Congress of Neurological Surgeons

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Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Motto Education and Innovation
Formation 1951
Type Professional association
Headquarters Schaumburg, Illinois
Region served
Over 9,000
Russell R. Lonser

The Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) is a professional association representing neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents, medical students, and allied health professionals.


World War II produced a dramatic change in the world of neurological surgery. Deployed surgeons learned neurosurgery while on active duty in one of the armed services. Others experienced either abbreviated training, or had their program interrupted when called to active duty. After the war these surgeons returned to the United States with a need to add credentials. Existing neurosurgical training programs incorporated these surgeons and the number of training sites proliferated. Thus, in the late 1940s there was an explosion in the numbers of young neurosurgeons surfacing in communities and seeking recognition from organized neurosurgical societies. There was intense resistance from the established neurosurgical community, however, to this new group of neurosurgeons. The Harvey Cushing Society (now the AANS), did not immediately recognize this new group of neurosurgeons and made efforts to exclude them from their organization. The precursor to the CNS was the Interurban Neurosurgical Society organized by neurosurgeons Adrian Verbruggen and Harold Voris meeting at the University Club of Chicago. The society was open to all neurosurgeons living no more than one travel day away from Chicago. It met for one day only (Saturday). There was a mailing list but no dues, by-laws, officers or publications. About 150 neurosurgeons attended once a year. Most attendees were from the northeast, mid-Atlantic, southeast, and mid-west. Eventually, a more organized effort was put together when twenty two neurosurgeons met in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1951, the first formal organizing and scientific meeting was convened in Memphis, Tennessee, attended by 121 neurosurgeons.[1] The CNS was infolded into the AANS for several years until it held its own independent meeting in 2000, completing the separation of the two organizations. The CNS has expanded significantly and now has over 8000 members worldwide.[2]

Education and certification[edit]

The CNS has multiple efforts aimed at advancing neurosurgical education to practicing neurosurgeons, resident neurosurgeons, and medical students. These efforts include online products and services such as the University of Neurosurgery,[3] the NeuroWiki,[4] and Self Assessment in Neurological Surgery.[5] Many of these educational efforts provide credits for continuing medical education. The CNS also supports the Neurosurgery Boot Camps. These are practical and didactic educational sessions that occur annually at the beginning of the academic year and introduce basic concepts to incoming neurosurgery interns. These are held jointly with the Society of Neurological Surgeons. Board certified neurosurgeons must successfully pass a Maintenance of Certification exam in order to remain board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. A component of re-certification is successful completion of the Self Assessment in Neurological Surgery examination every 3 years.[6]


The official medical journal of the CNS is Neurosurgery. The CNS also produces Clinical Neurosurgery, which contains the proceedings of the annual meeting. Additionally, the CNS publishes CNS Quarterly which updates members on various CNS activities including socio-economic and political activities of the organization on a quarterly basis.

Annual meeting[edit]

The CNS holds its three-and-a-half-day annual meeting in the fall of each year.[7] The meeting covers all aspects of neurosurgical research, including basic, translational, and clinical. Presentations are made in oral and poster format. Attending the annual meeting provides medical attendees with continuing medical education credits.[8] The meeting also features named lectures, notably the Dandy Lecture, named in honor of neurosurgical pioneer Walter Dandy.


The AANS/CNS Washington Committee advocates for neurosurgery in the following areas:[9]

In addition, the Washington staff maintains the Neurosurgery Blog which highlights the latest legislative activities affecting health care and the neurosurgical specialty.

Founder's Laurel[edit]

Each year the CNS recognizes exceptional service, lifelong dedication, and meritorious accomplishments in the field of medical education.[10] Previous awardees have been:


External links[edit]