History of B​rain School

It is perhaps hard to believe in today’s rich educational environment, but deep in the mists of time there was no organized teaching for neurosurgical trainees in London. A young neurosurgical registrar, facing his upcoming FRCS examination alone and unsupported, complained of this situation to an orthopaedic colleague over a beer. The orthopod raised his eyebrows in surprise, explaining that he and his friends were regulars at “Bone School” – a pan-London training series. That young neurosurgeon was Lewis Thorne – and that night the idea of “Brain School” was born.

At its inception, Brain School was meant to be independent, informal and inspiring. Wanting to hold the meetings somewhere not tied to any particular Deanery, medical school or hospital, Mr Thorne looked for a central, “neutral” venue – and decided on the Savoy Hotel. After learning that industry support would not cover this choice, the Royal College of Surgeons of England was decided upon instead, and the first Brain School was held in 2006. David Choi and Adrian Casey from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery taught a room packed with neurosurgical trainees and a legend was born.

10 years later, Brain School is stronger than ever. Cleaving to its founding principles – “independent, informal, inspiring” – it attracts those interested in neurosurgery, from med student to consultant, from all over London and beyond. Every month, inspiring speakers from neurosurgery and its allied specialties present fascinating talks in an informal and engaging environment. Social interaction with trainee colleagues from other units is key to the Brain School experience and there have been many memorable evenings over the years.