Characteristics of Global Neurosurgery Sessions: A Retrospective Analysis of Major International Neurosurgical Conferences

Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa)


Background: The global burden of neurosurgical disease is substantial, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Medical conferences are important in connecting those from LMICs to those from high-income countries for support and serve as an educational and networking tool. In this study, we sought to quantitatively assess the incorporation of global neurosurgery topics in international conferences related to the neurosurgical specialty.

Methods: A database of major international neurosurgical conferences, from the conference of a group of 9 major neurosurgical societies, that had global neurosurgery featured from 2015 to 2020 was created. We then did a retrospective analysis to study the characteristics of these conferences ranging from geographic location to number to different components of the conferences.

Results: There was an increase in the number of conferences with global neurosurgery since 2015. This, in addition to the occurrence of 3 wholly global neurosurgery-related conferences in recent years, is promising and suggests growth in the field. However, 52.6% of conferences took place in North American or European countries, the majority of which were high-income countries. Furthermore, a majority of the presence of global neurosurgery was in the form of individual talks (54.5%) as opposed to plenaries or sessions.

Conclusions: The preponderance of conferences in North America and Europe can pose barriers for those from LMICs including travel time, expenses, and visa problems. As global neurosurgery becomes an increasing part of the global health movement, we hope that these barriers are addressed. Conferences may become an even stronger tool to promote equity in neurosurgical education and practice.


World Neurosurgery