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Chair’s Message Redefining Medical Training in the COVID Era

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

September is traditionally “back to school” time. This year, whether you are a student, parent or educator, the educational landscape looks very different. Your kitchen table is being repurposed as your child’s desk or perhaps you are delivering lectures in an empty classroom to students watching from home or their dorm.

Here at the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF), we have also had to make adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The live AANS/NREF Resident Education Courses planned through the end of 2020 were postponed. Regardless, the NREF remains committed to supporting neurosurgeons-in-training with online resources.

There is an archive of resident/fellow education courses and webinars available online, free of charge to neurosurgical residents around the world. Always popular, we have seen a significant increase in the number of times these recorded courses have been viewed in the past couple of months. These programs consist of several hours of didactic lectures based on course topics, such as MIS & Emerging Spinal Technologies, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Neuroendovascular Surgery Techniques, Science of Neurosurgical Practice, Endovascular/Vascular, Exit Strategies for Senior Residents, Spinal Deformity, Fluorescence-guided Surgery, Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) and Skull Base Techniques.

Given the difficulties imposed on live education, the NREF is helping to deliver new online learning materials. In the coming weeks, the NREF will launch a webinar series designed for neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers. This program, developed in collaboration with the Young Neurosurgeons Committee (YNC), covers a wide range of topics and features neurosurgical experts from around the country.

And, finally, I’m happy to announce that our live courses will return in the second half of 2021. You can find the full calendar online. Watch the NREF website for dates, times and additional information about courses and webinars.

We are excited to bring insightful, informative content from recognized leaders in a creative, productive format to young neurosurgeons who are such a vital part of organized neurosurgery. You can help us continue delivering thoughtful, leading-edge programs through your support of the NREF. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our secure online Donate page. Your gift will help to educate and enlighten the next generation of neurosurgeons.

Thank you for supporting the NREF. Stay safe and hope to see you soon!

Best regards,

Michael W. Groff, MD, FAANS

NREF Chair

NREF is the Philanthropic Arm of the AANS

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