How Much Schooling Is Needed to Become a Neurosurgeon?

This is another demanding and also one of the highest paid specialties in medicine: a neurosurgeon. The subspecialty demands years of education and training, mirroring the sophisticated nature and intricate skill set necessary to treat the human brain and nervous system. In this post, learn about the steps you need to take to become a top-notch neurosurgeon.

Undergraduate Education

Duration: 4 years

You must first attend four years of undergraduate university. Biology, chemistry, physics or a pre-med related field are most common majors for an aspiring neurosurgeon. It is at this preliminary stage where the basis of all knowledge in sciences is built, and it requires a high GPA to be considered for admission to Medical Schools. Additionally, the vast majority of successful applicants also complete volunteer work, research projects or shadowing to further enhance their applications.

Medical School

Duration: 4 years

Once out of university, you must commit another four years to more schooling in medical school. The first two years focus on classroom and laboratory education in advanced science and medical topics, while the last two years consist of clinical rotations. While in clinical rotations, students get to experience a range of specializations such as surgery. Even more competitive is the road to medical school which demands outstanding grades, a high Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score and glowing letters of recommendation.

Residency Training

Duration: 6-7 years

After medical school, an aspiring neurosurgeon completes a residency program in neurological surgery. This is where they specialize in neurosurgery and practice for around six to seven years under the direct supervision of relevant neurosurgeons. Residency consists of wider exposure to medical and surgial diseases related to neurology. Residents are also trained in complex brain and spinal surgery - including use of minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

Resident neurosurgeons are also required to conduct research and publish in medical journal articles during residency. This phase is grueling, with long hours and heavy responsibilities and garbage cans. This phase gets trainees ready for the big game.

Fellowship (Optional)

Duration: 1-2 years

Following residency, some neurosurgeons opt to complete additional specialized training by performing a fellowship. This can be done between one and two years, depending on the subspecialty. Neurosurgery - specializing in surgery of the brain and spine (for children as well: pediatric neurosurgery) or in neuro-oncology Fellowships are places where already specialized doctors can dig more plentiful in their fields which then the respective neurosurgeon desires to do.

Board Certification

In addition to these requirements, neurosurgeons must also be board certified following residency training, with the option for further fellowship post-training. This includes passing the oral and written exams from the American Board of Neurological Surgery. They must stay certified throughout their careers by meeting continuing education requirements and periodically re-taking certification examinations to prove they are current in the field.

Continuous Learning

The long and short of it, neurosurgery is a practice that grows with times as science and technology progresses. They must keep learning through continued medical education and through experiences with practical training throughout their careers as neurosurgeons.

In conclusion, to become a neurosurgeon you need between 14 years post-secondary education and training: 4 years of premed (undergraduate education : studies) or another bachelor program(identification), 4 years of electives surgery, double executive or Pxdiatric, up to heading residencies may be prescribed, over an above 6-7 years of residency on teaching. A fellowship being an extra 1-2 years on top of that for some. This lengthy educational investment is required for a job that involves a high degree of skill and one that has a monumental impact of the life and health of those we would provide care to.

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