How to Become a Neurosurgeon?

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How to Become a Neurosurgeon?

Medical Science always has vacancies for medical assistants, surgeons, doctors, nurses, and similar other posts. In short, there is always a demand for good quality medical practitioners. Among the different practitioners, doctors, and surgeons, the demand for neurosurgeons is constantly increasing. If you are eager to know how to become a neurosurgeon, then you are definitely at the right spot as this blog will highlight all the requirements and things that’ll help you to become a neurosurgeon.

What is Neurology

The name “neurology” is derived from the terms “neuro” and “logy.” The terms “neuro” and “logy” refer to the study of nerves. To put it another way, neurology is the science of nerves.

Neurology is the branch of medicine or biology that deals with the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of the nerve and nervous system. The nervous system is a very complex and highly advanced system that simply regulates and coordinates body activities. A human body is composed of roughly (wait for it) 86,000,000,000 neurons (Good luck with counting the number of zero’s there). Covering up the entire system, neurons function as the major signaling channel in the human body.

Who is a Neurosurgeon?

Before knowing how to become a neurosurgeon, let’s first understand who is a neurosurgeon actually and what he/she does. A neurosurgeon is a medical professional who is an expert in the diagnosis of neurological-based problems, related to the human brain, neck, and spinal cord. A neurosurgeon also treats and carries out surgical operations on the patients having issues with either their brain, neck or spinal cord.

The brain is one of the most complex and critical organs of the human body. A neurosurgeon treats patients who are suffering from brain cancer, benign tumors, neurological disorders in the spine, and surgery for its removal. Special robotic devices and equipment assist neurosurgeons in careful surgery at a specific location using advanced complex technology.

Courtesy: Brainbook

How to Become a Neurosurgeon?

The aspiring candidates who are keen to know how to become a neurosurgeon can refer to the following steps or guide:

Step 1

The students with a 10+2 degree and at least 55% score are eligible to apply for the Medical Entrance Test conducted throughout the country (NEET) and also by individual states. Clearing this test is important to get into a medical college for an MBBS degree. Some institutes conduct separate tests such as AIIMS, AFMC, GMCH, and more. These exams are conducted once every year with a limited number of attempts by an individual candidate.

Step 2

Students can then take admission in the 4 years of MBBS course in respective colleges after clearing the medical entrance exam. Post MBBS, an MS degree of 1-2 years in neurosurgery is also compulsory to undertake. 

Step 3 

Post the completion of the MSc Neurosurgery degree or course, candidates can enroll themselves for M.Ch Neurosurgery or Master of Chirurgiae in Neurosurgery which is also a postgraduate degree program undertaken by medical students and practitioners to achieve expertise in Neurosurgery. The course is of 2-3 years of duration and includes specialized training in Neurosurgery.

Step 4

After completing all the training and completion of the postgraduate degree, neurosurgeons can get registered to find jobs in both private and government hospitals or health centers. They can even establish their neurosurgical centers as well.

Top Universities Abroad for Neurosurgeons 

Listed below are some of the most renowned universities from around the world that offer a course in Neurosurgery.

Universities  Location (Country) QS World University Ranking 2022
The University of Melbourne Australia 37
Monash University Australia 58
The University of New South Wales Australia 43
Edge Hill University UK
Canterbury Christ Church University UK 1001-1200
University of Zurich Switzerland  =70
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Germany  64
University of Alabama USA 801-1000
University of Tennessee USA 541-550
University of Illinois USA 82
University College London UK =8
University of Oxford UK 2
University of Cambridge UK =3
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands  =209
Heidelberg University Germany

Top Indian Colleges for Neurosurgeons

Here is a list of the top institutes and colleges that offer Neurosurgery courses and degrees in India:

  1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
  2. Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi
  3. Christian Medical College, Vellore
  4. JIPMER College, Puducherry
  5. Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
  6. St Johns Medical College, Bangalore
  7. Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
  8. Grant Medical College, Mumbai
  9. Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore
  10. S.C.B Medical College, Cuttack

Also Read: MCh Neurosurgery

Eligibility to Become a Neurosurgeon

The aspiring neurosurgeons must fulfill the following criteria to become a successful neurosurgeon

