ICPNT Update

W. Andrew Kofke, MD, MBA, FNCS
Chair, ICPNT                           
University of Pennsylvania

Shobana Rajan, MD
Vice-Chair ICPNT
University of Texas, Houston

Dr. Kofke
W. Andrew Kofke, MD, MBA, FNCS
Dr. Rajan
Shobana Rajan, MD

ICPNT welcomes three more programs to the neuroanesthesia educational network. They are all non-US programs:  Hamad General Hospital, Qatar; St. Georges Hospital, London UK, and Toronto Unity Health, Toronto. The review process has made clear the varying strengths of programs around the world and ways in which the ICPNT network may be used to improve any areas of weakness.  

Presently there are 25 accredited neuroanesthesia programs around the world. Eight programs have active letters of intent and have been given access to the revised, more user friendly, application form. Results of this group of applications should be decided in April 2022, thereby continuing the global growth of ICPNT. Overall, we expect about 32 or more accredited fellowships by early 2022.

The projected timeline for the next cycle:

Application Release: October 1, 2021
Formative Application Due Date: December 1, 2021 (Payment due date)
Initial Review Feedback (by three reviewers with feedback by primary reviewer): January 5, 2022 (*Application fee payment required before moving to resubmission stage)
Resubmission: February 5, 2022
Summative Application Review by ICPNT: April 1, 2022
Decision letter to program by ~May 15, 2022

There is still time to submit a letter of intent to be in this cycle.

Accreditation Review Task Force
Jane Easdown has led a task force charged with reviewing accreditation practices of other accrediting organizations with an aim to improve the procedures of ICPNT. This is summarized in a separate article in this newsletter.

Other ICPNT News

  • The ICPNT EC has undergone its first term-limits related turnover and the vice-chair position has been filled by Shobana Rajan by election by SNACC and the secretary has now been assumed by Maria Bustillo.
  • ICPNT will be creating several committees to keep up with a growing mission. The list is tentative and listed below. Please let us know if you are interested to contribute or believe another committee should be added.
    • Communications
    • Procedure certification committee
    • NPR
    • Fellowship Review Committee
    • Research Committee
    • In-training examination committee
  • The new chair of the NPR committee is Chanhung Lee of UCSF.  
  • Val Luoma presented an abstract on ICPNT at the SNACC meeting:  Two Years of ICPNT Accreditation: Where Are We Now?
  • ICPNT will be organizing a panel on neuroanesthesia fellowship accreditation at the ISNACC meeting in January.
  • ICPNT NPR committee oversaw presentations at the SNACC meeting on Perioperative Brain Function Monitoring.

Neuroanesthesia Program Relations Committee
The ICPNT Neuroanesthesia Program Relations (NPR) committee, chaired by Chanhung Lee, continues to offer provocative panels, journal clubs, and lectures.

Educational webinars in 2021

January 2021 ICPNT Case-based Reasoning Webinar
January 2021 Perfecting Peer Review- a Master Class Webinar
February 2021 ICPNT Journal Club Webinar
March 2021 Evaluation Strategies for Neuroanesthesia Fellows- A Milestones Approach Workshop Webinar
April 2021 Pearls in Neuromonitoring During Neurosurgery – From the Experts
May 2021 Basic Conundrums in Neuroscience
August 2021 Panel Discussion - Awake Craniotomy
October 2021 Taxonomy of Intracranial Hypertension

Future ICPNT Webinars and Educational Offerings
We hope to have engaging presentations and interactive participation by fellows from different programs.

The ICPNT NPR committee will be developing a program at the SNACC annual meeting oriented to current fellows in accredited programs. Anyone who wants to contribute should contact the NPR chair, Chanhung Lee.

With our webinar format we can accommodate suitable presentations from accredited programs around the world. This is an opportunity for fellows and faculty in accredited programs to deliver educational programs to an international audience. We suggest this opportunity would be of advantage to both presenters and fellows/students in the ICPNT network, a so-called win-win! Please let Dr. Lee know if you have any fellows interested and capable to present an international lecture (or other format) by this webinar system.

