A letter from Peter Black, President of the WFNS
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the website of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies – www.wfns.org. We are now a family of 114 member societies around the world; the “Executive Committee” tab on this website has the list of members. We are dedicated to increasing collegiality among neurosurgeons everywhere, educating neurosurgeons of all countries and trying to address the social inequities presently found in our specialty, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Central America. Our complete mission statement can be found under the tab “Mission Statement”.
Our leadership team for the next four years is displayed under the tab “Administrative Council” ; it includes especially Hildo Azevedo, our Secretary from Brazil; Miguel Arraez, our Treasurer from Spain; and Takeshi Kawase, our First Vice-President from Japan.
We carry out our mission in several ways:
1) We hold a World Congress of Neurosurgery every four years. The last one, in Boston in September 2009, was the largest Neurosurgical meeting in history and a wonderful scientific and social event. As a family of neurosurgeons, we listened to the Boston Pops Orchestra, visited the Kennedy Library, saw Boston, and listened to and learned from more than 200 speakers from 80 countries. Dr. Jacques Brotchi, our WFNS President, Dr. Roberto Heros, the Congress President, and Dr. Jacques Morcos, the Chairman of the Scientific Program, were particularly responsible for making this Congress such a success.
We expect the next World Congress will be even better. It will be held in Seoul, Korea from Sept 8 to 13, 2013. Dr. Hee-Won Jung, the President of that Congress, has selected a spectacular team whose details can also be found on this website.
2) Through our Education Committee, we give general neurosurgery education courses around the world in developing countries; organized by Dr. Atos de Souza from Brazil for the past four years, these courses are living testimony to our commitment to education in developing countries. Members pay their own way to the country and spend two days discussing neurosurgery. The list of the 40 sites for the last four years is under the Education Committee tab. For the next four years Professor Yoko Kato, the first lady professor in neurosurgery in Japan, will chair this Committee. We are already going to 10 different sites in 2010.
3) We have a brand new journal called “World Neurosurgery” which will bring together the science and social lives of neurosurgeons worldwide. Edited by Mike Apuzzo, the previous editor of Neurosurgery, it is an exciting new venture for the WFNS and publishing will begin in January 2010. You can learn more at
4) We have the web site you are visiting now which contains our history, our mission, and our future. Masterfully supervised by Dr. Gail Rosseau, a neurosurgeon heading a group in Chicago, it contains a world calendar of neurosurgical events, the documents that define us, committee reports, a picture album, and a lot more. It will soon have a worldwide list of neurosurgeons and on-line self-learning modules. Stay tuned!
5) We have scientific committees in all the specialties of neurosurgery which are involved in developing continuing education programs, as well as giving postgraduate courses themselves. They and their chairs are listed under “committees”—if you are interested in serving on one, please notify the committee chair or me.
6) We have a particular interest in young neurosurgeons and in women in neurosurgery. Our Young Neurosurgeons Forum has been very active under Dr. Rosseau and will now be chaired by Dr. Raji Mahmoud from Nigeria. The Committee on Women in Neurosurgery (WINS) includes women at all stages of neurosurgery training around the world. Professor Yoko Kato has chaired this Committee in the past and it is now chaired by Dr. Ling Feng from Beijing, China.
7) Through our WFNS Foundation, we provide education and equipment to neurosurgeons in developing countries. Dr. Armando Basso, the President of our Foundation, has helped to develop on-site training centers for African neurosurgeons in Rabat, Morocco and Recife, Brazil; we also give postgraduate training for 4 months in centers around the world. If you are interested in what these centers do and how to apply for these fellowships, please see the fellowship section of the web site.
The instruments we provide include basic spine and cranial instrument sets from Aesculap, a high-speed drill from Aesculap, operating microscopes from Zeiss, endoscopy equipment from Storz, and shunts from Surgiware. All of these companies have partnered with us to provide this equipment for neurosurgeons in developing countries.
The website you are now reading also contains the information for applying for such instruments.
8) We have a number of other activities. During his term of office as President, Professor Jacques Brotchi oversaw the creation of an important code of ethics for neurosurgery with Dr. Felix Umansky’s help from Jerusalem. We are now working towards having a textbook of basic neurosurgery and we hope to eventually have self-learning modules on the web. We hope to increase our work especially with developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Central America. We are planning to develop a Partnership in Neurosurgery program to link up developing centers with those already well developed.
Our Central Office is in Nyon, Switzerland, just outside Geneva, where Mrs. Jan Joseph, who has been with the WFNS for more than 20 years, and her staff provide ongoing and careful attention to our daily work. For administrative questions, Mrs. Joseph can be reached at (email@example.com).
Again, welcome to our site. We hope you will find all the information you may need there about “who we are” and “what we do”. If you have any questions about the web, please contact Gail Rosseau (firstname.lastname@example.org) . If you have questions about the WFNS, please feel free to contact Dr. Azevedo (email@example.com) or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Peter Black President, WFNS Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School