September 3, 2010

A boot camp for neurosurgeons

Learning basic concepts and reducing errors were the goals of a two-day boot camp for first-year neurosurgery residents hosted by Emory’s Department of Neurosurgery.

The course, part of a new national course launched by the Society of Neurological Surgeons  in Atlanta and five other cities, focused on fundamental skills, patient safety, professionalism and communications.
Following day one’s lecture format, day two placed participants in simulated operating room environments and neurosurgical procedures.

“This boot camp concept is the first of its kind in medicine providing interns with a strong foundation to learn basic concepts and procedures and helping to ultimately reduce the number of errors among training residents,” says Costas Hadjipanayis, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory School of Medicine and chief of neurosurgery service at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Hadjipanayis was one of the Emory organizers and course directors.

The exercises were designed to allow residents to familiarize themselves with the basics in an educational and risk-free environment. Skills relevant to all first-year residents were covered, such as line placement and suturing, as well as specific neurosurgical skills like drilling and performing a craniotomy.

More than 90 percent of all incoming neurosurgery residents in the United States participated in the training at one of the sites. Emory neurosurgical faculty, fellows and residents led intensive and interactive exercises oriented to fundamental bedside procedural and operative skills.

According to Hadjipanayis, the group of 37 interns participating in the Atlanta training was the largest number nationwide. They were from universities across the region ranging from Virginia to Puerto Rico.

“This was definitely a great start to a course we will cultivate and enhance from year to year,” says Hadjipanayis. “Our goal is for continuous evaluation and improvement.”

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