Year after year, neurosurgeons from Columbia University Irving Medical Center and other institutions attend the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) conference for two main reasons: to keep up to date with the latest advances in neurosurgery, and to give back to the field.
Dr. Jeffrey Bruce and Dr. Donald Quest are especially keen to give back. Throughout their careers, these neurosurgeons have made strong mentorship a guiding principle. For them, this year’s AANS conference theme, “The Privilege of Service,” is particularly fitting.
Once again, Dr. Bruce is serving the next generation of neurosurgeons—while breakfast is being served. His two-hour morning seminar, “ABNS Board Preparation: What You Must Know,” helps young neurosurgeons prepare for the Board Exam, an incredibly demanding test administered by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS). Young neurosurgeons pass the exam to become “board-certified” by the ABNS.
Dr. Bruce is well aware of what these young neurosurgeons need to know, because he served on the ABNS for 6 years. He takes very seriously the task of preparing up-and-coming neurosurgeons to the very highest standards. (Learn more about Dr. Bruce and the 75th anniversary of the ABNS here.)
Dr. Donald Quest is also focused on mentoring and challenging young medical students and neurosurgeons. In fact, last year a neurosurgery organization called the Society of Neurological Surgeons awarded him their first-ever Medical Student Teaching Award.The award noted that “No contemporary neurosurgeon has influenced so many people to choose a career in neurosurgery.” (Read that story here.) The AANS also honors Dr. Quest’s commitment to mentorship. Each year the AANS grants four “Donald O. Quest Awards” to medical students and neurosurgical residents or fellows. The awards are given during the AANS Young Neurosurgeon Research Forum.
Both Dr. Bruce and Dr. Quest enjoy the “Privilege of Service” and agree on the absolute importance of strong mentorship. And their convictions have real-world benefits: Columbia’s medical school graduates more academic neurosurgeons than any other medical school in the United States—each new class inspired by strong mentors and ready to carry on the privilege of service.
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