AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


International Neurosurgical Stars Shine Bright at the 2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting

This past April, neurosurgeons from near and far convened in California at the 2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles. International medical attendees made up 20.65 percent of total attendance one of the biggest international turnouts in recent years.  

International Symposium
Preceding the 2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting was a two-day event honoring the career of Robert F. Spetzler, MD, FAANS, known across the globe for his impact in the areas of craniovertebral junction, skull base, complex/deep tumors and cerebrovascular surgery. More than 75 neurosurgical masters from 22 different countries led the symposium by delivering various lectures, 2-D and 3-D videos, panel discussions, debates and, of course, camaraderie.  

The momentum of the Spetzler Symposium led directly into the International Symposium, ever growing in size and popularity. Held on the Saturday and Sunday prior to the start of the meeting, the International Symposium is a great tradition that brings together speakers from all ends of the earth.

This year’s International Symposium boasted speakers hailing from 26 countries and was two packed days of lectures focused on six distinct areas of the field of neurosurgery: stereotactic and functional, pediatric, neurotrauma, spine, cerebrovascular and tumor.   

International Collaborating Societies
This year, the AANS was joined by the Asian Australasian Society of Neurological Surgeons (AASNS) and the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS). Both societies helped to curate the international speakers throughout the scientific program with special attention being paid to their regions of the world. They were led by AASNS President Basant Kumar Misra, MD, from Mumbai, India, and EANS President Andre Grotenhuis, MD, PhD, IFAANS, from Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Dr. Grotenhuis, who is finishing out his presidential term in October at the 2017 EANS Congress in Venice, Italy, was presented with the AANS International Lifetime Recognition Award. The AANS Board of Directors honored him with this award for his work to improve the quality of neurosurgical education throughout the world. He served from 1999-2010 as chair and training program director of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Radboud University Medical Centre. Since 2010, he has focused on clinical work, teaching and research in neurosurgery. He has also been a visiting professor 17 times.

International Board Liaisons
All four continental society presidents were in attendance at the AANS Board of Directors’ Meeting alongside representatives from other important global organizations.

Abderrahmane Sidi Said, MD, president of the Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies (CAANS); Jose Marcus Rotta, MD, president of the Federación Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Neurocirugía (FLANC); Yong-Kwang Tu, MD, and Franco Servadei, MD, president and president-elect respectively, of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS); as well as Walter D. Johnson, MD, FAANS(L), of the World Health Organization (WHO) joined Drs. Misra and Grotenhuis and the AANS Board of Directors at the table to discuss neurosurgery in an international context.   

The AANS is truly appreciative of their contributions to the AANS Board of Directors’ Meeting, the 2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and the perspective that they bring to understanding neurosurgery in its different expressions throughout the world. A special thanks to Dr. Tu in his service as the WFNS president as his term comes to an end at the 2017 WFNS Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, this August.

International Reception
The red carpet was out for international neurosurgery at the International Reception at the GRAMMY Mkuseum and Target Terrace. Attendees celebrated the conclusion of the International Symposium and toasted the next year in neurosurgery.

Words were shared by international advocate 2016-2017 AANS President Frederick A. Boop, MD, FAANS, and the baton was passed from International Programs Chair Christopher M. Loftus, MD, FAANS, to Kenan Arnautovic, MD, PhD, FAANS. Thanks to Dr. Loftus for his commitment over many years to developing AANS’ international programs.  

International Booth Resource Center
Throughout the meeting, international attendees had access to the international booth in the AANS Resource Center where they could ask about international membership and pick up passport covers to accompany them in their travels. Next year the 2018 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting is in New Orleans, where EANS and CAANS will act as the collaborating international societies.

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