Neurosurgery has existed since before the times of the Incas. Some evidence even dates it back to 3000 B. C. Africa (“Neurosurgery”). Even though neurosurgery has been around for thousands of years, and technology dealing with neurosurgery has advanced, its main intention has not changed as time progressed. Surgeons are physicians, which work to right deformities, fix injuries, and stop diseases (“Surgeon”). Neurosurgeons are just specialized surgeons. Today these surgeons are demanded to treat and to operate on the spinal cord, the nerves, and the brain.
Neurosurgeons are capable of treating countless problems, from Parkinson’s disease to use stem cells to relieve paralysis stricken patients (“Neurosurgeon;” “Neurosurgery”). Although neurosurgeons have to spend multiple years specializing, neurosurgery makes an optimal career for students interested in health care. Prospecting students must learn skills and use already obtained skills to develop into a neurosurgeon. As stated before, neurosurgeons are doctors who treat problems occurring in the brain and nerves. Using numerous machines, for example the CAT scan and the MRI, neurosurgeons save countless lives.
The main function of the bio- medical machines is to “provide detailed anatomic pictures of the brain, spinal structures and the blood vessels” (“Neurosurgeon”). With the use of these machines, neurosurgeons can see where tumors and locate cancers as well. One will need to use tools, as well as these machines. Neurosurgeons must know how to use a scalpel and be comfortable cutting into another human being (“Neurosurgeon”). Most of the work that neurosurgeons do is cutting into other people, be it in the head or the back.
Anyone interested in neurosurgery should enjoy “helping people; science and technology; anatomy; learning and discovery; problem solving…” (“Health”). From solving problems to helping people, neurosurgeons have to enjoy what they do. If one does not take pleasure in any of these things, he is should not become a neurosurgeon. Neurosurgeons spend most of their day on their feet performing surgeries, so they are inclined to have stamina and have in interest in neurosurgery. If one enjoys righting irregularities, this career is for him (Muraszko).
Surgeons, in general, are on call every day, so stamina is a major part in choosing neurosurgery as a career. Surgeons, in general, spend years in extra education, so they must be studious as well (Santiago). Not only does one need innate skills to become a neurosurgeon, excellent grades and test scores are also required. Future neurosurgeons should also have certain grades and test scores for medical school admission, most of which either make or break one’s choice of becoming a neurosurgeon. Preparation in becoming a neurosurgeon reaches back to high school.
If one wants to become a neurosurgeon, some recommended high school preparation would be four years of English, four years of science, four years of social studies, four years of math, and three to four years of a foreign language. Courses in statistics and computer science are advised as well (“Health”). A good foundation is never a bad thing; it will help one through college and through life as well. Even though good grades aid one’s admission into a medical school, they are not the only thing needed. One does not need straight “As” in order to get into medical school.
Medical schools look at one’s MCAT scores and cumulative grade point average (“Health”). One’s grade point average is an important factor in attending one medical school or another. The MCAT is another thing that medical schools look at. The Medical College Application Test (MCAT) is a test taken in the third year of college, and it assesses critical thinking, problem solving, and other skills of writing. It contains three 15 question tests (Singh). Doing well on the MCAT will play an important part in getting into a first-class medical school.
Even though one is not required to obtain a 4. 0 grade point average, one must have superb grades and also pick a prestigious medical school to attend. Picking the right medical school and gaining acceptance into that school can be an enormous decision that affects the rest of one’s life and career as a neurosurgeon. One must be exceptional in the first three years of college in order to acquire the attention of a medical school. Dr. Harvinderpal Singh said that “By your fourth year in college, you will have taken your MCAT and also gotten the attention of a medical school” (Singh).
Once a medical school has indicated that they might want one, an interview in scheduled. The interviews give one a opportunity to see the medical schools in which one would like to learn. One should be honest in the interview and also not be shy when asking questions (Muraszko). Leaving a good impression will let one into the school that he wants to go to. While getting accepted into a medical school might be hard, the years after receiving acceptance will be more difficult. If a medical school accepts oneself, six to seven years of neurosurgeon residency lay ahead (“Brain”).
