Neurosurgical Training in Asia

Dear Colleagues,

It is an honor and a privilege to reach neurosurgeons around the world through this issue of the WFNS Newsletter. It brings back so many old memories in my mind, when one day I received an invitation to pen a newsletter. I can see that my life was divided in different periods. In my thirties, I was working very hard, doing surgeries, and I wanted to present cases at conferences and publish papers. During my forties, I started to think about the outcome of my surgeries. In my fifties, I started to bring excellence in the treatment of my patients and the surgical outcomes, sheerness in total tumor removal and heroic skull base surgeries. In my sixties, I focused more on the happiness of the patient and their families and I restricted myself from carrying out some of the procedures. The patient has a family who is also very disturbed, and the family should be handled with as much care as the patient.

I still remember the many surprises I received while visiting several Asian countries in 1977: a bird nest in the operating room, four patients on a bed (two over and two under the bed), with many patients waiting for admission on the lawns. I remember the many young doctors treating these patients who tried their best but did not have any international exposure and had insufficient training. We organized the first Asian Conference of Neurological Surgeons in 1979, and invited 100 young neurosurgeons. Thanks to several business companies, we were able to cover the expense of travel and accommodation.

I realized we have a very important responsibility on our shoulders, especially for the Asian neurosurgeons. We must give them the best possible training and support to improve the quality of their patient outcomes. With this in mind, the Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons was established in the early 1990s to focus on many Asian countries, to bring all neurosurgical services up to par, to help surgeons in these countries attend international meetings, and to train them to international standards.

We went through various hardships in our journey to carry it forward, especially financially - but if your intentions are clear and strong, there is always a way out. I always felt it as my duty - I had to do it. Again, there was a huge responsibility to train young neurosurgeons. I have been involved in the training of more than 275 young neurosurgeons who showed their faith in us. We had regular exchange programmes for young neurosurgeons and nurses to keep them updated. We also started the Asian Journal of Neurosurgery to help the young Asian neurosurgeons to provide a fundamental boost to their academic endeavour.

I have taken many positions in WFNS trying to forge forward the activities related to education of young neurosurgeons. These activities not only spread knowledge but also help popularize and establish neurosurgical faculties in the under-developed section of the world.

I would advise the younger neurosurgeons to study and work hard and always remember that the input you give is directly related to the output, which is reflected in your patient`s result. We should always keep in mind that we work for the patients who are very weak and our task is to save and improve the quality of their lives. We should help sick and poor on whatever level we are standing, whether it be the national or the international level. It also leads to international peace. Peace alone cannot be obtained through bombs, or by making sky-high buildings or seven star hotels - but by helping the poor and needy, be they anywhere. Hence, neurosurgeons should help and care for these needy patients.

It is a very small contribution on our part - in establishing global peace.

I would like to thank once again for this opportunity, and I believe we will continue our focused joint effort to materialize the vision of the WFNS to deliver the benefits of neurosurgery to the population at large.


With many publications

With young neurosurgeons from India
(L to R- Dr. Brajesh, Dr. Sai, Dr. Ahmed )

1 st ACNS at Nagoya in 1993


Nurses Exchange programme


The 3 rd India Japan Neurosurgery Conference

Academia Eurasiana Neurochirurgica

At one of the Grand rounds.

At one of the ACNS meetings.

At one of the initial ACNS meetings.

8 th ACNS in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

Professor Tetsuo Kanno

Honorary President

June 2023