You Asked, We Answered: Practical Courses Offer More Subspecialty Content

Lola B. Chambless, MD
Lola B. Chambless, MD

Two doctors performing surgery

With a busy scientific program full of diverse content, how do you make the most of your time at the Annual Meeting? For many attendees, it means identifying the courses that offer the most in-depth educational content on subspecialty topics.

Pre-meeting Practical Courses allow attendees to use the weekend ahead of the main meeting to focus on key topics that are highly relevant to their practice. This year, section leaders were tasked with evaluating past successes and failures to ensure that the course catalog continued to evolve.

“Using feedback and data from previous meetings gave us a sense of where to look and what to avoid since we had an idea of what experiments failed to attract members in the past,” said Clemens Schirmer on the design of the socio-economic content. “Going forward we used knowledge gaps identified by our members to build new content around the expressed desires of the membership and in combination crafted a balanced program that meets the needs of our attendees.”

In 2018, the course catalog will feature 27 practical courses across two days. Some courses, like the Brain Tumor Updates, provide attendees with a comprehensive review of the latest scientific evidence presented in a way that is immediately translatable to members’ practices. Others, including the hands-on course in endoscopic craniosynostosis repair, offer proctored instruction in a specific surgical technique. Additional courses offer neurosurgeons an introduction into cutting-edge technologies of the future, like Big Data analytics.

Courses that feature an honest discussion of complications are often popular, and this year Drs. Dan Resnick and Luis Tumialan will host a group of preeminent spine surgeons in “My Worst Spinal Complication: What I Learned.” This offering, as well as courses on 3D intracranial anatomy and peripheral nerve exposures, may hold particular interest to neurosurgical trainees, who are able to attend any practical course at a steeply discounted registration rate. Nurses and advanced care practitioners are also welcome to attend these courses. On Sunday, Oct 7, the CNS will co-host the Association of Neurosurgical Physician Assistants CME meeting as an all-day practical course which is free of charge and open to all registered ANSPA members, nurses and physician assistants.

The faculty for the 2018 Practical Courses represents a diverse group of well-known educators and thought leaders from within neurosurgery and beyond. Attending these courses lets members get to know these neurosurgical leaders in a workshop format, helping to build collaborations and facilitate mentorship. The interactive design means that attendees can enhance the discussion with their own experiences and learn from each other as well. As always, Practical Courses also represent an excellent opportunity to fulfill CME requirements.

A core part of the CNS mission is innovation in neurosurgical education, and the content offered through courses will continue to evolve to meet member needs. Member engagement is critical to ensuring that this content remains highly relevant to neurosurgeons, trainees, and allied professionals and your feedback has shaped a curriculum for the coming meeting that promises to offer the highest quality educational programming the CNS has produced. 

To review the full list of Practical Course offerings at the 2018 Annual Meeting, visit here.