We have quite a unique culture in our field. In my mind, it can be summarized as
“excellence and exceptionalism.” Our patient-physician relationship is incredibly different
from other specialties as patients are confronted with their own mortality, or worse, when
they come to see us.
As a charge going forward, I strongly recommended that we stop the trend of de-
professionalism and commoditization immediately by maintaining higher standards,
supporting research, fixing the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process and fighting
new duty-hour restrictions, which have been shown to be of no benefit to our patients.
I also emphasized protecting the shield to make sure flawed individuals do not make it
through neurosurgical training and certification, as it violates our social contract and puts
the public at risk. I believe that our discipline can play a major role in fixing the Veterans
Administration (VA) fiasco and would hope that this fundamentally-flawed organization
can be progressively and incrementally defunded and the savings passed on into charge
cards for our veterans that could confer Medicare-level coverage to be purchased
wherever they desire to seek care.
I see our international outreach as a major opportunity. In our role as the North
American continental society in the World Federation, we have had major impact
reflecting the strength of our brand. We now have an incredible asset, Walter D. Johnson,
MD, FAANS(L), who is uniquely positioned at the World Health Organization (WHO)
in Geneva. Imagine the possibility of North America joining the WHO in creating new
disruptive technologies to manage some common neurological problems, such as TBI or
hydrocephalus, and getting the support of major funding agencies such as the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation to create a uniquely transformative global impact.
Ours is a truly honorable and wonderful profession. We and our successors must
preserve its unique culture and in so doing will strengthen medicine overall with
neurosurgery leading the way.
H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FAANS
2015-2016 AANS President
We have quite a unique culture in our field.
In my mind, it can be summarized as
“excellence and exceptionalism.”