A year ago, on November 19, 2011, a group of neurosurgical colleagues and friends gathered in my office. This included renowned leaders in our field from the academic and private practice arenas. We shared a simple goal, to honor the memory of Professor Walter E. Dandy, and to create a society in his name. Among the founding fathers of Neurosurgery, Professor Dandy was the most focused and dedicated to elucidating the technical and anatomic underpinnings of operative neurosurgery. His visionary work has led many to view him as arguably the first true “Master” in modern neurosurgery. It is therefore only fitting that this Society be dedicated to Operative Neurosurgery. Our original aim for the Society was modest, however due to interest from colleagues around the world, the Society has since become global and is honored to have members from over 70 countries around the world.
We also find it fitting that a society named in honor of Professor Walter E. Dandy has its Board of Directors composed of some of the most technically gifted Masters and educational leaders in our field today.
National societies in neurosurgery have excelled in looking after our field’s interests, and through their extensive advocacy efforts have ensured that neurosurgery has its well-deserved seat at the table of healthcare policy and decision making in their respective regions and countries. The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) has similarly taken up the monumental task of addressing these important issues on the global stage. The WFNS represents neurosurgical societies, while the WEDNS represents individual neurosurgeons with regard to education and surgical expertise. The two societies serve global neurosurgery in a different yet complementary fashion.
The Society held its 1st annual meeting this year jointly with the Chinese Neurosurgical Society in Hangzhou, China. This highly successful meeting was attended by over 2,500 neurosurgeons. The 2012 Dandy medal was awarded to Professor Jizong Zhao of Beijing, China for his contributions to operative neurosurgery both regionally and globally.
The Society’s main hands-on training laboratory is based at its World Headquarters at Saint Louis University in the United States. The first Dandy continental-wide hands-on training laboratory outside of the US is being established in Shanghai, China and will be opened in the spring of 2013. Other similar labs with regional and continental-wide coverage are currently being developed.
Fellow of the Dandy College of Neurosurgery (FDCN) is a subspecialty-based Board Certification that will be the first of its kind in Neurosurgery. The Fellowship designation will be considered in: Cerebrovascular, Skull base, Trauma, Spine, Pediatrics, Functional, or Tumor. Candidacy for the Fellowship will require online reporting of 24 consecutive months of outcomes in the respective subspecialty. This would be followed by an oral board examination by senior leaders in the particular subspecialty. The first such board examinations are projected to take place in the fall of 2016. The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) has formally requested that the FDCN designation not be made available in the US. Out of respect for the historical contributions of the ABNS in the United States, the WEDNS has agreed and this specific program will not be available to neurosurgeons practicing in the US.
As part of its mission to be a global society, the WEDNS has developed an Ambassador Program in which two neurosurgeons from each nation will represent their country in the WEDNS Assembly. These Ambassadors will be appointed in consultation with the respective national societies. The Ambassadors will help promote the WEDNS’s mission in each of their respective nations and will provide valuable insight and perspective from their nation to the WEDNS leadership as well as to the broader WEDNS community.
Please visit our new website at www.wedns.org for information regarding upcoming meetings and courses. I look forward to seeing you at our 2nd annual meeting in Lake Lugano, Switzerland (July 10-14, 2013).
On behalf of the WEDNS officers, I would like to send our gratitude to our neurosurgical colleagues for establishing this Society as the Global Society for Operative Neurosurgery and for making it the fastest-growing neurosurgical society in the world today. We will do everything we can to live up to your expectations.
Saleem I. Abdulrauf, MD, FACS
Walter E Dandy Neurosurgical Society