This fall, Harvard Medical School (HMS) established a new academic department—the HMS Department of Neurosurgery, recognizing neurosurgery as a specialty distinct from general surgery.

This change in status to an appointing academic department was championed by the chiefs of neurosurgery at four of HMS’ affiliated hospitals. BWH, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Boston Children’s Hospital had housed hospital-based departments of Neurosurgery, while Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center had organized neurosurgery as a division of its Department of Surgery. Until now, the chiefs of surgery have been managing HMS faculty appointments for neurosurgeons and neuroscientists through the departments of Surgery.

The HMS Department of Neurosurgery will be governed by an executive committee under the leadership of Robert Martuza, MD, FACS, chief of MGH’s Department of Neurosurgery and the William and Elizabeth Sweet Professor of Neuroscience at HMS. Martuza will serve a three-year term as the inaugural chair of the committee.