2011 AANS Annual Report - page 13

The opportunity to view an operative procedure in the OR has long
been one of the best ways for neurosurgeons to understand and
learn new techniques. Indeed, the viewing of live procedures was
one of the vital tools that neurosurgical pioneer Dr. Harvey Cushing
incorporated into his teaching, inviting students and doctors to
observe in person so they could take that knowledge on with them
wherever they took up practice. In addition, seeing the procedure
performed properly can improve the prospects of better overall
surgical safety, as well as possibly reduce complications that arise
during surgery and improve patient outcomes.
The AANS Operative Grand Rounds video series puts a 21st-century
spin on Dr. Cushing’s live operative teaching and emphasis on
improving surgery — and that was exactly the premise behind the
creation of the series, said Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, MD, FAANS.
“When it comes to learning, it is hard to read about a procedure and
fully understand it, grasp all of the details that are so important,”
noted Dr. Cohen-Gadol. “In the case of neurosurgical procedures,
seeing really is believing. That’s where the idea of creating a kind of
online video database of these procedures came from.”
Dr. Cohen-Gadol added that because expert practitioners are found
around the globe, it isn’t practical — or likely — that neurosurgeons
could see these techniques first-hand. “I trained in four different
places. Using a video format such as this allows us to really gather
content from the best of the best, regardless of where they are
The Operative Grand Rounds series capitalizes on ever-improving
video capabilities and the boundless expanse of the Internet, giving
neurosurgeons easy access to video submissions from a wide range
of experts. That diversity of content, which shows neurosurgical
leaders performing difficult operations and who have intrinsic
knowledge of evidence-based data, allows for an educational forum
that is unique and engaging.
“The series focuses on having high-quality content, with the
goal being the use of cases that were high-risk and technically
challenging,” said Dr. Cohen-Gadol. “We sought out cases that
neurosurgeons might rarely do, and then had experts share those
experiences with us.”
But just as important was the need for the content to be web-
accessible, because as Dr. Cohen-Gadol noted, “We wanted to make
this as widely available as possible. A program like this benefits and
grows through that type of exposure within the specialty. These
types of teaching tools that incorporate video, the Web, interactive
online portals, they are only going to increase. With the AANS
Operative Grand Rounds series, we are able to use all of these
elements and bring the surgery, the art, to every surgeon.”
New videos continue to be regularly added to the collection, which
can be accessed by
clicking here
, and Dr. Cohen-Gadol added that
those updates, along with the interaction and feedback from viewers,
are vital to the continued success of the series. “This series really, in
many ways, brings us back to the days when members would gather
to watch Harvey Cushing perform a procedure. The technology used
to deliver the message is different, but the message of improving
patient safety and creating an environment that can advance
neurosurgical techniques and practices, that is as strong as ever.”
Dr. Cohen-Gadol serves as a neurosurgeon at Goodman
Campbell Brain and Spine and Indiana University Department of
Neurosurgery. He specializes in cerebrovascular, skull base and
epilepsy surgery
Using Video to Place Neurosurgical Education on a Grand Stage
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