AANS Neurosurgeon : AANS International

Volume 24, Number 2, 2015

The Work Ahead: International Collaboration

Jillian R. Bernas

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Jeju Island, South Korea.

백지장도 맞들면 낫다

Pronunciation: Paek-ji-jangdo maj-deul-myeon nat-da
Literal English meaning: It is better if even a sheet of paper can be lifted together (1).

The above Korean proverb reminds us that the work ahead of us, even the simplest task, is better shared among colleagues and celebrates the reason that the leadership of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Asian Australasian Society of Neurological Surgeons (AASNS) came together to share their strengths at the most recent meeting of the Asian Australasian Congress of Neurological Surgeons (AACNS 2015).

The 14th AACNS took place on Jeju Island, South Korea, from April 15-18, 2015. It was held in conjunction with the 33rd Korean Neurosurgical Society (KNS) Annual Spring Meeting, the 13th Asian-Oceanian International Congress on Skull Base Surgery (AOICSBS) and the Korean Skull Base Society (KSBS) CME Course, and welcomed surgeons to participate in all four meetings.

Robert Harbaugh, MD, FAANS (second from right); Christopher Loftus, MD, FAANS (r); and Anil Nanda, MD, MPH, FAANS, (l) stand with the host organization’s leadership.

As the host, the AASNS invited the AANS to collaborate and held an AASNS-AANS Partnership Symposium where leadership and meeting attendees studied the history of the two organizations and talked about ways to collaborate into the future. The AASNS is the largest continental society of neurological surgeons in the world, covering 46 countries and 60 percent of the world’s population. This collaboration makes international connections with half of the world’s neurosurgeons possible and helps the neurosurgical community to become aware of the diversity of neurological care throughout the world.

Robert Harbaugh, MD, FAANS; Christopher Loftus, MD, FAANS; and Anil Nanda, MD, MPH, FAANS, spoke on behalf of the AANS and shared with symposium attendees updates on the AANS International Programs and other important components, including the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) and NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA). Both AANS and AASNS leadership agreed that progress would be made by sharing organizational strengths with each other, with AASNS bringing internationalization to the table and AANS, organizational structure and educational opportunities.

Christopher Loftus, MD, FAANS; and Robert Harbaugh, MD, FAANS, represent the AANS at AACNS 2015 on Jeju Island.

The meeting of these two great neurological organizations took place against the backdrop of beautiful Jeju Island, a favorite destination for Koreans, as well as a source of pride, with its having been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage natural site. It also prepared the organizations to further advance their joint work at the 2015 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting in impressive Washington, D.C., which featured a collaboration with the AASNS and highlighted the most renowned Asian and Australasian neurosurgeons in the scientific program.

Jillian R. Bernas is the AANS international relations manager. The author reported no conflicts for disclosure.

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