As the first awardee of the International Observership Program, I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in the brain tumor program at the University of Miami, directed by Ricardo Komotar, MD, FAANS, and Michael Ivan, MD. The observership, sponsored by the AANS/CNS Tumor Section, is an excellent learning experience for young neurosurgeons with a particular interest in neurosurgical oncology.
The experience was highly productive, not only in the number of cases that I observed (around 250 brain tumors, from acoustic neuromas to awake craniotomies for gliomas), but I also participated in many academic and research activities with excellent neurosurgeons and scientists. I found exceptional mentorship for my research project, which focuses on brain tumor metabolism and the effects of nutritional interventions in high-grade gliomas.
Finally, throughout this program, I have learned not only about neurosurgery, but also about teamwork, commitment, professionalism and leadership. I think that transmitting those values is a critical part of education and mentorship in neurosurgery.
I am deeply grateful to the AANS/CNS Tumor Section, The University of Miami and the Argentinian Association of Neurosurgery for this international program. As Dr. Cushing once said, “Nothing great or new can be done without enthusiasm.” I can honestly say that I expected to learn about neurosurgical oncology, but I left with deep enthusiasm to learn even more.