Surgery in the Time of COVID-19

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Post-test CME/CDE

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requires that CME providers document that CME activities increase physician competence or performance or improve patient outcomes. In order to assess whether the recent COVID-19 educational program increased participants' competence in the areas addressed in the Program, AAMS is conducting a post-activity assessment of the Program.

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Rafi Avitsian MD, FASA, is a Professor of Anesthesiology in the department of General Anesthesiology in Cleveland Clinic. He is also the past president of Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC). He is an American Board of Anesthesiologists’ Applied Examiner, as well as a member of the Association of University Anesthesiologists & recipient of ASA-SEA Distinguished Education Award. His academic interest is mostly in brain tumors, anesthetic methods for seizure surgery, brain protection and outcomes of spine surgery as well as Difficult Airway Management. His clinical studies are mostly directed to finding ways to improve the outcome of surgery after neurosurgical procedures. He is also interested in medical innovations with many filed and published patents. About 40 published peer reviewed manuscripts, two book chapters and many abstract presentations also highlights the academic achievements. He is on the editorial board of Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and Journal of Anesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology and an ad hoc reviewer for Anesthesiology, Anesthesia Analgesia, World Neurosurgery Journal and International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) annual meeting abstracts.

Garni Barkhoudarian, MD, FAANS, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with a focus on skull base and minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. Dr. Barkhoudarian has particular interest and expertise in pituitary and parasellar tumors, brain tumors, skull-base tumors (including meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas and schwannomas), intra-ventricular brain tumors, colloid cysts, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm and other vascular compression syndromes. For virtually all tumors and intracranial procedures, Dr. Barkhoudarian applies the keyhole concept of minimizing collateral damage to the brain and its supporting structures using advanced neuroimaging and neuro-navigation techniques along with endoscopy to improve targeting and lesion visualization. Along with Drs. Marisa Chang and Daniel Franc, Dr. Barkhoudarian leads the Pacific Facial Pain Center, which offers a 360-degree approach to trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, glossopharyngeal spasm and other facial pain syndromes. This includes medication therapy, percutaneous procedures, stereotactic radiosurgery and endoscopic microvascular decompression of the trigeminal or facial nerves. As Director of the Pacific Adult Hydrocephalus Center, he works with Dr. Daniel Franc to treat patients with various condition involving cerebrospinal fluid anomalies. This includes hydrocephalus (obstructive, acquired and normal pressure), colloid cysts, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, intracranial hypotension and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Dr. Barkhoudarian’s research interests include evaluating outcomes of pituitary and brain tumor surgery. He is also involved in the biomarkers research program for pituitary adenomas, meningiomas and metastatic brain tumors, as well as evaluating potential mechanisms and markers of invasive and atypical tumor progression. He is an investigator in a number of clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of various medical or chemotherapies for pituitary tumors and malignant brain tumors. As director of the JWCI / PNI Microdissection Anatomy Laboratory, he conducts neuroanatomical analysis, advancing the procedures and technology used for minimally invasive surgery. Research fellows from around the world perform observational fellowships for periods of 3-6 months at a time, allowing them to learn these techniques and apply them in their home countries. In collaboration with Dr. Daniel Kelly, PNI Director, Dr. Barkhoudarian also oversees the Clinical Neurosurgical Fellowship.

Career Highlights: Dr. Barkhoudarian graduated from UCLA in 2000 and received his medical education at the University of Michigan Medical School in 2005. He completed his neurosurgical residency at the UCLA Medical Center. He completed a Pituitary and Neuroendoscopy Fellowship with Dr. Edward Laws, at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in 2012. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the International Society of Pituitary Surgeons (ISPS) and the Armenian American Medical Society (AAMS). He is a board member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), where he works with national colleagues to improve research, education and patient care in neurosurgery. He is an advisory board member of the Self-Assessment in Neurological Surgery (SANS) committee, writing questions to help advance the knowledge of neurosurgeons in training and in practice. Additionally, he is vice-chair of the education committee for the CNS, preparing educational content to advance neurosurgical care worldwide.

  • The Armenian American Medical Society is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • The Armenian American Medical Society designates this webinar activity for a maximum of (2) hour AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activities. 
  • These credits may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.
  • The Armenian American Medical Society is accredited by the Dental Board of California Registered Provider #5112 to provide continuing dental education. The Armenian American Medical Society designates this webinar activity for maximum of (4) hours of Continuing Dental Education. 

This series is complimentary and available to all. CME/CDE credits are available for AAMS members. For all others who would like CME/CDE credits please contact

Webinar Information

Date: April 21, 2020

Time: 06:00 pm

Anesthesiologists’ Role During COVID-19
Tuesday, April 21 | 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time
Presented by: Rafi Avitsian, MD, FASA
Professor of Anesthesiology
Program Director Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

Surgery in the Time of COVID-19: Keeping Patients and Caregivers Safe
Tuesday, April 21 | to follow Dr. Avitsian’s presentation
Presented by: Garni Barkhoudarian, MD, FAANS
Associate Professor of Neuroscience / Neurosurgery
Co-director: Pacific Pituitary Disorders Center
Director: Pacific Facial Pain Center
Director: Pacific Adult Hydrocephalus Center
Director: Skull-Base and Endoscopic Microdissection Laboratory