Message from the President
Japan Neurosurgical Society, GIA (General Incorporated Association)
Teiji Tominaga, President
History of Neurosurgery: The Japan Neurosurgical Society began as the Japanese Neurological Study Group in 1948, and the name was changed to the Japan Brain-Neurosurgical Society (in Japanese: Nihon No・Shinkei Geka Gakkai) in 1952. Thereafter, “neurosurgery” was officially added to Article 70 of the Medical Service Act at that time as the name of a clinical department in 1965. The name of our society has been changed to the Japan Neurosurgical Society in accordance with the deletion of “・” from the Japanese name of a clinical department in the act due to a legal terminological reason. In 2003, our society was changed from the former volunteer association into an incorporated association and then into a general incorporated association in 2012 in line with the movement toward reformation of the public interest corporation system. The current number of members exceeds 10,000.
What is neurosurgery?: Neurosurgery belongs to the basic medical care fields and is one of the root departments that support medical care and medical science in Japan. Departments of neurosurgery have been established in all medical universities nationwide and is an essential department in local base hospitals as well. Neurosurgeons also work in general hospitals and clinics to contribute to local medical services on the frontline. The activities of neurosurgeons are not limited to advanced surgeries of the nervous system but also include a great variety of activities, such as general emergency treatments; diagnostic imaging with MRI, CT, and angiography; non-surgical treatments for various neurological diseases; medical checkups of the brain; preoperative/postoperative management; rehabilitation; and long-term prognostic management. Therefore, it could be said that neurosurgery is a diagnosis and treatment department that comprehensively provides prevention, acute phase treatment and chronic phase treatment of diseases of the brain and spinal cord and neurosurgeons are neurological generalists with surgeon’s eyes and skills.
Neurosurgical specialist: The Japan Neurosurgical Society established the specialist system in 1966 following the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists in order to guarantee the quality of neurosurgeons and has put more than about 7,700 neurosurgical specialists out into the world since then. Our society positioned certification of specialists as our society’s root activity from early on and adopted a two-step examination consisting of written and oral examinations in 1969. Our society has been constructing high quality specialist systems guaranteeing fairness and transparency through certification of training facilities and adaptation of the credit system for life-long education followed by switching to the training program system in 2011. These systems adopted in advance the current specialist system certified by the Japanese Medical Specialty Board, resulting in high evaluations. At present, each prefecture has one or more training programs, and specialists are being fostered nationwide. Neurosurgery covers emergency diseases of stroke and neurological trauma; brain tumors; functional diseases of epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, trigeminal neuralgia, and facial myokymia; pediatric diseases; and myelic/spinal/peripheral diseases. A neurosurgical specialist has comprehensive and specialized knowledge and medical care skills in the prevention, diagnosis, emergency treatment, surgical and non-surgical treatment, and rehabilitation of the above listed diseases and is capable of making an appropriate decision to transfer a patient to another specialist as necessary.
Neurosurgery going with the times: In 1973, the fifth Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting was held in Tokyo under the leadership of the president (at that time) Professor Keiji Sano, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tokyo. At that time, Japanese neurosurgery that had been on the road to progress started to catch up to Western countries. At the present time, the clinical and scientific activities of our members are at the world’s top level, and Japan is in the position to lead neurosurgery in the world. Recently, the environment surrounding medical care is changing greatly with population shrinkage derived from a super-aging society, various technical innovations, and reform of working practices. Nowadays, medical safety and medical ethics are required to be at higher levels than ever before. We neurosurgeons are making efforts in neurosurgical practices day and night under the creed “Going with the times and protecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerves” with high philosophy and zeal. Our society will support such neurosurgeons in various aspects of medical practices, research, and education and contribute to the development of medical science and medical practices in Japan. We greatly appreciate the citizens’ understanding and support for our society.