Driven by Innovation, Powered by Neurosurgeons

Ashok R. Asthagiri
Nicholas C. Bambakidis

Six different head scans.For more than 65 years, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons has worked to provide our members with the best neurosurgical training and educational products to improve health around the world. Today, the CNS Education Division and its related committees and workgroups are powered by more than 90 volunteer neurosurgeons working year-round to deliver the most relevant and cutting-edge educational content to help surgeons expand their knowledge and skills in this rapidly advancing specialty.

Live Courses

In 2019, the CNS is coming to your doorstep, holding regional courses on topics relevant to your practice, from the popular Spine Complications Course in Park City, Utah to the new Minimally Invasive Cranial Course in San Diego, California—both offered this month. The MIC Course represents CNS’ commitment to understanding and addressing the evolving needs of our membership. As the minimally invasive spine and endovascular neurosurgery movements transition to mainstream, our team has developed this new hands-on course to educate neurosurgeons on novel technology that is set to influence our academic and community practices alike.

The Acute Stroke Care Course, being held this spring in Chicago represents CNS’ intent to become more engaged at the community level, thanks to nationally recognized faculty leadership who are bringing the CNS culture of education to not only local neurosurgeons, but also EMT, nurses, and Advanced Care Practitioners.

While expanding the footprint of educational offerings, the CNS continues to strengthen the core educational concepts of translating human anatomy into practice with cadaveric skull base workshops as well as self-assessment, critical analysis and professional collaboration to overcome complications and challenges in spinal and tumor surgery that even the most competent neurosurgeon faces.

The CNS has embraced the concept of life-long learning and is developing a comprehensive array of educational products to assist neurosurgeons at all points during their career. From teaching basic principles of rounding on patients and medical student engagement to transitioning to retirement, the CNS is devoted to providing our entire membership with education that addresses the varying concerns of neurosurgeons at different times during their career. After performing an extensive review of the educational needs of a neurosurgeon through their career, a notable deficiency in the transition to practice was recognized. This has led to the development of a new Transitions to Practice Course and indications curriculum, intended to address case selection and highlighting practical issues of transitioning from residency to practice. The inaugural course will be held in August 2019 in Chicago.

Online Learning

The CNS has long recognized that the challenges of modern neurosurgical practice make it difficult for members to attend every educational course and conference. For the past decade, the Education Division has poured significant resources into online learning formats that are adaptive to your practice and accessible on your own schedule. Today our online portfolio includes more than 170 offerings and more than 250 hours of CME. The CNS Education Division annually produces over 20 live webinars, on topics such as Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Image Guided and Robotic Spine Surgery: State of the Art and Transclival/Transodontoid Approaches. Our essential oral and written board review series are also updated annually and offered live just prior to each exam. Plus all live webinars are retained as on-demand offerings, with a catalog totaling more than 150 courses available at your convenience. And new in 2019, the CNS is offering a new Recognition for Participation in Neurosurgical Education program exclusively for our international members, which allows participants to earn points for online courses completed and print a special certificate upon completion of 20, 40 or 60 hours of content.

Image of a woman pointing to a screen speaking to a table full of people.Faculty and attendees discuss indications during a case review at the CNS Oral Board Review Course.

SANS, CNS’ self-assessment in neurological surgery has certainly stood the test of time as a trusted resource for practice improvement and CME. But even this time-honored product has gotten a modern facelift thanks to the tireless work of the SANS Editorial Board, led by Chair Garni Barkhoudarian and Vice Chair Martina Stippler. Today, in addition to the three classic SANS exams, members can choose from nine different SANS modules—including seven subspecialty modules, the non-clinical SANS Competencies module, and the new SANS Indications, which was designed to improve diagnostic decision making, helping surgeons as they enter practice and prepare for the ABNS Oral Examination. A bundle of all seven subspecialty modules is also offered for individual subscription or for an institutional license. Together, these products offer tremendous value for practicing surgeons and residents alike.

NEXUS, the latest addition to CNS’ online education arsenal has also grown tremendously in the past year, under the leadership of Editorial Board co-Chair Peter Nakaji and Managing Editor Maryam Rahman. NEXUS is a comprehensive case-based repository of neurosurgical operative techniques and approaches that were designed to allow surgeons to quickly review a case like their own before heading into the operating room. Through the work of the editorial board, NEXUS now features 400 cases across neurosurgical subspecialties—each designed to efficiently highlight the approach and alternatives, walk through the procedure step-by-step and address the outcomes, pearls, and pitfalls. Cases are highlighted by outstanding medial illustrations, operative images, and video and organized in a visually compelling and intuitive navigation. And to optimize the utilization and value of this flagship product, NEXUS is available free to all CNS Members and is now open for submissions.

Upcoming CNS Courses

CNS Oral Boards Review Course
February 23–24, 2019 | Houston, Texas
October 19–20, 2019 | San Francisco, California

CNS Leadership in Healthcare Course
May 10–11, 2019 | Rosemont, Illinois

CNS Vanguard Leadership Course in Healthcare
May 10–11, 2019 | Rosemont, Illinois

CNS Acute Stroke Care Symposium
May 17, 2019 | Chicago, Illinois

Transition to Practice Course
August 10–11, 2019 | Rosemont, IL

CNS Skull Base Fellows Course
August 29-30, 2019 | Cleveland, Ohio

2019 CNS Annual Meeting
October 19–23, 2019 | San Francisco, California

Tumor Complications Course
January 24–26, 2020 | Las Vegas, NV

Spine Complications Courses
February 2020

2019 Jointly Provided Courses

North American Neuromodulation Society
(NANS) Annual Meeting
January 17–20, 2019 | Las Vegas

Joint Section on Pain
2019 Biennial Meeting
March 13–14, 2019 | Miami Beach, Florida

Expanding your Toolbox
Spine Summit 2019
March 14–17, 2019 | Miami Beach, Florida