American Association of Neurological Surgeons
|American Association of Neurological Surgeons|
|Headquarters||Rolling Meadows, Illinois|
|Executive Director||Thomas A. Marshall|
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association focused on advancing the specialty of neurological surgery. The organization has nearly 8,300 members around the world.
- 1 About Neurological Surgery
- 2 History
- 3 Membership Demographics/Requirements
- 4 Legislative Advocacy
- 5 Publications
- 6 Patient Information/Public Outreach
- 7 Education
- 8 Annual Scientific Meeting
- 9 Neurosurgical Research and Education Foundation
- 10 Neuropoint Alliance
- 11 See also
- 12 References and external links
About Neurological Surgery
Neurological surgery is the medical specialty pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and injuries affecting the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, and the spinal column. A neurological surgeon may provide either surgical or nonsurgical care, depending on the nature of illness or injury. These medical specialists are trained to help patients with head and spine trauma; cerebrovascular disorders such as stroke; and other conditions including, but not limited to, chronic low back pain, birth defects, brain tumors and spinal tumors; as well as abnormalities of the peripheral nerves.
Founded in 1931, the AANS was originally known as the Harvey Cushing Society. Named for the brain surgery pioneer dubbed “the father of modern neurosurgery,” Dr. Harvey Cushing, the creation of the Harvey Cushing Society was spurred initially by Drs. R. Glen Spurling and William P. Van Wagenen who, with Cushing, acknowledged the need for a venue in which younger neurosurgeons could exchange ideas on the specialty. Membership to the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the specialty’s key organization during this period, was closed to younger men at this time. Drs. Spurling and Van Wagenen enlisted the help of Temple Fay and R. Eustace Semmes (the partial namesake of the Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute located in Memphis) in the creation of the group, and on May 6, 1932, the Harvey Cushing Society held its first meeting in Boston. Twenty-three people attended, many of whom were Cushing’s colleagues and neurosurgical trainees.
Charter members of the Harvey Cushing Society are as follows: Gilbert Anderson, MD; Paul C. Bucy, MD; W. Edward Chamberlain, MD; Leo M. Davidoff, MD; Louise Eisenhardt, MD; Temple Fay, MD; Edgar Fincher, MD; John F. Fulton, MD; W. James Gardner, MD; William J. German, MD; Franc D. Ingraham, MD; Franklin Jelsma, MD; Edgar Kahn, MD; Roland Klemme, MD; James G. Lyerly Sr., MD; Eric Oldberg, MD; Tracy Putnam, MD; Frederic Schreiber, MD; R. Eustace Semmes, MD; Merril C. Sosman, MD; R. Glen Spurling, MD; Frank R. Teachenor, MD; and William P. Van Wagenen, MD.
1942 – The AANS adopts new bylaws requiring active members to be certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS).
1944 – The first issue of Journal of Neurosurgery is printed. An editorial board had been established in 1943, and Dr. Louise Eisenhardt was named the publication’s editor.
1956 – The Harvey Cushing Society is incorporated on June 6.
1967 – At its annual meeting in San Francisco, the Harvey Cushing Society changes its name to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). The group also revamps its membership requirements, now noting that only board-certified neurosurgeons could be considered for active membership. Associate memberships now are available for those in related neurological disciplines. This same year, the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship is established to provide educational funding to medical students.
1969 – The association observes the 100-year anniversary of Harvey Cushing’s birth by holding its annual meeting in his birthplace of Cleveland and issuing a commemorative stamp via the United States Postal Service.
1976 – The Board of Directors votes to establish a headquarters office in downtown Chicago. The office moves to Park Ridge, Ill. in 1984, and subsequently to its current location in Rolling Meadows, Ill. in 2000.
1988 – The United States Postal Service issues an official Harvey Cushing stamp on June 17 as part of its Great Americans” 45-cent stamp collection. President Ronald Reagan unveils the stamp during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.
The AANS is composed of board-certified neurosurgeons from around the world as well as medical students, neurosurgical support staff and physicians in associated fields of practice. Membership categories are as follows:
Fellows – reside in North America and are board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, A.C.
Provisional – reside in North America and have completed an approved training program within the last five years.
