How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Neurosurgeon?

Neurosurgery is an exceptionally demanding and complex field that requires the highest degree of commitment, skill, training. One of the toughest medical specialties to get into is Neurosurgery, with years and years in training. If you are contemplating to make a career in this field, it is very important that you know about the timeline and what type of education requirements there be. In this post we will discuss the typical path and timeframe for becoming a certified neurosurgeon.

Undergraduate Education

Duration: 4 years

The first step in the path towards becoming a neurosurgeon is to complete your bachelor's degree. Most future pediatric surgeons major in pre-med, biology or chemistry. This formative period is crucial to create the necessary basics in sciences along with gearing up for medical entrance exams such as MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Medical School

Duration: 4 years

Next is Medical School, which is a step after your undergraduate degree and typically last 4 years. The first two years are largely devoted to classroom and laboratory instruction in the most current biological sciences. The last two years include clinical rotations in different fields of medicine, where students are able to practice diagnosing and treating illnesses under supervision.

Residency Program

Duration: 7 years

Next is a neurosurgery residency program after medical school graduation. This is the place where more experienced neurosurgeons supervise and betrain aspirant neurosurgeon to get specialized training on it. These are normally seven years of residency combining surgery, ICU and research. Residents are exposed to a variety of procedures from brain surgery and spinal operations, dealing with complex cases that affect the central nervous system.

Fellowship (Optional)

Duration: 1-2 years

After their residency, some neurosurgeons opt for even more specialization in fields like pediatric neurosurgery, spine surgery or neurosurgical oncology. Fellowships are post-residency training opportunities that focus on a specialty area of medicine, and typically last 1-2 years.

Certification and Licensure

Neurosurgeons who wish to practice on their own must first secure licensure as a physician, which is done by passing various exams. Board certification, which most large hospitals insist upon and many smaller ones require as well to grant privileges involves passing the American Board of Neurological Surgery exam following residency.

Total Time Commitment

In total, becoming a neurosurgeon is likely be at least 15 years long from high school: having to attend undergraduate study for four year (4), medical school for an additional four year (4) and residency of seven years. Optional fellowships can add 1-2 more years to that timeline.

Challenges and Rewards

The trail to becoming a neurosurgeon is long and arduous; the point of no return - after all time, money, sweat, tears have been spent on this single pursuit. Neurosurgery is a very-rewarding field that allows you to save lives and work with the latest in creative medical science.

Detailed guidance on the educational path for anyone interested in this challenging yet rewarding career is given here: how many years do you have to go to college to be a neurosurgeon. Read: Planning to study Abroad during pandemic: No worries this can be your go-to guide for an exhaustive roadmap of the admissions process which may provide clarity, direction and long term medical career prospect.

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