abcxyz0123

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I was just wondering, is becoming a successful neurosurgeon really as unattainable and challenging as most average people make it out to be, or is it just like any other specialty, you just learn and get better at what you do? my dream has always been to become a neurosurgeon, and its really all I think about, but it just seems that only geniuses are in the field.

Also, how easy is it to make a mistake when you are doing a surgery...do all the procedures you do once you finish residency basically become second nature, or are you scared as hell every second you do something in the OR?
 

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seth03 said:
I was just wondering, is becoming a successful neurosurgeon really as unattainable and challenging as most average people make it out to be, or is it just like any other specialty, you just learn and get better at what you do? my dream has always been to become a neurosurgeon, and its really all I think about, but it just seems that only geniuses are in the field.

Also, how easy is it to make a mistake when you are doing a surgery...do all the procedures you do once you finish residency basically become second nature, or are you scared as hell every second you do something in the OR?
Nope any ******* can can do neurosurgery. :idea:

Dude come on, what do you think?!? :confused:
Its a highly self-selective group. Those who like the field and that can handle it intellectual and physical rigors will chose to enter the field. I think that applies to any highly competitive field.

Unattainable?!? Lets put things in perspective.

You sound like a first year student. If this is the case, only one semesters worth of your grades is set in stone. At this point, if you are near the top of the class than neurosurgery is certainly within the realm of possibilities as are derm, plastics and any other competitive field. If you find yourself getting straight A's or Honors, may be you do have at least the book smarts to get into a neurosurgery residency, if thats what you want. If you are of above average intelligence, hardworking and don't have any major physical disabilities why does neurosurgery sound so out of reach to you?

Lets say neurosurgery really is in the cards for you. There have been many neurosurgeons before you and there will be many after you, and surely you are not the first, nor will you be the last to feel that neurosurgery is 'unattainable' or 'challenging'. So take a deep breath and relax.

Just do your best in school, and if you really want to do neurosurgery, go for it!
Good luck!
 

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hans19 said:
Nope any ******* can can do neurosurgery. :idea:

Dude come on, what do you think?!? :confused:
Its a highly self-selective group. Those who like the field and that can handle it intellectual and physical rigors will chose to enter the field. I think that applies to any highly competitive field.

Unattainable?!? Lets put things in perspective.

You sound like a first year student. If this is the case, only one semesters worth of your grades is set in stone. At this point, if you are near the top of the class than neurosurgery is certainly within the realm of possibilities as are derm, plastics and any other competitive field. If you find yourself getting straight A's or Honors, may be you do have at least the book smarts to get into a neurosurgery residency, if thats what you want. If you are of above average intelligence, hardworking and don't have any major physical disabilities why does neurosurgery sound so out of reach to you?

Lets say neurosurgery really is in the cards for you. There have been many neurosurgeons before you and there will be many after you, and surely you are not the first, nor will you be the last to feel that neurosurgery is 'unattainable' or 'challenging'. So take a deep breath and relax.

Just do your best in school, and if you really want to do neurosurgery, go for it!
Good luck![/QUOTE

I agree that one cannot be stupid and be a neurosurgeon. However, one does not need "exceptional" intellect to function as a competant neurosurgeon. Anyone that does well in medical school, has average to above average intelligence, willing to make extreme sacrifices, work hard, and basically put his work ahead of himself and his family can be a neurosurgeon IMHO
 
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abcxyz0123

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alright i didn't ask if any ******* could do neuro, i thought it was a decently legit question, but thanks for your replies anyway. also, does anyone have an answer to my second question?
 

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seth03 said:
alright i didn't ask if any ******* could do neuro, i thought it was a decently legit question, but anyway, does anyone have an answer to my second question?
i think it was a good question, Seth. I heard that doctors in general have higher average IQ. What sets future neurosurgeons apart is your willingness to work harder than anyone else, which will be reflected in you grades, board score, and LORs.

As far as being nervous during surgery, i think most interns are scared their first year, but after the umptieth time of doing a certain procedure, your confidence gradually builds. i'm sure there's still a sense of rush for some surgeons, but at least on the outside, they appear calm and composed.

maybe surgery tends to draw those with the type of personality who could remain calm under stress?
 

