Popularity of Online Multimedia Educational Resources in Neurosurgery: Insights from The Neurosurgical Atlas Project

Benjamin Davidson, Naif M. Alotaibi, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The Neurosurgical Atlas is a popular world-wide multimedia website in neurosurgery with informative chapters and videos to promote excellence and safety in neurosurgical techniques. Here, we present our analysis of the viewing data of this website. This is intended to describe how online neurosurgical resources are being utilized by today's neurosurgical community. We hope this will be a useful guide for neurosurgeons interested in online multimedia education. DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: We analyzed Google Analytics and Vimeo data collected from The Neurosurgical Atlas between June 2016 and August 2017, which tracked user demographics, geographical location, and the videos watched. Views were also analyzed categorically by dividing videos into 6 neurosurgical topics and into basic and advanced levels as per their surgical complexity. RESULTS: During the study period, there were 246,259 website visits and 143,868 video plays. The most frequent age group seen was 25 to 34 (44%), followed by 35 to 44 (24%), and 71% of visitors were male. Most website visits were from the United States (29.52%) followed by Brazil (6.43%). There was a steady increase in website visits and video plays over time, with multiple peaks corresponding to promotional email updates. The 6 neurosurgical topics were all similarly popular in video plays, with the general neurosurgical topics being slightly preferred. Similarly, basic and advanced topics were both viewed frequently, with a slight preference for the basic topics. CONCLUSIONS: Our study presents the first piece of evidence demonstrating the feasibility and popularity of a free online resource in neurosurgical education. Our experience highlights the growing demand for free-access online chapters, anatomical illustrations, and operative videos. This initiative should not stop with The Neurosurgical Atlas; other surgeons should feel encouraged to employ similar methods to disseminate and advance surgical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1623
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Education
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Multimedia
  • Online
  • Residents
  • Web 2.0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

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