Shaping Pediatric Neurosurgery
At the end of October, R. Michael Scott, MD, stepped down as Neurosurgeonin-Chief and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital Boston after 23 years. Though Dr. Scott will continue to see patients at Children’s for the foreseeable future, we would like to express our gratitude to him for his dedication to the hospital and our patients over the years.
Since his arrival in 1988, Dr. Scott has assembled what is now the largest team of board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons in the world. During his tenure, the department’s caseload has quadrupled. Among his many accomplishments was the establishment in 1991 of the Shillito Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship, which supports an outstanding young neurosurgeon every year as he or she pursues intensive, postgraduate clinical training. Fellows participate in important neurosurgical research projects and almost all have gone on to play major leadership roles in children1s hospitals nationwide. Dr. Scott also promoted subspecialization among his faculty and was the first pediatric neurosurgeon to be named to the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He was the Chairman of the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery during a ten-year period of its rapid growth and universal acceptance as the certifying body for pediatric neurosurgeons.
Under Dr. Scott’s direction, the Department of Neurosurgery has become a leader in surgical innovation, developing the pial synangiosis for moyamoya syndrome procedure, as well as nationally-recognized advances in tumor, spinal, vascular, craniofacial, endoscopic and epilepsy neurosurgery. Today the department boasts the first pediatric intraoperative 1.5 Tesla MRI suite (MR/OR), which allows MRI imaging before, during and after surgery. The department’s experience with this new modality has made them international leaders in this field.
Taking Dr. Scott’s place is an equally impressive neurosurgeon, Alan R. Cohen, MD, the recent chief of Pediatric Neurological Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland. Dr. Cohen is a leader in the field of minimally invasive neurosurgery and has directed the American Association of Neurological Surgeons’ AANS) national course on minimally invasive neurosurgery for the past 18 years. Dr. Cohen has had a national leadership role in the field of pediatric neurosurgery, serving as chair of the AANS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery and as a director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. In an effort to develop new instruments and safer operative approaches, Dr. Cohen will expand the department’s research capabilities by adding a new Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery Laboratory and Research Fellowship at Children’s.
Children’s would also like to welcome Shenandoah “Dody” Robinson, MD, to the department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Robinson is the recent surgical director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Center at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of epilepsy and spasticity. She is an NIH-funded researcher whose work has focused on methods for brain protection in newborns. With the additions of Drs. Cohen and Robinson, the department will offer unsurpassed specialty expertise to neurosurgical patients nationwide.