As one of the most challenging fields of medicine, neurology provides the highest levels of income for doctors in this field. The competition to obtain neurosurgeon positions can be very stiff. If you believe that you can handle high-risk surgery procedures on the human brain, then you may have what it takes to be a neurosurgeon. Maybe you aspire to attend medical school and have thought, “How do I become a neurosurgeon?” The answer to your question is that it takes a high level of focus and dedication to ultimately succeed in obtaining a position as a neurosurgeon.
What’s it like to be a neurosurgeon?
The daily life of a neurosurgeon often features a high level of stress. Neurosurgeons will often have to perform surgeries in immediate situations. You may be instantly given a victim who has suffered a traumatic injury and requires surgery on the brain. You may deal with other patients who have a debilitating illness and require the removal of a brain tumor. Neurosurgeons must treat a variety of neurological issues. They must also stay updated on the most cutting-edge surgeries and know which advancements have been made in treating illnesses. Otherwise, neurosurgeons can be liable for malpractice if they do not know what the standards are in the neurology field.
To become a neurosurgeon, you should be prepared for a long road of education. You should have a strong aptitude for science and math. You should try to get as many required courses out of the way during your high school years if you already know that you want to become a neurosurgeon. This will allow you to graduate from college a year or two early. Before you apply to medical school, you will need to take the MCAT exam. The MCAT exam tests your analytical abilities to see whether you have the necessary skills to practice medicine. You will then be able to save tuition money and go to medical school early. Medical school will last about four years, and you will be able to take specialized courses during your later years of medical school. During your last year of medical school, you should then take time to apply to residency programs that have a focus in neurology. You will then need to pass the state licensing exam in order to legally practice medicine as a doctor. After you take the state board certification, you may then want to obtain other certifications from neurology organizations. These additional certifications can provide you with credibility in the medical field.
Salary & How to Get a Job
According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), the average salary of practicing neurosurgeons is about $660,000 a year. This can easily increase to about $1,000,000 a year for private practitioners. To obtain a position as a neurosurgeon, you can apply for positions at hospitals and private practices. You may decide that you want to partner with another individual and open your own practice. There are also specific types of neurosurgeons who may only deal with cancer patients or children. To become a neurosurgeon, you should be prepared to think on your feet and deal with highly stressful situations. You may also receive phone calls from patients at all hours of the day.
When you become a neurosurgeon, you will be able to help people overcome tragic accidents and chronic illnesses. You may also be able to have a role in performing research that is critical in helping to develop medications for people with brain disorders or rare forms of brain cancer.