  • Must have passed 12th or equivalent examination with a minimum of 50% from a recognised board.
  • Must have cleared the NEET UG Medical entrance exam with the minimum cutoff
  • Minimum age of 17 years and maximum of 25 years while appearing for NEET
  • MBBS degree from a recognised medical college 
  • Appear for postgraduate entrance exam for MS degree of 1-2 years
  • Get a postgraduate degree from recognised medical college
  • Get enrolled for M.Ch Neurosurgery fro 2-3 years

Important Subjects 

Now that you have all the knowledge about how to become a Neurosurgeon and the top universities abroad and in India, let’s know about some of the important subjects that you will be studying while pursuing a degree in the same field.

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Community Medicine
  • Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
  • Pathology
  • Microbiology
  • Radiology
  • Neurology
  • Neuro Pathology
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Infection
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Neurosurgical Oncology
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Cerebral Vascular Surgery
  • Surgery of the Peripheral Nervous System
  • Neurotrauma and Neurosurgical Critical Care
  • Psychiatry and many more

Skills Required to Become a Neurosurgeon

A Neurosurgeon practitioner must possess the following skills that are listed below:

  • Ability to clearly understand Human Anatomy, Physiology, and other related subjects
  • Ability to gather information relevant to studies
  • Ability to understand the complex Neurosurgical procedures
  • Ability to use robotic devices during surgery
  • Ability to recollect about patient history quickly

Stages of Training for a Neurosurgeon

From specialty trainee year 1 (ST1) through specialty trainee year 8, the UK neurosurgical specialty training program consists of eight training years. When a program is entered, it is mostly a “run through” specialization with no further competitive steps.

Initial stage

The student can gain core surgical abilities that are common to all surgical specialties, as well as skills and competencies in basic neurosurgical care, clinical neurosciences, emergency medicine, and neuro-intensive care during the early stage of training. ST1 focuses on fundamental neuroscience instruction. The Royal College of Surgeons Membership examination is normally taken at the conclusion of ST2 and must be passed before the trainee may continue to ST3. The Royal College of Surgeons has further information on the test. 

Intermediate stage

Trainees will strengthen their theoretical knowledge and clinical abilities acquired during the first training stage throughout the intermediate level. They will also gain knowledge of central nervous system infections, cranial trauma, degenerative spinal diseases, hydrocephalus, intracranial hemorrhage, neuro-oncology, spinal oncology, and spinal trauma. The brain website, a resource produced by the Joint Neurosciences Council, provides online materials for neurosurgery.

The move from intermediate to advanced neurosurgery training is contingent on students gaining the necessary clinical and operating skills. They must show that they can manage a wide range of emergency neurosurgery presentations and that they have gained microsurgery abilities. Trainees with inadequate clinical or professional abilities will be recommended for targeted training and will not advance to the final level.

Final stage

Trainees will spend more time in the operating room during the final stage, with less time spent on ward administration and routine outpatient clinics. Under the direct supervision of pediatric neurosurgeons, all trainees will complete a six-month placement at a pediatric neurosurgery service. After finishing ST6, the intercollegiate examination in neurosurgery is frequently taken. Examinations for sections 1 and 2 are held twice a year. Applications should be made through the Intercollegiate Examination Board website. 

The specialized advisory committee will determine if the learner is competent after completing training and passing the assessment. The Joint Committee on Surgical Training makes a recommendation to the GMC, and if the trainee is found competent, they will get a certificate of completion of training (CCT), be put on the specialist registry, and be eligible to seek a consultant position.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Being a Neurosurgeon

The benefits and drawbacks of being a neurosurgeon are listed below.

Pros

  • After successful procedures, becoming a neurosurgeon may provide satisfying results by assisting patients in overcoming severe problems. They conduct a variety of complex treatments, including the removal of brain tumors or damaged brain regions, the mending of gunshot wounds, and the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • A rigorous education and training is required to become a neurosurgeon, which may limit competition in the field. Prior to entering medical school, you must have completed an undergraduate degree and have a working knowledge of chemistry and biology.
  • Neurosurgeons and residents are often the first to arrive at the hospital and the last to leave. They’re frequently adamant about getting the greatest results for their patients.

