2012 AANS Annual Report - page 8

A New Dimension to Neurosurgical Learning
The AANS remains focused on delivering unique, beneficial and cutting-edge educational tools
for its members. Following on the heels of the immensely popular 3-D
The Rhoton Collection
, the
AANS released
The Rhoton Collection, Volume 2
. This volume again features three-dimensional
microsurgical lectures from renowned neurosurgical educator Albert Rhoton Jr., MD, FAANS,
including a two-part series on anterior skull base, as well as one discussing approaches to the brain
stem. The lectures, which are available on th
also are
available in standard 2-D format. All of them retain the incredible detail of the original presentations
and, like the first volume, feature an audio track synchronized with the lecture.
Redefining Education: Paying it Forward
Allan Levi, MD, PhD, FAANS, FACS
Of the distinctions neurosurgeons can receive during their careers,
few are as notable as the achievement of the American Board
of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) Certification. This certification,
a requirement for membership in the American Association of
Neurological Surgeons, is attained only after a recipient’s successful
completion of the oral board exam — a comprehensive assessment of
a neurosurgeon’s patient management techniques and approaches to
contemporary neurological topics.
Every year, before the ABNS administers the oral board exam,
many test registrants flock to the AANS-sponsored
Goodman Oral
Board Preparation: Neurosurgery Review by Case Management
course in Houston. Although not required by the ABNS, this prep
course simulates the actual oral board exam, complete with intense
questioning and guidance from experienced neurosurgeons, one of
whom is Allan Levi, MD, PhD, FAANS, FACS.
“The course still has the same magic formula that Dr. Goodman
started with,” Dr. Levi said of the curriculum and its founder, Julius M.
Goodman, MD. Launched in 1997, the interactive course is designed to
prepare neurosurgeons for the rigorous ABNS testing. Dr. Levi passed
the oral board exam and earned ABNS certification in May 1999. He has
served on the course’s faculty since November of that same year.
When Dr. Goodman passed away in 2008, Dr. Levi not only succeeded
him as course director, but he adopted a similar approach to educating
emerging neurosurgeons. “I get a lot of pleasure teaching the next
generation of neurosurgeons and watching them grow,” he said. “As a
teacher, there’s a great reward in seeing [course participants] develop
as students and then eventually see them pass the exam.”
The course’s popularity has led to two offerings per year, with about 115
registrants per course. Dr. Levi is instrumental in all aspects of building
the course, including the selection of its 30 faculty members. “He wants
to create the best education experience for exam candidates,” said Joni
Shulman, AANS’ Associate Executive Director. “Dr. Goodman’s shoes
were big ones to step into, and Dr. Levi has done him proud.”
As an associate professor in the University of Miami’s Department of
Neurosurgery, Dr. Levi has made the educational track a key facet of
his neurosurgical career. “If you work in an academic, university-based
practice, [teaching] is one of your mandates,” Dr. Levi said. “You do it a
little or you do it a lot, but you have to love it.”
The concept of mentorship also has been evident throughout the course
of Dr. Levi’s career. During his days as a student, interactions with his
teachers influenced the direction of his clinical and research interests.
“As a medical student or resident, you often have four or five doctors
with whom you identify,” he said of his mentors, which included Dr.
Goodman. “I was totally intrigued by my mentors during my training.
[Many of them] helped drive my interest in the subspecialty of spine and
in spinal cord injury research.”
In addition to his duties as chief of Neuro-Spine Services at Jackson
Memorial Hospital in Miami, Dr. Levi is the director of the hospital’s
neurosurgical spine fellowship, which trains about two spine fellows
every year. Despite a bevy of responsibilities, Dr. Levi makes time to prep
students for the oral board exam twice a year. “I haven’t missed a course.
I’ve taught 25 courses straight, and it’s a lot of fun to be involved.”
A native of Montreal, Dr. Levi completed his undergraduate and
medical school studies at the University of Ottawa. He finished his
neurosurgical residency at the University of Toronto in 1987 and
earned a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Miami in 1994.
He lives in Key Biscayne, Fla.
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