The New England Neurosurgical Society: growth and evolution over 70 years

Author Department

Neurology; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



The New England Neurosurgical Society (NENS) was founded in 1951 under the leadership of its first President (Dr. William Beecher Scoville) and Secretary-Treasurer (Dr. Henry Thomas Ballantine). The purpose of creating the NENS was to unite local neurosurgeons in the New England area; it was one of the first regional neurosurgical societies in America. Although regional neurosurgical societies are important supplements to national organizations, they have often been overshadowed in the available literature. Now in its 70th year, the NENS continues to serve as a platform to represent the needs of New England neurosurgeons, foster connections and networks with colleagues, and provide research and educational opportunities for trainees. Additionally, regional societies enable discussion of issues uniquely relevant to the region, improve referral patterns, and allow for easier attendance with geographic proximity. In this paper, the authors describe the history of the NENS and provide a roadmap for its future. The first section portrays the founders who led the first meetings and establishment of the NENS. The second section describes the early years of the NENS and profiles key leaders. The third section discusses subsequent neurosurgeons who steered the NENS and partnerships with other societies. In the fourth section, the modern era of the NENS and its current activities are highlighted.

Keywords: New England Neurosurgical Society; William Beecher Scoville; history; regional neurosurgical society.