The WFNS Young Neurosurgeons Survey (Part I): Demographics, Resources and Education

WFNS Young Neurosurgeons Committee




Providing a comprehensive and effective neurosurgical service requires adequate numbers of well-trained, resourced and motivated neurosurgeons. The survey aims to better understand the: i) demographics of young neurosurgeons worldwide; ii) challenges in training and resources they face; iii) perceived barriers; and iv) needs for development.


This was a cross-sectional study where a widely disseminated online survey (April 2018 – November 2019) was utilised to procure a non-probabilistic sample from current neurosurgical trainees and those within 10 years of training. Data were grouped by World Bank income classifications and analysed using Chi-square tests due to its categorical nature.


There were 1,294 respondents, with 953 completed responses included in the analysis. 45.2% respondents were from high income countries (HICs), 23.2% upper-middle income countries (UMICs), 26.8% lower-middle income countries (LMICs) and 4.1% from low-income countries (LICs). Most (79.8 %) of respondents were male, a figure more pronounced in lower income groups. Neuro-oncology was the most popular in HICs and spinal surgery in all other groups. While access to CT scanning was near universal (98.64%), MRI access fell to 66.67% in LICs, compared to 98.61% in HICs. Similar patterns were noted with access to operating microscopes, image guidance systems, and high-speed drills. 71.4% of respondents had dedicated time for neurosurgical education.


This data confirms and quantifies disparities in the equipment and training opportunities between young neurosurgeons practicing in different income groups. We hope this will act as a guide to further understand these differences and target resources to remedy them.