How to Become a Neurosurgeon

Neurosurgeons, sometimes referred to as brain surgeons, diagnose and treat conditions that affect the neurological system. Neurosurgeons perform delicate surgical procedures relating to the brain and nervous system. They treat brain tumors and brain-related injuries, including brain and spinal traumas resulting from accidents. Aspiring neurosurgeons must fulfill extensive educational requirements, as well as an extensive residency. If you're still interested in becoming a neurosurgeon, read on and find out how to go about it.

  • Earn a bachelor's of science degree. If you know that you want to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon, start preparing while you're in college. Earn an undergraduate degree in biology. Make sure your bachelor's degree includes pre-med prerequisites, such as biochemistry, microbiology and human anatomy.
  • Go to medical school and become a doctor of medicine (MD). Before being accepted into medical school, you will have to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and apply to various medical schools (it's always best to apply to more than one school). If you receive a high grade on the MCAT, you'll be accepted to medical school. Once in medical school, you'll complete a four year medical training course. To become a neurosurgeon, you will be compelled to take advanced courses in medical diagnostics and surgical practice. At the end of your schooling you'll have to complete a residency program.
  • Get a medical license. You must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) before you can practice medicine. You can take this test while you're in your residency program.
  • Get licensed as a neurosurgeon. Once you receive your medical license, you will have to complete a one-year hospital internship followed by a six-to-eight-year neurosurgery residency. After completing these prerequisites, you can apply to your state's medical board for a license to perform neurosurgery. [Sources: Education, Mahalo]