Question Bank
The NPR committee is also working on creating a repository of questions collected from the program directors to have a question bank for the future. A blog where fellows can share and communicate is being created and more information regarding this will soon be available. This will be linked to the newly created Examination Committee.

NPR Members (listed below)

  • Chanhung Lee, MD, PhD, NPR Chair, University of California
  • Shobana Rajan, MD, UT Houston
  • Valpuri Luoma, MBChB, FRCA, FFICM, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust
  • John Bebawy, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Jeffrey Pasternak, MD, Mayo Clinic
  • Colleen Naglee, MD, Duke University
  • Deepak Sharma, MBBS, MD, DM, University of Washington
  • Tumul Chowdhury, MD, University of Toronto

The Application Processes
As a nascent accrediting organization, we have learned the challenges of creating a user-friendly application form. Initially we used form fields to fill in but encountered multiple technical issues. That has been minimized in the revamped application using word-based templates, allowing for more free form composition by the program directors. This will be evaluated and further quality improvement in our application processes should be anticipated. We rely on constructive feedback from program directors and reviewers for this process.

Evaluation of Accreditation Procedures
Multiple organizations are involved in accreditation of educational organizations ranging from universities, medical schools, residencies, fellowships, and other subspecialty training organizations. We suggest that ICPNT could learn from others’ experiences in this endeavor. Thus, ICPNT has commissioned a task force, led by Jane Easdown from Vanderbilt, to evaluate how other accreditation organizations perform and seek to learn about standard operating procedures which ICPNT may adopt to further improve our processes. An article describing their observations is in this issue of the SNACC newsletter.

ICPNT Executive Committee (EC)
Current ICPNT Executive committee members and their terms are listed below.  The vice chair is elected by SNACC membership with automatic succession to chair. Other ICPNT EC members are selected by internal processes. Should we have an ICPNT-wide election process or should it be by appointment based on past willingness and capability to contribute to ICPNT mission?

ICPNT EC Council Members

  • W. Andrew Kofke, MD, MBA, FNCS, ICPNT Chair, University of Pennsylvania (term ends   2023)
  • Shobana Rajan, MD, ICPNT Vice Chair, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (term ends 2023)
  • Maria Bustillo, MD, Secretary, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (term ends 2023)
  • Jane Easdown, MD, MHPE, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee (term ends 2022)
  • Lara Ferrario, MD, University of Texas, Houston (term ends 2022)
  • Leslie Jameson, MD, University of Colorado (term ends 2022)
  • Ines Koerner, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland (term ends 2022)
  • Chanhung Lee, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco (term ends 2023)
  • Valpuri Luoma, MBChB, FRCA, FFICM, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, UK (term ends 2022)
  • Claudia Nino, MD, Universitario Fundacion Santafe de Bogota, Colombia (term ends 2023)

Several openings will arise in the ICPNT EC. Those interested in contributing should contact Andrew Kofke.

ICPNT Research
ICPNT has made numerous educational research contributions in the form of presentations at meetings and peer-reviewed publications. This may represent the beginnings of a neuroanesthesia research network, the infrastructure of which could be our ICPNT network of accredited fellowships.

Several things are on the ICPNT list of things that are still needed. Below is a partial listing:

  • Legal Review of procedures
  • Finalize fall cycle dates and assignments
  • Develop an information packet describing procedures for new programs
  • Develop a standing fellowship review committee (FRC) within ICPNT
  • Develop an in-training exam for use by programs to assess knowledge of fellows
  • Translate web page into multiple languages
  • Develop protocol for announcing educational activities of accredited programs which are not activities officially affiliated with ICPNT
  • Develop more expansive marketing, PR plans
  • Integrate accreditation committee recs to standard operating procedures
  • Update online documents and charter
  • Develop a tracking system to track graduations of fellows

This is a lot of work ahead of us at ICPNT. Anyone interested in contributing, please contact Andrew Kofke.

Overall ICPNT is progressing. Our goal will be for neuroanesthesia fellowship accreditation to become an international standard with concomitant international collaborations in neuroanesthesia education and research.

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