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Certified Fellowship Program Means Higher Standards and Better Training for Neuroendovascular Surgeons

Not long ago we brought you the news that Columbia neurosurgeons Dr. Sean Lavine and Dr. Philip Meyers were among the first in the nation to be certified in Neuroendovascular Surgery by the Society of Neurological Surgeons’ Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training (CAST).

Now, Columbia University Medical Center is thrilled to announce that our Neuroendovascular Fellowship Program is also CAST certified by the Society of Neurological Surgeons.

This means that not only do we have board-certified neuroendovascular surgeons, but we are also one of the first neurosurgery departments to be qualified to train neuroendovascular surgeons to certification standards.

Fellowships are an additional year or two of training and education that a doctor can opt to take after completing medical school and a residency program. A residency in neurosurgery often takes seven or eight years to complete, so a fellowship after residency means neuroendovascular surgeons are in training for a very long time.

You may wonder why, after medical school and an eight-year residency, doctors would choose to go even further in their training. Fellowships allow neurosurgeons to delve more deeply into a subspecialty and gain even greater experience than they are able to accomplish in residency alone.

Recently Dr. Robert A. Solomon, head of the Neurosurgery Department, took an in-depth look at the state of neurosurgical education and confirmed that the extra time spent in a fellowship program results in better trained and better educated neurosurgeons overall. (You can read an abstract of Dr. Solomon’s paper here.)

Neuroendovascular surgery is a fairly new subspecialty that combines elements of neurological surgery, neuroradiology and neurology. Standards for training were originally developed and adopted by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 2008.

However, very few training programs ever requested certification. Based on updated criteria published in 2017, Dr. Lavine and Dr. Meyers are among the first educators to become certified.

A minimally invasive form of surgery, neuroendovascular surgery uses imaging methods to guide treatments in the central nervous system without the need for a standard operating incision.

In order to have our Neuroendovascular Fellowship Program CAST certified, CUMC had to meet a set of standards for operating facilities and had to be performing at least 250 neuroendovascular procedures a year. Dr. Meyers helped write the accreditation standards, which were published in the July issue of Stroke.

Congratulations to CUMC on having a fully CAST-certified Neuroendovascular Fellowship Program!

Learn more about Dr. Lavine at his bio page here.
Learn more about Dr. Meyers at his bio page here.

“Training Standards in Neuroendovascular Surgery: Program Accreditation and Practitioner Certification” by Arthur L. Day, MD; Adnan H. Siddiqui, MD, PhD; Philip M. Meyers, MD; Tudor G. Jovin, MD; Colin P. Derdeyn, MD; Brian L. Hoh, MD; Howard Riina, MD; Italo Linfante, MD; Osama Zaidat, MD; Aquilla Turk, DO; Jay U. Howington, MD; J. Mocco, MD, MS; Andrew J. Ringer, MD; Erol Veznedaroglu, MD; Alexander A. Khalessi, MD, MS; Elad I. Levy, MD, MBA; Henry Woo, MD; Robert Harbaugh, MD; Steven Giannotta, MD


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