Q What does a neuro surgeon do?
A A neuro surgeon provides the operative and non-operative management
(i.e., prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, critical care, and
rehabilitation) of disorders of the central, peripheral, and autonomic
nervous systems, including their supporting structures and vascular supply;
the evaluation and treatment of pathological processes which modify function
or activity of the nervous system; and the operative and non-operative
management of pain.
Q Is certification by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
equivalent to ABNS certification?
A There is no reciprocity between the ABNS and the Royal College,
and equivalency is difficult to equate; notwithstanding, many hospitals
accept Fellowships in neurosurgery from the RCS(C). Individuals who began
their neurosurgical residency training in Canada prior to July 16, 1997 and
achieved an FRCS(C) are eligible for ABNS certification; however, since that
date the Board has recognized only training done in programs accredited by
the ACGME, which operates only in the United States.
Q Am I eligible to take the ABNS Primary
A The Primary Examination given each March is open to residents
enrolled in ACGME accredited neurosurgical residency programs and to
individuals who have completed that training. It is not available to interns
or fellows. Applications are sent out each September.
Q Can International Medical School Graduates apply for ABNS
A ABNS certification does not depend on where an individual went
to medical school but on where his or her neurosurgical residency training
was done. Since July 16, 1997, the ABNS has recognized only training done in
ACGME accredited programs in the United States.
Q Do fellowships lengthen the five-year timeframe for certification?
A No, they eat into the time. An individual doing a one-year
fellowship after completing residency will then have four years to complete
the certification process, not five.
Q How old can practice data be?
A The oldest case cannot be more than two year old at the time of
review. Try to log practice data as you go, not retrospectively, and once it
is completed, submit it to the Board immediately.
Q Does an applicant submit the letters needs from program directors,
peers, and hospitals?
A No. The Board will write to the individuals listed on the
application, as well as to other Diplomates, so that all letters come
directly to the ABNS. It's a good idea, however, to alert people to the fact
that they will be receiving a request with the hope that they will respond
Q Can I apply for certification if I have an encumbrance on my medical
license or hospital privileges?
A Possibly since this would be considered on a individual basis
after the pertinent information has been gathered.
Q Does having an encumbrance placed on my medical license affect my
A Possibly. These matters are taken seriously by the ABNS and
decided on an individual basis after consideration of the pertinent
Q May I submit my application form before or after I submit my
A Although it is not a Rule, the Board prefers that both the
application with supporting documents and the practice data be submitted at
approximately the same time. Though the application may be submitted first,
the practice data will not be accepted until an application has been
Q Once my total application has been approved by the full Board, what
determines my placement in the oral examination schedule?
A Each examination is scheduled from the pool of candidates
approved by the Board at its meeting held in conjunction with the previous
examination. Examinees are selected from that pool based upon earliest
receipt of practice data. Remember that the data will not be accepted before
a completed application has been submitted to the Board office.
Q What is the stance of the ABNS on expert testimony?
A The ABNS non-binding Code of Ethics does not specifically cover
expert witness testimony. Interested persons might wish to e-mail the
American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the largest of the
neurosurgical organizations, at