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We have quite a unique culture in our field. In my mind, it can be summarized as

“excellence and exceptionalism.” Our patient-physician relationship is incredibly different

from other specialties as patients are confronted with their own mortality, or worse, when

they come to see us.

As a charge going forward, I strongly recommended that we stop the trend of de-

professionalism and commoditization immediately by maintaining higher standards,

supporting research, fixing the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process and fighting

new duty-hour restrictions, which have been shown to be of no benefit to our patients.

I also emphasized protecting the shield to make sure flawed individuals do not make it

through neurosurgical training and certification, as it violates our social contract and puts

the public at risk. I believe that our discipline can play a major role in fixing the Veterans

Administration (VA) fiasco and would hope that this fundamentally-flawed organization

can be progressively and incrementally defunded and the savings passed on into charge

cards for our veterans that could confer Medicare-level coverage to be purchased

wherever they desire to seek care.

I see our international outreach as a major opportunity. In our role as the North

American continental society in the World Federation, we have had major impact

reflecting the strength of our brand. We now have an incredible asset, Walter D. Johnson,

MD, FAANS(L), who is uniquely positioned at the World Health Organization (WHO)

in Geneva. Imagine the possibility of North America joining the WHO in creating new

disruptive technologies to manage some common neurological problems, such as TBI or

hydrocephalus, and getting the support of major funding agencies such as the Bill and

Melinda Gates Foundation to create a uniquely transformative global impact.

Ours is a truly honorable and wonderful profession. We and our successors must

preserve its unique culture and in so doing will strengthen medicine overall with

neurosurgery leading the way.

H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FAANS

2015-2016 AANS President

We have quite a unique culture in our field.

In my mind, it can be summarized as

“excellence and exceptionalism.”