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Columbia Med Students Present Neurosurgery Research at National Meeting

Medical Students @ 2013 AANS Scientific Meeting
Columbia Medical students at the 2013 AANS Scientific Meeting

The Department of Neurosurgery here at Columbia University Medical Center has made it clear that medical school is not too early to start pursuing an interest in neurosurgery. Students from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons who show an interest are invited right into the lab, where they are mentored and encouraged to pursue their own research.

A number of these students had the opportunity to present their work at the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) held in New Orleans recently.

Michael McDowell served as an AANS Marshal at the meeting. “This is a program for residents and medical students that allows them to attend morning and afternoon courses for free in exchange for offering assistance to speakers and attendees,” he said. Michael also attended a Young Neurosurgeon seminar and gave two research poster presentations.

The first was titled, Occlusion of Posterior Circulation Vessels During Aneurysmal Surgery and the Risk of Lateral Medullary Syndrome, which he said,”examined the relative risks of aneurysm surgery involving the posterior circulation (one of Dr. Robert Solomon’s specialties).” This paper was authored by: Michael McDowell; Hani Malone, MDPhilip Meyers, MDSean Lavine, MDE. Sander Connolly, MD; and Robert Solomon, MD.

Medical Student Rachel Bruce & her dad neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Bruce
Rachel Bruce & her dad, neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Bruce

Michael’s second poster presentation was titled, Admission Timing and Outcome of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Patients at a Specialized Stroke Center. “This research,” he said, “showed evidence that highly specialized centers such as Columbia and our Neuro ICU are capable of providing equivalent care regardless of when a patient is admitted (such as on the weekend, at night, etc).” This paper was authored by: Michael McDowell; Christopher Kellner, MD; Michael Cloney; Eric Sussman; Hector Lantigua, MD; Rachel Bruce; Samuel Bruce; Simon Heuts; Jan Claassen, MD; Stephan Mayer, MD; and  E. Sander Connolly, MD.

Rachel Bruce, Clinical Coordinator of the Bartoli Brain Tumor Lab and daughter of Dr. Jeffrey Bruce from the Brain Tumor Center, also gave a poster presentation of her research at the meeting. This research was titled, Futility in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit, and was authored by: Rachel Bruce; Amanda M. Carpenter BA; Kerry A. Vaughn; Samuel S. Bruce, MA; Eric S. Sussman, BS; Christopher P. Kellner, MD; Michael M. McDowell, BS; Simon G. Heuts, BS; and E. Sander Connolly, Jr., MD.

Rachel said, “It is a very special feeling not only to know that my work is being seen by my peers, mentors, senior neurosurgeons, and other researchers at the AANS conference, but also to be able to share the experience in New Orleans with my dad.”

Andrew Chan presented research that he worked on with Dr. Guy McKhann from the Center for Movement Disorders titled, Resting State Functional Connectivity Analysis Can Distinguish Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) From Parkinson’s Disease. This research was authored by: Blake Eaton Samuel Taylor; Robert McGovern, MD; Chuck Mikell, MD; Andrew Chan, BS; Teresa Wojtasiewicz, BS; and Guy McKhann II, MD.

Medical student Andrew Chan with neurosurgeon Dr. Guy McKhann
Medical student Andrew Chan with neurosurgeon Dr. Guy McKhann

Michael, Rachel and Andrew also got to join other medical students, residents, neurosurgeons and alumni at the annual AANS Columbia mixer, where they enjoyed good food, fun, and lots of heady conversation.

To learn more about medical student involvement in the Department of Neurosurgery read our previous blogs:

patient journey

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