World-renowned neurosurgeon Michael L.J. Apuzzo, MD, PhD (hon), will again teach the “Apuzzo Seminar Series: Practical and Philosophical Aspects of Neurosurgery” at Yale School of Medicine this academic year.
A native of New Haven, Dr. Apuzzo is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor and Counselor for Research, Academic Affairs & Development in the Department of Neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine. He studied at Hopkins School, Yale College, Boston University School of Medicine, McGill University, and Yale School of Medicine. He completed his neurosurgical residency at Yale New Haven Hospital.
The seminars, which Dr. Apuzzo is teaching at Yale for the sixth year, will take place Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov. 12, Jan. 21, March 11, and April 8 and include these topics: “Making a Contribution: Aspects of Originality and Innovation in Medical Publishing,” “The Neurosurgeon in the Arena of Sport,” “The Genesis and Evolution of Internationality in Neurosurgery,” “Pivotal Moments in the Emergence of Modern Neurosurgery,” “Truth and Reality,” and “The Burden of Success and Failure.”
The goal of the series, Dr. Apuzzo says, is to supplement traditional neurosurgery education with practical and philosophical aspects of the profession.
“These elements are just as important in creating the kind of student Yale wants, which is one who is polished in intellect and comprehension of the basics of the specialty, but also has depth and substance,” he says. “When you look at my background and the many things I have been blessed with in my career, most of my success came from being at the right place at the right time with the right people and different elements coming together.”
Just one example of Dr. Apuzzo’s unique experiences is his work as a consultant to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the first Mars Viking landing in 1977.
Before this, he joined the faculty at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, where he served as the Edwin M. Todd/Trent H. Wells, Jr. Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics. He also was Director of Neurosurgery at the Kenneth Norris, Jr. Cancer Hospital and Research Institute and Director of the Center for Stereotactic Neurosurgery and Associated Research at the institute, as well as Director of the Gamma Unit Facility at the USC University Hospital, and Neurosurgical Director of the Norris CyberKnife Facility.
“One of my loves has been education and trying to bring things that are not usually available to residents, and these are also open to medical students, fellows, and others,” he says. “I discuss the behind-the-scenes work about how one can put yourself in a good situation, have a good career, and be happy.”
The seminar on medical publishing will touch upon his many years as Editor-in-Chief of both the Journal of Neurosurgery and World Neurosurgery (which he founded). “I talk about this from the editor’s standpoint of why certain journals are important and what are we looking for and how do we find it,” Dr. Apuzzo explains.
For the seminar on sports, Dr. Apuzzo will share his experiences as the first neurosurgical consultant for the USC’s Trojan Athletic Department and the National Football League’s New York Giants. He was a leader in the development of protocols for heady injury study and management.
“I tell students to always have an open mind and to delve into things that you like because you never know where it will take you,” he says.