The Young Neurosurgeons Committee (YNC) under AANS established a program in 2014 that allowed individual medical schools to create AANS Medical Student Chapters. The purpose of this study was to assess the professional, educational, and research activities of these chapters.
Data on membership, AANS annual meeting attendance, and research output were collected and analyzed from chapter annual reports from 2014-2018.
The total number of AANS Medical Student Chapters increased rapidly from 12 chapters in 2014 to 109 chapters in 2018 (2015: 39, 2016: 60, 2017: 85). The mean number of members per chapter has remained relatively constant around 35, but the mean number of chapter members attending the AANS annual meeting has increased from 2014 to 2018 (2014–2015: 1.25, 2015–2016: 1.48, 2016–2017: 1.19, 2017–2018: 1.67).
Abstracts submitted, abstracts accepted, and total publications authored by chapters have fluctuated considerably with means over the past four years of 1.89, 1.67, and 9.26, respectively. During the 2017-2018 academic year, chapters from “top 20 medical schools” (U.S. News) attended the annual meeting in greater numbers (mean 3.00, p = 0.0078), submitted more abstracts (mean 4.20, p < 0.001), had more abstracts accepted (mean 3.00, p = 0.0017), and authored more publications (mean 21.55, p = 0.0026) relative to chapters from other schools. This finding was also true for chapters with “top 20” neurosurgery residency programs by reputation (Doximity) [mean attending meeting 3.09, p = 0.0041; mean abstracts submitted 4.30, p < 0.001; mean abstracts accepted 3.70, p < 0.001; mean publications 20.55, p = 0.0062] compared with chapters with lower ranked residency programs.
Since their inception, AANS Medical Student Chapters have increased in number significantly and demonstrated substantial research productivity and involvement in organized neurosurgery, particularly chapters from highly ranked medical schools and residency programs.