurgeons who are not YNC members. Current residency program directors, department chairs, and leadership involvement in the AANS, Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS), and Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) were considered. Descriptive statistics were utilized to analyze these data.
Results: Of the 170 past members of the YNC, 97 (57.1%) participated in further leadership roles within organized neurosurgery. One presidents of the AANS and 2 presidents of the CNS were former YNC members. Fifteen YNC members have chaired a Joint AANS/CNS Section and 6 have chaired the Women in Neurosurgery Section. Past members of the YNC were significantly more likely to serve as ABNS officers (5.9% vs. 2.4%, p=0.0002), residency program directors (5.9% vs. 2.4%, p=0.006), department chairs (8.2% vs. 1.8%, p<0.0001), and members of the SNS (15.3% vs. 4.8%, p<0.0001) compared to a similarly aged general neurosurgery population. Compared to other YNC members, chairs of the YNC are significantly more likely to become members of the SNS (46.7% vs 12.3%, p=0.0004), residency program directors (20.0% vs. 4.5%, p=0.04), and department chairs (26.7% vs. 6.5%, p=0.02).
Conclusions: Former members of the YNC have served in a number of leadership roles throughout organized neurosurgery. Neurosurgery programs interested in generating future leaders in neurosurgery should consider supporting the candidacy of their residents for the YNC.
Patient Care: This research demonstrates the positive leadership track record that past members of the YNC maintain within organized neurosurgery. Staying actively involved in organized neurosurgery not only allows a neurosurgeon to stay abreast of new developments within the field but it gives him/her an opportunity to influence the delivery of neurosurgical care at a high level. Additionally, the YNC and organized neurosurgery help develop and hone leadership skills in young neurosurgeons. The development of leadership skills is a necessary component of being an effective surgeon, both in and out of the operating room.
Learning Objectives: 1) Be able to describe the history of the YNC.
2) Understand the role the YNC has played in developing future leaders within organized/academic neurosurgery.