Affiliate – practice in North America but are trained outside of North America.
Candidate – enrolled in approved North American neurosurgical training programs.
International – do not qualify for Fellow membership due to their country of residence or training, but have completed a formal neurosurgical training program deemed suitable by the AANS Board of Directors.
International-Developing Country – neurosurgeons who reside outside the U.S. in developing countries (as determined by the World Bank) and do not qualify for Fellow status.
International Resident – enrolled in verifiable non-North American neurosurgical training programs and are within five years of completing residency.
Honorary – recognized internationally for outstanding educational, research and clinical contributions to neurosurgical science.
Associate – neurosurgical nurses, physician assistants and other non-neurosurgeons who have shown distinction in related medical disciplines.
Allied – certified surgical technicians or neurosurgical office staff.
Throughout its history, the AANS has taken stances on a number of key legislative issues affecting neurosurgical professionals and their patients. Efforts include medical liability reform, patient safety and quality improvement, tort reform and issues relating to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). In addition to a professional staff office in Washington, D.C., the AANS maintains a member-driven Washington Committee to advocate for a number of causes. Washington staff maintains the Neurosurgery Blog which highlights the latest legislative activities affecting health care and the neurosurgical specialty.
Since 1944, the AANS has published the Journal of Neurosurgery, an international, peer-reviewed neurosurgical journal. The Journal of Neurosurgery publishes 48 issues a year, with an issue of the following titles being released each month: Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, and Neurosurgical Focus (available online only).
Every quarter, the AANS publishes AANS Neurosurgeon, said to focus on “issues related to legislation, workforce and practice management as they affect the specialty of neurosurgery”. Each issue is centered on a theme, and past themes include humanitarian neurosurgery, neurosurgeons as patients, stereotactic radiosurgery and neurovascular neurosurgery. The magazine originally began as a small members-only newsletter and later became a printed publication before moving to a digital format in 2010.
Patient Information/Public Outreach
On its website, the AANS features information relevant to patients regarding a number of neurosurgical ailments and treatments. In addition to its efforts during National Neurosurgery Awareness Week (which is held in conjunction with the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and heightens public awareness on topics such as stroke), the AANS also spearheads Neurosurgery Outreach Month every August, touting the importance of concussion and head-injury prevention at the start of a new school year and season for student athletes.
The AANS offers its members a number of educational opportunities, mostly through courses held around the country at various times of the year. Topics include practice management, oral board preparation, maintenance of certification and resident education. Course offerings also extend to mid-level practitioners such as nurses and physician assistants.
Annual Scientific Meeting
The AANS has held an Annual Scientific Meeting every year since its 1932 inception, except for 1945 when concerns regarding World War II hastened leadership to cancel that year’s gathering. Programming includes presentations of neurological studies from international researchers, seminars and workshops for practitioners at all levels, and keynote speeches from well-known dignitaries and personalities. Past speakers  include business tycoon H. Ross Perot (1987); former Secretary of State General Colin Powell (1995); former President George H.W. Bush (1999); journalist Tom Brokaw (2001); Benazir Bhutto (2002), the late prime minister of Pakistan; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (2003); film director Ken Burns (2004); Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson (2013); and “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger (2013).
The AANS was recognized  for going “paperless” with the introduction of its iPod touch meeting in Philadelphia in 2010. Each of the meeting’s medical attendees received a free iPod touch device, loaded with a digital version of the meeting’s program book.
Neurosurgical Research and Education Foundation
Established by the AANS in 1981, the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) provides funding for training in the neurosciences and support for career neurosurgeons. Through a number of grants and awards, it supports residents and young neurosurgical faculty in conducting basic science, patient-oriented, clinical and outcomes research as well as outcomes studies that protect and support neurosurgical procedures for all practicing neurosurgeons. The NREF also funds North American and international fellowships in all neurosurgical subspecialties.
As an effort led by the AANS with cooperation of other organized neurological associations, Neuropoint Alliance (NPA) was founded in 2008 to collect, analyze and report clinical data from neurosurgical practices. Services include clinical trial management, study design and survey facilitation. Its first nationwide effort was the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database.