Becoming a Neurosurgeon
Neurosurgeons perform brain surgeries and also deal with spinal trauma, carotid artery disease, spina bifida, chronic back pain and much more. Becoming a neurosurgeon involves a great deal of study, beginning in high school. Biology, chemistry, physics and math course should be taken in high school and the more advanced the courses are the better.
A good way to begin planning becoming a neurosurgeon during high school would be to volunteer at a doctor’s office or hospital. Doing so will help you to determine if neurosurgery is something you would be interested in and it will also enrich your college application. The college you choose to attend should offer a pre-med advising program that can help you to prepare for medical school. Be sure that the school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities you can become involved in as medical schools look favorably on those students who become involved in groups and organizations.
While in college, you will need to work on earning a bachelor’s degree in a pre-med subject such as biology, physics, organic chemistry or math. Plan on taking the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT during your junior year. You will need to study hard for this exam. It would be in your best interest to pick up a good set of MCAT study books.
Once you have been accepted into medical school you will be laying the foundation that you will need when your neurosurgery training begins after graduation. You will be studying spinal disease, nerve disease, intra-cranial disease and later will do a clinical rotation in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery. Toward the end of your medical school studies you will have to take the United States Medical Licensing Exam or USMLE.
The next step to becoming a neurosurgeon involves a residency program wherein you will rotate through various aspects of neurosurgery, picking up experience along the way. The first year you will gain basic skills wherein you will then be spending time training in surgery, although not in neurosurgery. A full sixty months of your residency will be spent studying the neurological sciences. Thirty-six months will be spent as a neurosurgery resident and twenty-four of these months need to be spent at the same institution. You must then serve twelve months as a senior or chief resident.
Once you are finished with your residency, you are well on the road to becoming a neurosurgeon. You will have to sit for and pass final exams in order to earn your license to practice neurosurgery. After many years of hard work and commitment you will become a neurosurgeon wherein you can start to treat patients of all ages who are suffering from a wide variety of neurological conditions, disorders and diseases.