Cons 

  • It might take a long time and a lot of effort to become a neurosurgeon. Becoming a neurosurgeon takes about 16 years of higher education, including four years for a bachelor’s degree, another four years for a doctorate, followed by a one-year internship in surgery, and a seven-year residency.
  • There is no standard timetable for a neurological surgeon, and working hours vary. You’re generally on call and work long hours in this line of business. Working long hours often results in fatigue and stress, which may limit mental abilities while working with patients and performing surgery.
  • Being a neurosurgeon may require personal sacrifices due to an unpredictable work schedule. You may have to sacrifice family time or other personal ties as a result of your job. When you work on call, you may miss out on your children’s birthday parties or trip opportunities.

Neurosurgeon Job Description

A neurosurgeon’s employment entails removing brain tumors, cutting irregular blood vessel formations inside the brain, and removing sections of the cerebral cortex to cure epilepsy by conducting surgery on the brain, spinal cord, and nerves of humans.

Salary and Future Scope 

Neurosurgery is one of the highest-paid jobs in the field of medicine. The salary of a Neurosurgery specialized doctor can be as high as Rs 80,000 to 1,00,000 per month in government hospitals depending upon the years of experience. They are also provided with additional benefits of accommodation by the government.

Private neurosurgeons can earn up to 2,00,000 per month. They can charge between Rs.1,00,000 to 2,00,000 per neurological surgery. In the USA, neurosurgeons’ hourly wage is $99.93 and annual wage is approximately $396,274. It entirely depends upon the number of patients they see in a month.

The future of neurosurgeons is bright due to less supply and high demand. Medical professionals are always in high demand but due to increasing human ailments and patients, the demand has significantly increased in the last few years. The upcoming neurosurgeons are going to live a good life doing this job.

Types of Job Roles

The most popular job roles of neurosurgeons are as a Neurologist, Neuro Physician, and Neurosurgeon.

  • NeurologistThey are specialized in nervous system disorders. Rigorous medical training is a prerequisite to become a neurologist and treat the brain, spinal cord, and similar organs. 
  • Neuro Physician- Clinicians who treat nervous disorders by non-surgical means and provide medicines to cure them. Specialized in stroke, memory loss, neuromuscular pain disorders.
  • Neurosurgeons- Doctors who perform surgical operations to treat both acute and chronic neurological disorders.

Difference Between Neurologist & Neurosurgeon

A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in neurology. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in treating problems of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Some of the disorders include headaches, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, infections of the brain and peripheral nervous system, spinal cord disorders, language and speech disorders.

However, you should keep in mind that a neurologist will never undertake surgery. Although a neurologist frequently collaborates with neurosurgeons, he or she never conducts surgery. A neurosurgeon is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating problems of the central and peripheral nervous systems through surgery. Congenital malformations, cancers, vascular problems, infections of the brain or spine, and other abnormalities.

Must Read: BSc Neuroscience

Employment Opportunities and Top Recruiters for a Neurologist

There are job possibilities for neurologists both in India and overseas. Because of the complexities of their job, these clinical practitioners are among the highest-paid in the medical profession. Some of the most common job possibilities for neurologists include:

  • Government Hospitals
  • Spine and Brain Hospitals
  • Private Hospitals
  • Medical Colleges
  • Armed Forces Medical Services
  • Railways Medical Facilities
  • Private practice
  • Specialist Hospitals

The following are some of the top super specialty hospitals in India that hire neurologists or neurosurgeons:

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Apollo Hospitals
  • Fortis Hospital
  • Max Hospital
  • Enterprise Medical Services
  • Physician Recruiting
  • Born and Bicknell
  • Indian Armed Forces Medical Services
  • Kendall & Dav
  • IBS Hospitals

We hope this blog helps you in understanding how to become a neurosurgeon. We have clearly explained the eligibility and course structure for the aspiring neurosurgeons. We hope you can gain meaningful insights from this blog. For queries regarding your career and plans to study abroad, you can contact our experts at Leverage Edu. Book your free 30 minutes e-meeting with us today!

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