World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Medal of Honor
Dr. Dempsey receives the highest honor given in world neurosurgery. On March 14, 2022, Dr. Robert J. Dempsey, who is the Javid Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Wisconsin – Madison received the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Medal of Honor. This award was given to Dr. Dempsey in commemoration of his lifelong contributions to changing the field of neurosurgery worldwide. It commemorates his contributions to surgical care and particularly mentions his contributions to research, teaching and humanitarian work with impact worldwide. This award, given by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, is their highest honor.
The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) was founded in 1955 in Switzerland and is composed of 130-member societies representing five continental associations and the majority of all neurosurgeons worldwide. It has consultative status with the United Nations and exists to promote global improvement of neurosurgical care, promoting clinical care, training and research to benefit patients worldwide.
The WFNS Medal of Honor is determined by worldwide nominations from the continental societies and was presented to Dr. Dempsey by the president of the WFNS, Dr. Nelson Oyesiku.
Dr. Dempsey was quoted during the introduction of the award, “that all work comes from patient care and the desire to make lives better for those we treat. From that comes the desire to do research to find better treatments and ways to deliver it. This becomes teaching to develop the next generation of surgeons and global neurosurgery to make certain that care is equitable throughout the world.”
“My work impacts thousands, but the people we train may impact countless people worldwide, including those that are not even born yet, but will have needs. A teacher lives on through their students. A teacher’s work, if good, impacts far more than anyone can alone.”