Neurosurgeon Career - Is It Right For You

Doctor - Neurology

A neurosurgeon is a surgical specialist that operates on the head, neck, brain, and spinal cord.  Because of the high salary of neurosurgeon careers, it is a very competitive field.  Neurosurgery requires an extremely high level of surgical skills.  Neurosurgeon school requirements reflect that complexity, allowing admission to only the most highly qualified candidates.  The neurosurgeon career path starts with a bachelors degree, followed by four years of medical school.  The real work of becoming a neurosurgeon begins after medical school.  Towards the end of medical school, interested candidates should seek out neurosurgeon career information to get a better understanding of what the rest of their life will be like. 

After medical school, future neurosurgeons must be accepted into a residency training program.  There are just about 100 of these training programs in the country, lasting from 6 to 8 years.  Neurosurgeon school requirements are demanding because the field is even more so.  These residency programs only accept from 1 to 3 students every year, and attract only the best and brightest medical school graduates.  Partly due to the astronomical education costs, and also due to the high degree of skill required, the expected salary of neurosurgeon school graduates is very high, averaging over $660,000 a year.  The top 10 percent of neurosurgeons earn over $1 million.

Candidates interested in following the neurosurgeon career path must be able to thrive under immense pressure.  Training is rigorous, and very long.  Neurosurgeons need to be available at any hours to respond to emergencies.  Most of these emergencies come from head and neck trauma due to accident or acts of violence. As a neurosurgeon, you would have access to some of the most advanced medical equipment available. This requires a level of comfort with complex technology.  Neurosurgeons also need to possess outstanding critical thinking and analyzing abilities, the best surgical skills, and a high level of dexterity for performing the most delicate surgical procedures.

Neurosurgeon career information cannot begin to prepare the candidate to understand the level of stress in this field.  With such great reward comes even greater risk. The salary of neurosurgeon careers is high because the profession is so demanding.  Many of the surgeries that neurosurgeons perform are matters of life or death.  They work on patients that have often been the victims of extreme trauma, and the results are not always favorable.  Neurosurgeons need to be at peace with the knowledge that they will not be able to save every patient.  To be successful, a candidate needs the ability to let their failures go and be able to move on, maintaining their high level of skill and focus.

Successful neurosurgeons are special people with a unique ability to move forward after tragedy.  Not every surgery will be a success, and not every patient can be saved.  Neurosurgeons need to learn this early in their residency training, as no amount of reading neurosurgeon career information is enough preparation.  Fortunately, there is an extreme bright side.  The lives that neurosurgeons save make up for the ones that they don't. 

Becoming a neurosurgeon takes talent, intellect, focus, and determination.  The neurosurgeon career path is long and stressful, but the financial rewards at the end are substantial.  Neurosurgeon school requirements are expensive, and neurosurgeons find themselves saddled with student debt for many years after completing their training.  But, with such a huge salary expectation, the debt from school should be manageable, and there should be plenty of income left over for affording a fulfilling life away from the operating room.  If you are considering a career in neurosurgery, understand that the high salary comes with a very high level of responsibility.