Residency is like an internship; one learns the rules of the trade first hand. It is necessary to complete one’s residency, and then progress to grow to be a registered neurosurgeon. In “Brain Surgeon: Job Description, Salary, Duties and Requirements” it is said that, “To become a board-licensed neurosurgeon, qualified graduates of accredited neurosurgery programs must complete written and oral exams administered by the [American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS)] and submit practice data for review” (“Brain”).
It is compulsory to become registered, or one will not receive a job as neurosurgeon. Once one is specialized, he can reap the rewards of his diligence and years of education. Benefits and rewards of becoming a neurosurgeon are incomparable, from being highly respected to receiving job satisfaction. The salary for neurosurgeons is an example of a benefit. In 2010, the average salary for neurosurgeons was $547,477. This salary is higher “than the mean annual salary of $219,770 for all surgeons according to the U.
S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2009 (www. bls. gov)” (“Brain”). The salary of a neurosurgeon is twice that of an unspecialized surgeon. Just think of what one could do with $200,000 extra each year. Neurosurgeons also have much job satisfaction. Another benefit of becoming a neurosurgeon is that one will continue to be challenged and will learn continuously throughout the duration of their career (“Neurosurgeon”). Neurosurgeons can also become famous throughout the medical world.
One may write in medical and scientific journals, receiving fame in return. In addition to that, a neurosurgeon is qualified enough to change careers to a director of research, administrators of medical schools, etc. (“Neurosurgeon”). This means that later on if one wants to escape from the stress of being a neurosurgeon; he can become a dean of a medical school or almost any other unspecialized medical career. All in all, neurosurgery is a rewarding job, without the hard work and years of additional education one could not enjoy the benefits.
Pursuing a career in neurosurgery also has its shortcomings, from working long hours to needing a great deal of education. Generally, neurosurgeons work long hours. Averaging 60 to 80 hours per week, work in the field of neurosurgery is hard and requires much stamina (“Neurosurgeon”). This work is such, because neurosurgeons must stand for hours operating and must perform surgeries without making any mistakes. While working, neurosurgeons perform operations, such as brain surgeries and spinal cord surgeries.
Brain surgeries can take more than ten hours, and spinal cord surgeries go up to three hours (“Neurosurgeon”). That is a long time for a person to be meticulously operating another’s brain and nerves. Stress will surely get to a person, if they cannot make even one mistake without damaging a patient’s inner workings. Another downfall of neurosurgery is that by the time one has become a neurosurgeon, he has spent many years and thousands of dollars in training. From college to medical school and residency, it takes more than eight years in extra education to become a neurosurgeon (Arthur).
In this time, one could have started a family or bought a job, but neurosurgery students spend the time studying to become doctors. Not only do neurosurgeons spend more than eight years to specialize into neurosurgeons, they continue to learn after as well. Staying informed and up to date requires neurosurgeons to recognize new technological and medical breakthroughs. By the use of documentation and medical journals, neurosurgeons are able to stay updated (Arthur). They must do this in order to give the most safe and effective treatment to their patients.
Even with the disadvantages of long hours and extra education, the pros outweigh the cons, making neurosurgery a fine vocation. From all aspects of neurosurgery, a career as a neurosurgeon is one of the best possible in the medical field. Reverence from people working in another occupation and a median salary of more than half a million dollars a year make this true. Even though neurosurgeons are required to work long hours and stay on indefinite call, a neurosurgeon’s salary reflects the amount of work needed to get the job done.
Pursuing a career in neurosurgery not only specializes one, but also helps him succeed at life. It aids in acquiring skills, such as critical thinking, and provides respect to whoever might practice this branch of surgery. Moreover, neurosurgery helps keep one sharp and forever learning. A career in neurosurgery is forever challenging and highly beneficial, making it an optimal profession for all. Neurosurgery has been around for thousands of years, and it will continue to linger until the end of humanity.
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