(Reaffirmed, November 2009)
(Statement Approved by the AANS Board of Directors on 12/11/03)
Neurosurgical training programs are organized in such a way that more junior level trainees perform the initial evaluation of emergent, urgent and elective neurosurgical patients. The junior level trainee then reports to a supervising senior level resident or attending neurosurgeon, at which time appropriate treatment decisions are made. The Residency Review Committee for Neurosurgery, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, both recommend this system.
For emergent neurosurgical cases, communication between the junior level trainee and the senior level resident or attending is immediate, as is the operative decision making. This system does not delay appropriate neurosurgical care.
The Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care, with the endorsement of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, recommends that residents in their first years of training be recognized as appropriate first responders to emergent, urgent or elective neurosurgical consults, including trauma consults, as approved by their respective Neurosurgical Division or Department Chair.