Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship Receives International Accreditation

The Department of Anesthesiology’s Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship has received international accreditation, becoming only the 20th such program worldwide to receive that distinction from the International Council on Perioperative Neuroscience Training (ICPNT).

The strength of the department’s application was the breadth and dedication of the faculty in the Division of Neuroanesthesiology as well as the strength of the neurosurgery program at UF, said Steven Robicsek, MD, PhD, who directs the Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship.

Steven Robiscek, MD, PhD

“Accreditation demonstrates that the Division of Neuroanesthesiology can provide people who are in training with all of the necessary education to become leaders in the subspecialty of  neurosurgical anesthesiology,” said Dr. Robicsek, Professor of Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery, and Neuroscience.

The fellowship received full approval for a 5-year accreditation, which is the highest category awarded by the ICPNT and indicates excellence in all areas of the accreditation. Fellowships can also be approved for 1 or 3 years if the ICPNT notes deficiencies.

Accreditation with the ICPNT is voluntary and serves as an important reflection of a program’s professional quality. It provides documentation that a neuroanesthesiology fellowship program meets the quality standards set by the ICPNT, which is sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC). Accreditation also indicates that a program is striving to enhance the quality of its education and training on an ongoing basis.

“This is a first step toward standardizing programs that meet certain criteria,” Dr. Robicsek said. “We are one of the premier institutions to train comprehensively trained neuroanesthesiologists. We excel in every category of training and are unique, as anesthesiologists including the supervision of  intraoperative neuromonitoring.”

The neuroanesthesiology fellowship is a minimum of one year and has a neurocritical care component. It can be combined with a neurocritical care fellowship as well. Currently, one fellow is accepted per academic year, and the division hopes to increase that number.

Neuroanesthesiology team
Photo taken prior to national guidelines of face coverings and social distancing.

The Division of Neuroanesthesiology has 10 faculty members and provides care for patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures as well as pediatric and adult orthopedic spine cases. The division includes subspecialty training and certification in neuroanesthesiology, pediatrics, critical care and neuromonitoring. Members of the division provide expert subspecialty anesthetic management of adult and pediatric patients undergoing procedures for a range of complex conditions, including brain tumors, epilepsy, herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, stroke treatment, and traumatic brain injury with over 250 published refereed manuscripts and textbook chapters contributed.

“The high volume and complexity of surgical procedures of both neurosurgical as well as adult and pediatric orthopedic spine cases at UF Health contributes to the excellent opportunities for neuroanesthesiology trainees and was a key factor in the accreditation.  We are very proud to be granted this distinction”, Dr. Robicsek said.

The fellowship offers a mandatory teaching assignment in neuroanatomy in which fellows teach medical students for 6 weeks, the ICPNT noted. Fellows also have the opportunity to receive training in intraoperative monitoring, which leads to certification in neuromonitoring.

The Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship joins four other ACGME-accredited fellowships offered by the Department of Anesthesiology: Critical Care Medicine, Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, and Pediatric Anesthesia. The Acute Pain Medicine and Combined Adult Cardiothoracic and Critical Care Medicine Program are non-accredited programs.