Despite the critical role played by neurosurgeons in performing radiosurgery, neurosurgery residents in Canada have limited exposure to radiosurgery during their training. A survey of neurosurgery residents and faculty along with radiation oncology faculty was conducted to analyze perspectives regarding incorporating formal radiosurgery training into the neurosurgery residency curriculum
An online survey platform was employed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize center and respondent characteristics. Categorical variables were compared using odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals. The chi-squared test was utilized to assess statistical significance. A value of p<0.05 was considered significant
The response rate was 31% (119/381); 87% (102/119) of respondents were from the neurosurgical specialty and 13% (17/119) from radiation oncology. Some 46% of residents (18/40) were “very uncomfortable” with radiosurgery techniques, and 57% of faculty (42/73) believed that dedicated radiosurgery training would be beneficial though impractical. No respondents felt that “no training” would be beneficial. A total of 46% of residents (19/41) felt that this training would be beneficial and that time should be taken away from other rotations, if needed, while 58% of faculty (42/73) and 75% (28/41) of residents believed that either 1 or 1-3 months of time dedicated to training in radiosurgery would suffice
Canadian neurosurgeons are actively involved in radiosurgery. Despite residents anticipating a greater role for radiosurgery in their future, they are uncomfortable with the practice. With the indications for radiosurgery expanding, this training gap can have serious adverse consequences for patients. Considerations regarding the incorporation and optimal duration of dedicated radiosurgery training into the Canadian neurosurgery residency curriculum are necessary.