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Spinal Subspecialization in Post Graduate Neurosurgical Education

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2016

Brian D. Toyota*
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
University of British Columbia, 310A- 700 West 10th Ave., Vancouver, BC V5Z-4E5, Canada
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The growing science and technology of various neurosurgical areas fosters subspecialization. The transmission of this expanding knowledge base to the neurosurgical resident becomes an increasing challenge. A survey of neurosurgical residency program directors was undertaken to evaluate their response to the budding subspecialization of spine surgery within general neurosurgery.


A survey requesting background data, educational infrastructure and prevailing opinion was distributed to all 13 neurosurgical program directors in Canada. The responses were tabulated and results recorded. It is upon these results that conclusions and proposed directions are based.


The current practice of the overwhelming majority of Canadian academic neurosurgical centers is to have neurosurgical spinal subspecialists working under the umbrella of the general neurosurgical division. A large percentage of neurosurgical program directors in Canada believe that the management of spinal disease, including both intradural procedures and instrumentation, is and should remain an integral part of general neurosurgical training. A consensus statement regarding the requirements of neurosurgical training in spinal disorders is the expressed desire of almost all program directors. A proposed direction and resolution is discussed.

Original Article
Copyright © The Canadian Journal of Neurological 2004


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