About the job:

What you do

As a Neurosurgeon, your job is to perform brain and nervous system operations. Most people think neurosurgeons are only brain surgeons. However, neurosurgeons diagnose and treat disorders of the entire nervous system – brain, spinal cord, skull and the spine. 

The tough stuff

As a Neurosurgeon, you will have to:

  • Handle the stress and pressure of working in one of the most demanding fields
  • Prepare to receive phone calls late at night, when someone may need surgery
  • Invest many years of your life in Education and Training for this field
The cool stuff

As a Neurosurgeon, you will get to:

  • Improve the lives of many people
  • Be well-respected and fairly compensated
  • Use some cool instrumentation and technology  


Typical work hours
  • 80+ hours a week

Are you the right fit?

Classes you should be good at
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
Best high school track(s)
  • Life Sciences
Personal qualities
  • Expressing yourself verbally
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Dexterity (hands and fingers)
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving

Will you make money?

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Education stuff:

Education required

To become a Neurosurgeon, you will study at least 14-16 years. You should: 

1. Complete a Pre-Med Program: Although pre-med is not a requirement for entry into medical school, it will give you a big advantage over the competition. Pre-med entails coursework in fields such as biology, organic chemistry, and statistics. These courses will satisfy medical school prerequisites, and help you prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

2. Take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

3. Complete your Medical Doctorate. In general, a medical doctorate takes four years to complete. The first two years entails coursework on a range of medical issues. In the final two years of the degree, you will complete a series of medical rotations, working with patients under the direction of licensed physicians in many fields. 

4. Apply through the Neurosurgery Match Program. Toward the end of medical school, matching a residency in neurosurgery is extremely competitive, and there is a possibility you will not match. If you get matched, you will take 6-8 years of neurosurgical residency training. In the first year, commonly called Post Graduate Year One or the Internship year, you will undergo training in basic clinical skills in areas such as Trauma and Critical care followed by 3-6 months of training in Clinical Neurology. Over the next six years, you will complete a total of at least 42 months training in core Clinical Neurosurgery. 

5. Get licensed. 


Helpful resources
Local universities
International universities