2014 AANS Annual Report - page 5

We all can recall one or a few key individuals in our career who made that game-changing difference on
our path to becoming a neurosurgeon. To promote the importance of mentorship in the development of
a successful neurosurgical career, we established the inaugural Osler Lectureship. The Osler name was
chosen for two important reasons — first, because William Osler was an important mentor for Harvey
Cushing during the early part of his career (in fact, Cushing wrote the definitive biography of Osler, for
which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1926), and, second, because Osler was the consummate mentor for
generations of physicians and surgeons. From his humble beginnings as a junior faculty at the Montreal
General Hospital, where he conducted student teaching sessions weekly by a wood fire, to his later career
at Oxford, he impacted the lives of countless students.
Thanks in no small part to the AANS staff, under the leadership of Tom Marshall, the 82nd AANS Annual
Scientific Meeting, with its theme, “Expanding Neurosurgery,” was a tremendous success. Several special
lecturers who have demonstrated great leadership in their respective subspecialty areas and pushed the
envelope to provide innovative treatment for the patients we serve and new opportunities for our trainees
presented unique insights. Such speakers included Dr. Chris Shaffrey from the University of Virginia, who
spoke on surgery of spinal deformity; and Dr. Robert Rosenwasser from Jefferson University, who provided
a model for neurosurgeon involvement in the treatment of stroke. Dr. Kim Burchiel from the Oregon Health
and Science University talked about the neurosurgeon as a pain specialist, while Kevin Foley, our Schneider
Lecturer, discussed the neurosurgeon and industry. Significantly, Clayton M. Christensen spoke as the
Cushing Orator. The Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School,
Christensen is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. Christensen was a timely
orator in this era of significant change in the delivery of health care in the United States. These are but a
few of the presenters who shared how neurosurgery continues to transform the field of medicine — and
offer new opportunities for those willing to explore all of its boundaries.
The practice of neurosurgery is changing rapidly. We must embrace new technology and refinements in
surgical treatments. We will need to lead the process.
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD, FAANS
2013-2014 AANS President
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