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New Certification Means Higher Standards for Neuroendovascular Surgeons


Drs. Philip Meyers and Sean Lavine

It takes a lot of education and training to make a neurosurgeon. And after that, it takes a lot more education and training to keep standards high and ensure excellence in patient care. The neurosurgeons here at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have an ongoing commitment to excellent education and keeping the bar high for standards of neurological care.

This is why Drs. Sean Lavine and Philip Meyers were selected to be among the first group of doctors in the nation to be certified in the subspecialty Neuroendovascular Surgery by The Society of Neurological Surgeons. Of course, Drs. Lavine and Meyers are already neuroendovascular surgeons. So what does it mean to be certified?

Once doctors earn their medical degree they can become “board certified” in their area of practice. Certification can happen in specialties, such as Neurosurgery, and subspecialties, such as Neuroendovascular Surgery.

You can think of this as similar to the way teachers are certified. A teacher might earn a degree in general education, but then has to be certified to teach particular subjects or grades. To be certified a teacher has to have her work in the classroom evaluated and pass qualifying exams. From there a teacher can choose to do additional work and testing to get additional certification in special fields such as reading education.

Doctors are certified by official certification boards. To certify a doctor in a specialty or subspecialty, these boards:

  • Review the doctor’s education.
  • Review the doctor’s work.
  • Require that the doctor pass a rigorous exam for each certification sought.

Neuroendovascular Surgery is a subspecialty of Neurological Surgery,
Neuroradiology and Neurology. A minimally-invasive form of surgery, it uses imaging methods to guide treatment of diseases in the central nervous system.

While working inside the body, these physicians can monitor the progress of their procedures from the outside without a standard incision. Neuroendovascular surgery is currently practiced by neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, and neurologists who share a special interest in vascular diseases of the nervous system.

Now, for the first time, The Society of Neurological Surgeons has created a certification program for this subspecialty, with paths to certification for neurosurgeons, radiologists and neurologists. Congratulations to Dr. Lavine and Dr. Meyers, as well as all the graduates of the neuroendovascular certification program!

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

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

patient journey

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