Spotlight: Dr. Norberto Andaluz
In January the PNA Spotlight focuses on Norberto Andaluz, MD, MBA, FACS, a professor of neurosurgery and otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. He is also director in the Division of Skull Base Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Andaluz completed most of medical education and training in Argentina. He then completed two fellowships at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine focused on general neurosurgery and cerebrovascular surgery. He then did an intensive mini-fellowship in endoscopic endonasal skull base neurosurgery in Italy. He was kind enough to answer some questions from the PNA; his answers follow.
What inspired you to choose your career path?
I believe it was the will to help others. This was a calling, the challenge to dare to go where things were difficult, and any successful effort to help those in need would be meaningful. In a healthy way, I was always very competitive as a child, trying to become better at everything I did. My education in a Catholic school inspired me to understand my life as a mission. In my mind, I was given this opportunity to make something meaningful of my life. This principle has guided me since, and the challenges keep me going.
What is the primary focus of your work/research?
I am an academic neurosurgeon. I work at the University of Cincinnati, where I am a Professor of Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, and I serve as the director of the Skull Base Division and the Goodyear Microsurgical Anatomy Laboratory. The primary focus of my work is complex cranial surgery. This includes tumor surgery, craniofacial surgeries, cerebrovascular surgery and skull base surgery. Under the latter is where treatment of pituitary and pituitary region surgical diseases are categorized. As such, the bulk of my research has been and continues to focus on the study of the anatomical basis for the design and perfection of the creation of surgical corridors to those complex surgical conditions. The aim is to provide ways of treating those conditions in a more efficacious and safe manner through smaller and less traumatic surgical approaches.
What do you consider to be the future of your field?
I envision a future where the potential of technology that we have been working on in the past decades is finally leveraged. It will be not only in surgery, using previously dreamed tools, such as intraoperative molecular visualization of pathology or robotic arms, but it also include newer medications and technologies that allow for treatment of diseases without surgical intervention.
What should people know about your field/what deserves more recognition/awareness?
Nowadays, with the overload of information, and thanks to organizations such as PNA, I have seen patients become more informed and aware of the complexities and possibilities of the specialty. I never get tired of highlighting the teamwork required to deal with some of the most complex pathologies in medicine. Truly, a lot of work and commitment goes into multidisciplinary care.
What would you like to convey about yourself to your patients?
Rather than about myself, I would rather talk about my team. We have a solid team of true experts in every discipline that relate to the care of pituitary patients, surgical or not. From physicians to our dedicated nursing unit, you will find unparalleled dedication, skill, and commitment to patient care. All that is needed to provide the best care available is at hand, under one roof. We care about what we do for our patients, and we take care to do it well.
Why did you get involved with the PNA and what is the extent of your involvement?
I become involved with the PNA several years ago, when I was offered the opportunity to present a webinar. Since then, I have collaborated with PNA on every opportunity I have had. I have experience with patient associations and I have found those collaborations fruitful and enriching for both patients, myself and my team.