In July 2010, the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) developed the international bootcamp model and learning curriculum to be adopted and used by organizations and learning institutions to support neurosurgical residents transitioning from medical school to mid-level residency. The humanitarian model provides a cost-effective and sustainable solution to educational needs and demonstrates to local neurosurgeons how they can take ownership of their educational processes. Educational materials include mini courses with lectures, case discussions, skill stations, simulators and models. In addition to learning opportunities, the bootcamp model also provides an opportunity for residents to meet other residents outside of their own programs and possibly from other countries. It also allows residents to be exposed to up-to-date techniques and equipment in neurosurgery.

Using the CNS model, FIENS participated in their first international bootcamp in Bolivia in 2015. Since 2015, FIENS, in partnership with Henry Ford Health and local physicians, societies and foundations, has completed boot camps in South Africa, Yangon (2), Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Nigeria, Singapore, Chile, Kenya and Vietnam.

2022 Vietnam Neurosurgery Bootcamp

FIENS was able to participate as a co-sponsor in the 2022 Vietnam Neurosurgery Bootcamp along with the Danang University Medical school and Henry Ford Health Team, with generous sponsorship from Medtronic and Storz.

Dr. Dempsey joined several FIENS members, including Dr. Jack Rock, who is the primary organizer of the bootcamp. The bootcamp served approximately 80 students, including faculty and residents and medical students and was supported by nine international faculty and approximately 20 Vietnamese faculty representing the major medical centers in Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. The support of the Danang Medical School and Dr. Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Ba was invaluable and an extremely high level bootcamp took place with discussions by international and local faculty and hands on experience in craniotomy, microsurgery, endoscopy, as well as standard positioning, ICP and lumbar puncture. It was particularly encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the Vietnamese medical specialists and their desire to continue such teaching well into the future. Dr. Dempsey and Dr. Rock were joined by FIENS treasurer Dr. Brandon Rocque and board member Richard Moser. This is the first bootcamp ever to be held in Vietnam, which could well become a site for regional educational activities.

Prior to the bootcamp, Dr. Brandon Rocque and Dr. Dempsey journeyed to Hanoi and worked at the National Cancer Hospital there with their neurosurgical team seeing patients and operating. We sincerely hope that as COVID-19 clears the world will begin to open up. Opportunities like this bootcamp to expand education to other regions of the world will become a major focus of FIENS.