Letter to the Editor
Last weekend, the neurosurgery field gathered for the first Global Neurosurgery 2019: A Practical Symposium, hosted by the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center January 18-19. Attendees from 5 continents, including notable leaders within the field of neurosurgery, residents, students and keynote address speaker Walter Johnson, head of the WHO’s Emergency and Essential Surgical Care Program, made it is clear that global neurosurgery is becoming its own specialty. Speakers highlighted different initiatives in countries like Haiti, Tanzania, Vietnam, Uganda, and Cambodia.
While the focus of many programs has been about education, training, and building up capacity with equipment and facilities, an emerging theme was that the neurosurgical community should become more active in policy and advocacy. Whether that’s becoming more vocal about the use of helmets and helmet laws to prevent traumatic brain injuries or working with stakeholders in ministries of health to create National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia Plans, neurosurgeons are poised to participate in this movement to bring health care to all and prevent needless death or disability from neurological disorders.—Jacquelyn Corley, MD