Dacey becomes president of neurosurgery society

Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, the Henry G. and Edith R. Schwartz Professor and head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, became president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) May 22, 2012.

The SNS is the American society of leaders in neurosurgical residency education and is the oldest neurosurgical society in the world. Dacey, who is neurosurgeon in chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, formally became president at the end of the society’s annual meeting.


Dacey joins an exclusive group of neurosurgical leaders that includes Harvey Cushing, MD, who is regarded as the father of modern neurosurgery and served as the SNS’s first president in 1920. Additionally, each of Dacey’s predecessors as head of the Department of Neurosurgery served terms as president of the SNS: Ernest Sachs, MD, the first professor of neurological surgery in the world and founding director of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the School of Medicine; Henry Schwartz, MD; and Sidney Goldring, MD. Sachs was a founding member of the society in 1920.

The group’s goals include promoting improvements in education and training for neurosurgical students and post-graduates; recognizing outstanding neurosurgical care, instruction and research; and encouraging the highest standards of care for patients with neurological diseases.

“One of the most important projects during my year as president will be working with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to optimize a new set of procedures for accrediting neurosurgical training programs,” Dacey says. “Another will be establishing a web portal to help meet the educational needs of neurosurgeons at every point in their career, from neurosurgical residents to practicing neurosurgeons.”

In 2011, Dacey was inducted to the Institute of Medicine and also named the 2011 Founder’s Laurel recipient by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). This fall he will be the Honored Guest for the 2012 CNS annual meeting.

Dacey will serve as president of the SNS for one year.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.