• New Subspecialty Symposia: A Twist on the PC

    Authors: Ashok R. Asthagiri
    Nader Pouratian, MD PhD
    Brian V. Nahed, MD

    > BY EXPANDING SYMPOSIA TO A FULL DAY, WE AIM TO HELP ATTENDEES USE THEIR TIME AWAY FROM THEIR PRACTICE AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE. DESPITE EXPANDING THE EDUCATIONAL TIME ALLOTMENT AND CONTENT, THE CNS HAS REDUCED THE COSTS OF PARTICIPATION IN THESE ENHANCED EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, WITH PRICES FOR FULL DAY CONTENT SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN EVER BEFORE. <

    Our members have spoken and we’ve built our program based on their feedback. The CNS recognizes that your time is precious and you are looking to maximize the value of attending the CNS Annual Meeting. We have addressed every element of value to transform our pre-meeting courses into full-day symposia – enhancing content, maximizing time, and reducing cost.

    First and foremost, we have focused on enhancing the content of symposia, with new topics and speakers to bring more diversity to the educational experience. Each symposium focuses on a specific subspecialty in neurosurgery or targets specific audiences, and the symposia lineup has been laid out to ensure everyone will benefit from this program transformation. In addition, we have developed courses that bridge specialties to benefit from the expertise of a broader faculty.

    By expanding symposia to a full day, we aim to help attendees use their time away from their practice as efficiently as possible. Of course, we also realize that not everyone can attend a full day course, so the option still exists to only register for a half-day symposium in many cases. Despite expanding the educational time allotment and content, the CNS has reduced the costs of participation in these enhanced educational opportunities, with prices for full day content significantly less than ever before.

    Several brand-new symposia have been designed to address unmet needs. Transitioning from training to practice is one of the most stressful times in one’s career, often with little guidance. We have therefore developed a dedicated symposium on Saturday to help neurosurgical residents and early career neurosurgeons through this critical transition, called Establishing Your Neurosurgical Career and Maximizing Your Neurosurgical Employment Opportunities. Maintaining certification is likewise critical, with new requirements now stipulating participation in quarterly morbidity and mortality symposia, which some neurosurgeons do not have access to within their hospitals. The CNS now provides two half-day symposia to meet this requirement, in which participants will submit and learn how to review cases and complications, with a goal towards practice improvement. Keeping up with new technologies is one of the most challenging aspects of continued practice. Recognizing this, we developed a new symposium on Emerging Technologies in Neurosurgery, which will provide an in-depth review of intraoperative technological adjuncts and advances in virtual reality (Sunday). A new symposium on Saturday afternoon, focused on Training the Trainer, is targeted to program directors, program administrators, and all neurosurgeons who seek to become superior teachers and mentors.

    For those with an interest in expanding their knowledge base in spine surgery, four symposia are offered. Advanced Topics in Spinal Operative Techniques delves into operative nuances, indications, and complication avoidance in minimally invasive spine surgery and motion preservation in cervical spine surgery (Saturday). The other two spine symposia include Spine Trauma and Spinal Cord Injury Symposium (Saturday) and the Spine Biomechanics and Deformity Symposium (Sunday), which will review these topics from the perspective of the practicing neurosurgeon. The very popular My Worst Spinal Complication symposium is still offered as a half day course on Sunday morning. In addition to the Spine Trauma and Spinal Cord Injury Symposium, for those with an interest in neurotrauma, the Annual Meeting will feature Neurotrauma Update (Sunday), providing in-depth coverage of various topics in brain trauma and neurocritical care.

    Three exciting full day cerebrovascular symposia are planned: Stenting and Bypasses (Saturday), covers the latest technology, indications, and techniques, and allows time for hands-on practice. A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Guidelines Review for the Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms (Sunday) will consider all aspects of management of unruptured and ruptured aneurysms. Acute Stroke Care: Guidelines Review and Future Directions(Sunday) is an adaptation of the very successful CNS Stroke course, now integrated into our Annual Meeting.

    In neuro-oncology, three symposia are planned, including the very popular and successful Brain Tumor Update (Saturday) which will cover both benign and malignant brain tumors, Advanced Functional Mapping and 3D Neuroanatomy (Sunday), offered jointly with faculty in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery), and the perennial Stereotactic Radiosurgery Update (Sunday half-day course).

    While those with an interest in functional neurosurgery will surely want to take advantage of the joint symposium, a full day symposium in Functional Neurosurgery is also planned on Saturday, which will comprehensively review new technologies, methodologies, and outcomes in movement disorders, epilepsy, and pain surgery. The Pain and Peripheral Nerve Surgery Symposium(Sunday) combines faculty in peripheral nerve and pain to review non-spinal targets for pain surgery and peripheral nerve surgery techniques.

    For those with an interest in quality and data analytics, we now combine complementary courses in Quality Improvement and Big Data into a single symposium, the Quality Summit Bundle. This symposium will review key issues in measuring and assessing quality and new and emerging techniques in big data analytics to help advance the field more broadly, bringing in experts from Silicon Valley that have dedicated their careers to this type of work. Finally, the much needed 2019 Update on Coding is still offered as a half-day symposium on Saturday.

    The agenda is sure to have content that will enhance every attendee's experience and make the CNS Annual Meeting more valuable than ever. We look forward to sharing this transformation with you. 

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