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medstudent123 said:
i think it was a good question, Seth. I heard that doctors in general have higher average IQ. What sets future neurosurgeons apart is your willingness to work harder than anyone else, which will be reflected in you grades, board score, and LORs.

As far as being nervous during surgery, i think most interns are scared their first year, but after the umptieth time of doing a certain procedure, your confidence gradually builds. i'm sure there's still a sense of rush for some surgeons, but at least on the outside, they appear calm and composed.

maybe surgery tends to draw those with the type of personality who could remain calm under stress?
I think one of the most important distinguishing factors (among others mentioned above) between neurosurgery and other fields is having a high personal tolerance for poor surgical outcome. As a neurosurgeon you will unfortunately kill or disable a sizeable portion of your patients as a direct result of your surgery (retraction injuries, tearing or tying off important vessels, deep brain infarcts, excising too much, excising too little, CSF leaks, etc.), all off this on top of general surgical complications common to all areas. I am not saying that neurosurgeons don't care because most certainly do, but as a neurosurgeon you can't care too much, otherwise it'll be devastating for you as a person. Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. It's also another reason why there is so much difference between "good" and "mediocre" neurosurgeons. BTW, if you want advice on a good neurosurgeon, don't only ask other neurosurgeons, ask the neuroradiologists with which they work; they are the ones that see the each neurosurgeon's successes, complications, and screw-ups, and therefore have a good idea which one is better for a specific problem.
 

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Docxter, I appreciate your input. I was wondering about this just the other day, for it seems so easy to make a mistake -- a moment of fatigue, complaicance or just error --and I was wondering how neurosurgeons deal with their mistakes considering they can be so detrimental. I've also heard that few pts. actually benefit from NS, because they are so sick to begin with, etc. If this is true, then how does a NS derive a sense of pleasure and accomplishment from his/her work? It seems like a long way to go just to treat the untreatable. Thanks in advance.
 

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MD Dreams said:
Docxter, I appreciate your input. I was wondering about this just the other day, for it seems so easy to make a mistake -- a moment of fatigue, complaicance or just error --and I was wondering how neurosurgeons deal with their mistakes considering they can be so detrimental. I've also heard that few pts. actually benefit from NS, because they are so sick to begin with, etc. If this is true, then how does a NS derive a sense of pleasure and accomplishment from his/her work? It seems like a long way to go just to treat the untreatable. Thanks in advance.

Whoever told you that "few pts. actually benefit from NS, because they are so sick to begin with, etc." was not a neurosurgeon. Ask a neurosurgeon and you will get a completely different answer. There are many surgeries that neurosurgeons do that have dramatically improved outcomes for patients, specifically, surgical clipping of an anuerysm prevents future or re-hemorrhage, saving the person's life by preventing a future SAH; cervical discectomy removing pressure from the right C5 nerve root allowing the person to dramatically improve the strength of their right biceps and deltoid muscles and remove the shooting/burning pain they had been experiencing; removal of a meningioma pressing into the brain causing seizures and brain edema... after its gone, most of the time the seizures go away, and the edema resolves and the improve neurologically (if they were having trouble originally); Deep brain stimulation for parkinson's and other movement disorder symptoms with improvements in tremor etc.

But, if someone has had a devesating traumatic brain injury, or a grave IV astrocytoma, or multiple metastatic lesions to the brain from lung cancer, or a subluxed C-spine and is a quadriplegic... yeah those patients typically don't have dramatic improvements.
 

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NSGYResident said:
But, if someone has had a devesating traumatic brain injury, or a grave IV astrocytoma, or multiple metastatic lesions to the brain from lung cancer, or a subluxed C-spine and is a quadriplegic... yeah those patients typically don't have dramatic improvements.
How ironic---I'm assuming you mis-typed, of course.(v and d are pretty close on a keyboard)
 

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Mediculous said:
How ironic---I'm assuming you mis-typed, of course.(v and d are pretty close on a keyboard)
yeah I said to a relative the the patient was "gravely" ill ...oops :oops: