Weill Cornell Neurosurgeons Share Their Expertise Internationally

Sep 22, 2023

Weill Cornell neurosurgeons are the best of the best, and they are committed to sharing knowledge and training with future neurosurgeons. In Salzburg, they have the opportunity to share their expertise with neurosurgeons from all around the world, in one classroom. As treatments for neurological diseases of the spine rapidly evolve and advance, Weill Cornell physicians serve as world leaders in the implementation of new treatment concepts. This week, 34 fellows from 25 countries attended the 16th annual Salzburg Weill Cornell Seminar in Neurosurgery (Spine) to gain updated knowledge from world renowned experts, as well as to sharpen their surgical skills via a wet lab and hands-on training.

  • 34 fellows
  • 25 countries
  • 1 cadaver lab training at PMU Salzburg in collaboration with Medtronic and Zeiss

Dr. Roger Härtl from Weill Cornell Medicine and Dr. Claudius Thomé from the Medical University of Innsbruck, a dynamic duo who have led the OMI courses together for years, in both Salzburg and Mexico City, provided the leadership for this week’s course. Additional US and European faculty included Dr. Massimo Balsano, Dr. Harry H. Gebhard, Dr. Sebastian Hartmann, Dr. Ibrahim Hussain, Dr. Lawrence G. Lenke, Dr. Lynn McGrath, Dr. Bernhard Meyer, Dr. K. Daniel Riew, Dr. Dexter Sun, and Dr. Michael S. Virk.

The well rounded and expert faculty presented 19 lectures during the seminar, covering topics such as Spinal Surgery and Evidence-Based Outcomes, Spine Neurology, Spinal Metastasis, Management of Cervical Radiculopathy and Myelopathy, 6 Ts of Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery, Management of Idiopathic Scoliosis, Enabling Technologies in Spine Surgery, and more. In addition to such informative sessions, fellows also presented case presentations throughout the week, in which faculty could give feedback and advise on next steps…an experience that is always much appreciated by fellows!

Roger Härtl, MD

Roger Härtl, MD

OMI Course Director

As physicians privileged to work at an academic institution in North America, I have always felt that it is our responsibility to teach and train surgeons from less developed regions. The OMI has a perfect set up and approach to efficiently train the future leaders in medicine. It’s been one of the highlights of my career to come to Salzburg and contribute to the 0MI’s mission and success.

Wednesday was an exciting day for the participants, as they attended a wet lab at the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg for half a day, which focused on O-Arm Spinal 3D Navigation, Microscope Lumbar Decompression, and Microscope and Cervical Decompression and Fusion. For the other half of the day, fellows were able to attend a simulation training at Schloss Arenberg which focused on “Where the Accuracy in Spine Surgery Comes from?” Such learning experiences, instructed by some of the world’s top neurosurgeons, can be career altering and life changing for an OMI fellow. For an individual to be able to improve their surgical skills and knowledge goes beyond their career, as it has the potential to impact other colleagues, a number of patients, as well as entire clinics/healthcare settings. We are especially grateful to Igor Belusic’s leadership from Medtronic and to René Stanke and Marie-Theres Schmid from Zeiss for their support in ensuring the wet lab took place successfully.


To conclude the week, faculty and fellows enjoyed a classical music concert, held right here in Schloss Arenberg. What a true Salzburg experience! On Friday evening, faculty and fellows celebrated all their hard work and how far they have come in one week at the graduation ceremony, in which everyone shared a three-course meal together and fellows received their certificates of participation from the course directors. What a full and insightful week!