CCN 2014

Summary of the 2014 CCN Review

The second annual Comprehensive Clinical Neurosurgery (CCN) Review course was held again in Krakow from December 1st to December 5th of 2014. We had 91 participants (in between trainees and qualified neurosurgeons) plus 24 faculty teachers attend the course. The course was even a better success than 2013 which made us decide to run it on an annual basis.

Comprehensive Clinical Neurosurgery Review

December 1-5, 2014 Krakow, Poland

Faculty of 2014 course

The 2014 review course faculty lineup consisted of some of the best leaders in contemporary neurosurgery.


  • Nabeel S. Alshafai (Toronto)
  • Michael D. Cusimano (Toronto)
  • Ryszard Czepko (Kraków)
  • Rolando Del Maestro (Montreal)
  • Federico Di Rocco (Paris)
  • Hugues Duffau (Montpellier)
  • Pablo Gonzalez (Alicante)
  • Andres Grotenhuis (Nijgmen)



  • John Hurlbert (Calgary)
  • Ramez W Kirollos (Cambridge)
  • Timo Krings (Toronto)
  • Jason Lazarou (Toronto)
  • Stephen Lewis (Toronto)
  • Andres M Lozano (Toronto)
  • Andrew Maas (Antwerp)
  • John Rossiter (Kingston)



  • Johannes Schramm (Bonn)
  • Dudi Schul (Munich)
  • Askin Seker (Istanbul)
  • Francisco Signorelli (Lyon)
  • Robert J. Spinner (Rochester)
  • Paul Steinbok (Vancouver)
  • Wouter Van Furth (Amsterdam)
  • M Christopher Wallace (Kingston)
  • Michel Zerah (Paris)


Testimonials 2014

Neurosurgery Talents from the United Kingdom

“The course has been good all week long. We have had excellent speakers. And the ‘hot seat’ has been very useful in preparing for exams.”

“The other thing is, the opportunity to meet people from around the world and listen to how they do things and that’s what’s fantastic about a meeting like this. It’s not just about exam revision, it is about improving your own practice and I know I have seen a few I certainly would like to put into my own treatment of patients. To hear some of the wisdom of the most experienced neurosurgeons in the world is an opportunity that cannot be wasted. Nabeel has done an amazing job and I would like to thank him for that. I would certainly recommend to anyone thinking about doing neurosurgery at any point in their career.”

“It’s a very good quality course. Very worth doing. I would recommend to anybody whether or not you have an exam coming up. The exam preparation is fantastic but even in the earlier stages of training when you don’t necessarily need that preparation right then, I think the course is still very beneficial.”

“Best course I have ever been on. Nabeel has been amazing and from an exam point of view I think it’s incredibly valuable for me passing my exams in about a year’s time.”

“I’ve come at a fairly junior level but I have probably tripled my knowledge of neurosurgery the last five days. The hot-seating was fantastic even though I wasn’t in the hot seat. I gained a lot from seeing cases and how they are answered. A lot of recurring themes and pattern recognition, so I learned a lot from it. I certainly recommend it to any junior neurosurgeon to gain lots of knowledge and I’ll be doing it next year if it’s on for sure.”

“It is probably the most useful neurosurgical week we have ever spent and have certainly learned a lot from this. I would recommend it for any middle to senior level neurosurgical trainee who’s looking into taking their exams – would be a great starting point.”

“I agree with everybody, it’s an excellent course. Not just for exam preparation I’m sure but even outside of your training. It gives you a huge scoop of the field, for the mountain you have to climb for the next four of five years. And it’s a very friendly environment. They are nice to you and kind to you but they push you a little bit as well which is perfect and what you need. And you get excellently supplied with tea.”

Patrick Grover London, United Kingdom

“I’m really happy that I came to this course because it is completely comprehensive in terms of preparation for written and oral and clinical exam and I would highly recommend it to anyone preparing for exams and for someone who simply wants to review their practice of neurosurgery.”

Mark Kotter Cambridge, United Kingdom

“I highly recommend the Comprehensive Clinical Neurosurgery Review Course.
With incredible attention to detail, Dr Alshafai has created a comprehensive learning programme delivered by an international faculty of outstanding neurosurgeons. Congratulations and many thanks to Nabeel!”

Omar Pathmanaban Manchester, United Kingdom

“This year has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve all had a really awesome experience here.”

Sylvia Shamitsa and Abdulwahid Kasmani Nairobi, Kenya

“To be honest this has been a tremendous experience. We have learned a great deal and it has uplifted our confidence. I think it is the best course one should attend if you are preparing for your final exams or any board exams. I think it has given us a very big boost of confidence also guided us in the practice of neurosurgery in other parts of the world.”

“This is a really good course and it has prepared us well for the forthcoming exams and I would recommend any senior resident who’s about to sit their exam, should give this course a chance.”

Ahmed Sadek South Hampton, United Kingdom

“I think my colleagues would agree it’s an excellent course. It’s very thorough. The didactic lectures which run over 8 hours every day give you a comprehensive review of the core topics within the syllabus.”

Neurosurgery Talents from Saudi Arabia

“It was excellent and I would definitely recommend it to everyone who’s training to be a neurosurgeon. It was well balanced and incorporated multiple modalities of teaching includes lectures and the ‘hot seat’ I think was excellent. It was the icing on the cake, where you can combine all the different aspects of neurosurgery from clinical to basic science and radiology aspect.”

“This is the second time for me to attend the course. It was an excellent course and compared to other review courses it was better, mainly the ‘hot seat’.”

Olusola Adedipe Saskatoon, Canada

“I recommend this program for any neurosurgeon. The faculty is so wonderful and the teaching is actually fantastic. The ambience is good and very comfortable environment. I’m so happy I’m part of this and I would definitely come back.”

Neurosurgery Talents from Germany

“I went to a few neurosurgical training courses and I think that this is at least one of the best courses, if not the best one.”

Kit Ying Chan Hong Kong, China

“Thank you to all the tutors because they are all very good. They gave me a lot of great advise and I really saw my improvement so this is definitely great.”

“Before I came here I thought it was really all about exam preparation. But experiencing through the course myself and also by talking to the fellows who attended, I feel differently now. I now understand why Calvin who attended from Hon Kong last year said he really wanted to come here. It is so much more than exam prep in here. I’ll definitely come to the course again in the future.”

Shanu Gambhir Sydney, Australia

“It’s a really good review course for neurosurgery. We are getting world experts talking about literally all aspects of neurosurgery and especially appraising all the latest trials and research articles.”

Kwame Ofori Johannesburg, South Africa

“It’s a fantastic course and quite comprehensive with so much material. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and hope to come again to improve my knowledge. Generally I found Poland to be quite friendly and generally enjoyed my trip.”

Lucas Rakasz New Zealand

“We learned a lot about how to sit the exam and the real life experience of facing the exam and the stress was a very very good experience, especially for someone who is about to sit for their exams.”

Vejay Vakharia London, United Kingdom

“I found this an excellent overview of the pertinent neurosurgical topics for the exam.”

William Cato-Addison Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

“What’s great about this course is that the educators/faculty are actually really interest in delivering a high quality learning environment.”

Prof. Dr. Andrew Maas Chair of Neurosurgery Antwerp, Belgium Chair of neurotrauma and Critical care section, EANS

“This is such a great course organized by Nabeel Alshafai. I think it’s unique in bringing older year residents many countries across the world who are preparing for their board exam. In a week’s time it gives you a complete overview of the fundamentals of neurosurgery and the nice thing about the course is that it is given in an intuitive and attractive format, involving the audience and also building up towards an exam situation.”