International Division Report

Shekar Kurpad, MD

The International Division of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons retains a strong presence serving the collaborative and educational mission of the CNS. In recent years, the division has enjoyed a chain of vigorous and energetic leaders, including Drs. Anil Nanda, Charles Liu, and Mustafa Baskaya. During this time, the CNS International Division has significantly expanded its breadth of influence across various world regions. Several key collaborative efforts that further the CNS presence and mission in the international arena should been noted, specifically, with the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS), the Neurological Society of India (NSI), the Turkish Neurosurgical Society (TNS), and in the current calendar year, the Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies (CAANS).

In 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS). It was the first MOU of its kind to be initiated between the CNS and another international partner organization. As part of this agreement, the CNS engages with EANS and its leadership at many levels; the primary effort is focused toward fulfilling the CNS educational mission. To date, there has been particular success in expanding the CNS Simulation Training Program at the EANS Annual Meeting, as well as increasing participation of CNS faculty and residents in the biannual EANS resident courses. While the collaboration was initiated by Dr. David Adelson, it has been growing stronger through the dedicated engagement of successive International Division chairs.

Left to right: Ramesh Teegala, MD; Gerald Grant, MD; Shekar Kurpad, MD; Ashish Suri, MD

The CNS’s relationship with the Neurological Society of India (NSI) is also on solid ground. Intensive discussions that began between the CNS and NSI in 2013 resulted in a comprehensive MOU that was formalized at the 2014 CNS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, under the leadership of prior CNS President Dr. Daniel Resnick and prior NSI President Dr. Vendantam Rajshekhar. In addition to fulfilling the educational mission, there are regular highlevel interactions between the officers on the executive committees of both organizations each year at their respective Annual Meetings. The presidents of the CNS and NSI have also been afforded time to speak at the Plenary Sessions at mutual Annual Meetings and to present a summary of ongoing collaborative work at their respective executive committee meetings. In addition, the Simulation Program that was initiated by the CNS at the 2013 NSI Annual Meeting has enjoyed tremendous success and growth. The Simulation Program is now in its third year of functioning and represents a true collaborative effort with both organizations contributing simulation modules and newer modules being added every year. The CNS has also signed an MOU with the Turkish Neurosurgical Society. Dr. Mustafa Baskaya was instrumental in initiating the collaboration that resulted in the MOU, with active participation by 2014-15 CNS President Nathan Selden. The CNS has been and continues to be active in the International Basic Neurosurgery Course hosted by the Turkish Neurosurgical Society as well as the TNS Annual Meeting in Antalya, Turkey. Under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Baskaya, the Turkish Neurosurgical Society collaboration continues to be healthy.

Neuroendoscopy Module Didactic Session

This year, the CNS is engaged with the Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies (CAANS) as a partner society. As many as 14 CNS Executive Committee members are planning to participate in the July 2016 CAANS Quadrennial Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, with an equivalent reciprocal CAANS presence at the September 2016 CNS Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. CAANS President Graham Fieggen, Treasurer Mike Du Trevou, and CNS President Russell Lonser have been tireless in their efforts to ensure the success of this project. This exciting partnership represents the first time the CNS has initiated organized efforts on the African continent.

In summary, the International Division of the CNS is in an unprecedented state of good health, with a solid strategic mission that continues to strengthen our collaborative relationships and to initiate and grow new efforts in other world regions.