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Direct enhancement of readiness for wartime critical specialties by civilian-military partnerships for neurosurgical care: residency training and beyond

David H. Shin, Kristopher G. Hooten, Brian D. Sindelar, Brian M. Corliss, William R. Y. Carlton Jr., Christopher P. Carroll, Jeffrey M. Tomlin, and W. Christopher Fox

Military neurosurgery has played an integral role in the development and innovation of neurosurgery and neurocritical care in treating battlefield injuries. It is of paramount importance to continue to train and prepare the next generation of military neurosurgeons. For the Army, this is currently primarily achieved through the military neurosurgery residency at the National Capital Consortium and through full-time out-service positions at the Veterans Affairs–Department of Defense partnerships with the University of Florida, the University of Texas–San Antonio, and Baylor University. The authors describe the application process for military neurosurgery residency and highlight the training imparted to residents in a busy academic and level I trauma center at the University of Florida, with a focus on how case variety and volume at this particular civilian-partnered institution produces neurosurgeons who are prepared for the complexities of the battlefield. Further emphasis is also placed on collaboration for research as well as continuing education to maintain the skills of nondeployed neurosurgeons. With ongoing uncertainty regarding future conflict, it is critical to preserve and expand these civilian-military partnerships to maintain a standard level of readiness in order to face the unknown with the confidence befitting a military neurosurgeon.