Message from the President
OUR AIM AND MISSION
Serving Japanese citizens by protecting their lives and health
as general neurologists with a surgeon’s eyes and skills
Japan Neurosurgical Society, GIA (General Incorporated Association)
Susumu Miyamoto, Executive president
About us: In Japan, neurosurgery is a basic medical field that contributes to medical care and science. Each medical university has a department of neurosurgery; furthermore, it is an essential department in local hospitals, too. Neurosurgeons serve in general hospitals and clinics, thus contributing to front-line local medical services. Our activities are not limited to advanced surgeries of the nervous system. Neurosurgeons are also involved in general emergency medicine; diagnostic imaging with MRI, CT, and angiography; non-surgical treatments for various neurological diseases; medical check-ups of the brain; and preoperative/postoperative rehabilitation; and long-term follow-up management.
Furthermore, neurosurgeons are involved in managing various diseases of the nervous system, such as stroke, which is also known as our national disease; traumatic brain/spinal injury; brain tumors; functional disorders, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, trigeminal neuralgia, and hemifacial spasm; some pediatric congenital anomalies; spine and spinal cord diseases; and peripheral neuropathies. As a basic medical care field, neurosurgery covers all aspects of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and patient care. Neurosurgery offers comprehensive medical services for the treatment of brain and spinal cord disorders in both acute and chronic phases. In other words, neurosurgeons in Japan are general neurologists with a surgeon’s eyes and skills.
History of the Japan Neurosurgical Society: The Japan Neurosurgical Society was founded as the Japanese Neurological Study Group in 1948 and was renamed as the Japan Brain-Neurosurgical Society (in Japanese: Nihon No・Shinkei Geka Gakkai) in 1952. In 1965, the term “Neurosurgery” was officially added to Article 70 of the Medical Service Act as a clinical department. The name was changed to the Japan Neurosurgical Society, and its Japanese term was also changed to “Nihon No Shinkei Geka Gakkai” by deleting the “・” in accordance with legal terminology. In 2003, our society was transformed from a volunteer association into an incorporated association and then into a general incorporated association in 2012 during the reforming process of the public interest corporation system. Currently, the number of members exceeds 10,000.
Board certification of neurosurgeons: The Japan Neurosurgical Society established the board certification system in 1966, following the system in Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists, in order to guarantee the quality of neurosurgeons. Since then, we have provided more than 8,000 board-certified neurosurgeons. We deemed this endeavor fundamental from an early stage and in 1969 adopted a two-step certification exam consisting of written and oral tests. Since 2011, our society has been implementing a high-quality board certification system with a guarantee of fairness and transparency through training facility certification, a credit system for continuing education, and a unified training program. Our system started prior to the national board certification system authorized by the Japanese Medical Specialty Board and has achieved high appreciation and recognition. Currently, one or more training programs have been established in each prefecture for nationwide training of board-certified neurosurgeons. Neurosurgeons certified by our society have comprehensive and specialized knowledge and skills in the prevention, diagnosis, emergency treatment, surgical and non-surgical treatment, and rehabilitation for the various diseases of the nervous system named above and are capable of appropriate decision-making with respect to patient transfer to other advanced medical institutions if necessary.
Evolution of the Japan Neurosurgical Society over time: In 1973, the Fifth World Congress of Neurosurgery was held in Tokyo under the leadership of Professor Keiji Sano (Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tokyo), the President at the time. Although until then the field of neurosurgery in Japan was not as developed as in other countries, this provided the opportunity for Japan to catch up with Western countries. Our members’ clinical and academic activities are currently at the highest level worldwide, making Japan one of the global leaders in neurosurgery. Recently, the healthcare environment has changed greatly with a declining population due to a super-aging society, various technical innovations, and work-style reforms. While the government has sought ways to correct regional differences in medical resources, the Japan Neurosurgical Society has established a committee to provide uniform neurosurgical practices throughout Japan. Based on the number of neurosurgeons and their age distribution, plans are being discussed to provide essential neurosurgical care in secondary medical care blocs. We are now in an era in which a higher level of medical safety and ethics is required more than ever before.
With a compelling philosophy and intense passion, we neurosurgeons are making efforts in neurosurgical practice day and night under the creeds of “Evolving with the time” and “Protecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.” Our society will support neurosurgeons in Japan in various aspects, including medical practice, research, and education, and contribute to the development of medical science and practice in our country. We greatly appreciate the understanding and support of the people of Japan.