National Perspectives on the Training of Neurosurgery Residents in Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Alireza Mansouri, Christopher D. Witiw, Jetan H. Badhiwala, Farshad Nassiri, Patrick J. McDonald, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Gelareh Zadeh, Douglas Kondziolka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: 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 Methods: 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 Results: 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 Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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