Academic neurosurgeon, scientist, scholar. Prof. Kanaan has been leading one of the iconic centers of Arabic Neurosurgery. Expertizing in Pituitary Surgery, he is co-chairing (with Dr. V. Benes) tirelessly the WFNS Neuroanatomy Committee and he actively participates in all the Foundation educational activities all over the world.

Prof. Imad. N. Kanaan

What do you see as the main mission of the WFNS Foundation and what is your assessment of the Foundation?

Promote teaching and education of the Young generation of neurosurgeons. Enhance clinical facilities in less privileged countries.

Entice medical industry to joint-venture in achieving this noble misión of the foundation with their generous donation of equipment.

The foundation with the help and efforts of its key active committed members has scored great achievements.

Neurosurgery is one of the most difficult specialties, every case is a challenge to face, is it easy to teach neurosurgery?

I agree, it is a challenging task but easy to plan.

To promote the principle of the “triangle of knowledge”. To encourage young trainees to use their five senses and the 6th sense in order to acquire a sound critical judgment.

To use their mirror neurons and limbic system as a vital method of learning and build-up the needed mental and visual rehearsal.

How do you achieve leadership skills in a profession like yours?

Strong commitment and perseverance, consider patient first apply the basic code of Hippocrates in medical practice “ Do No Harm”.                

Use your mirror neurons to adopt others’ experiences.                                     

Live like Leonardo (satisfy your curiosity, embrace new innovation)

What is the greatest satisfaction that neurosurgery has given to you? Who were your teachers and who have you admired the most during your life? What have you not forgotten?

My great satisfaction is to give optimal care to my patients and their families & achieve a rewarding outcome and fast recovery.

The greatest mentors I have encountered are Prof. MG Yasargil, Prof. M. Samii, Prof. T. Fukushima, Prof. R. Spetzler.

Not to forget: “ Their inspiring energy, talent and their elegance in handling neural tissue and vascular structures”.

What advice would you give to a young specialist and a resident in your specialty? 

Attend educational activities & hands-on dissection courses, enhance your neuroanatomy knowledge, witness the great masters at action by spending some valuable visits to their site.

Introduced and Prof.Kanaan promotes Neuroendoscopy in the region and launched the BrainSuite in his institution IMG_3781

Prof. Imad. N. Kanaan during surgery

How do you see your trainees? Are they disciplined? Motivated?

I am satisfied with a good number of them, those who understand the values of patient care, invest in their time and effort to learn and adopt this principle I have mentioned above. I trust several of them will lead a rewarding practice, help their community and become rising stars.

Has the current student a lot of questions, and which is the most intelligent one you have had?

Can a general neurosurgeon without subspecialty training survive among others with subspecialty training?

What is the goal of the profession that you most instil in your students?

To become an academic Neurosurgeon “not only pure technician”.

Learn how to operate with proper indication and when not to opérate.

What is neurosurgery like in Saudi Arabia, and how do you see its future?

A major leap has been witnessed during the past 30 years. Thanks to the allocation of the highest national budget to education and health care. This act prompted the establishment of major health facilities & institutions, launching several training & subspecialty fellowship programs, and initiated accrediting body. The quality of local training became very high and compete with the best western training programs, the institutions acquired state-of-the-art medical equipment and updated facilities with the future ambition to Rank among the best international leading centers.

What is your experience as Chairman of the WFNS Neuroanatomy Committee?

The primary endeavor of the WFNS Neuroanatomy committee is to promote teaching and education of Young practicing neurosurgeons and attendees worldwide along with several initiatives, including on-site hands-on and live surgery courses, conferences, online educational webinars in collaboration with other WFNS committees or regional and local societies.

Prof. Kanaan as director and initiator of the neuroscience clerkship curriculum Alfaisal University with his students.