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Crabsmasher

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Hi I was assigned to do a report on some careers of interest in my High School Science class and I wanted to ask you guys a few questions about getting an education to become a neurosurgeon.

First what high school classes do you reccommend to help get prepared for this job?

What College course's do you reccommend?

And What are some good universities to go and get an education for this job?
 

mpp

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The type of high school classes are likely unimportant toward a career in neurosurgery except that you want to do as well as possible so that you can get into a good university. Again, your choice of university courses are not that important (although you must take a set of prerequisites to enter medical school). You should do well in your courses and do well on the MCAT so that you can get into a good medical. Then do well in medical school and on the medical licensing exams to match into a good neurosurgery residency training program.

To become neurosurgeon requires 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and then 7 years of training after medical school.
 

letmein!please?

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There are certainly no courses in high school that will better prepare you for Neurosurgery than for any other medical specialty, like Pediatrics, for example. First you need to get into college, do well there, and then focus on getting into med school. Knowing this, you can prepare for college by taking chemistry, biology, physics and advanced math courses. Take AP classes, if your school has them. At my college, students who had taken AP science courses did significantly better in introductory classes than those who had not. If I had known this, I definitely would have taken AP Biology in high school. In addition, AP classes might pass you out of certain pre-requisites for your major. In my case, I had enough AP credits to finish my Psychology major in about 2 years, which let me double-major in Neuroscience.

If you are interested in Neurology/Neurosurgery, you might want to check out some books by a doctor named Oliver Sacks. They are fun to read and might be a good conersation piece with college interviewers.... "Actually, I really want to be a Neurosurgeon. I have always been interested in Neurological disorders and I'm a big Oliver Sacks fan..." That sort of thing. ;)

As far as colleges go, I don't think which university you go to is necessarily as important as how well you do there. With that said, apply to a number of schools in your range, and go to the best one you get in to. You will probably find schools with strong science programs to be more enjoyable. You don't have to be a science major, but you will need (in general) a couple years of chem, a year of bio, a year of physics, calculus, molecular bio, genetics, and biochem. Also, many med school applicants do research experience while they are in college, so if you go to a major research university (as opposed to a small private college or a small state school) you will be more likely to find a professor who will take you in under his "wing".

I can't tell you about med school, I'm not there yet!

I think it's great you are focused this early. I wish I was! Good luck.
 
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docmd2010

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mpp said:
The type of high school classes are likely unimportant toward a career in neurosurgery except that you want to do as well as possible so that you can get into a good university. Again, your choice of university courses are not that important (although you must take a set of prerequisites to enter medical school). You should do well in your courses and do well on the MCAT so that you can get into a good medical. Then do well in medical school and on the medical licensing exams to match into a good neurosurgery residency training program.

To become neurosurgeon requires 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and then 7 years of training after medical school.
Do you think that becoming a neurosurgeon would be more difficult if i was a d.o.? I would think that if a person does well on the boards as a d.o. student than where he gets his education shall have little effect, no?
 

mpp

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Yes it would. There are more than enough M.D. applicants to fill all positions that D.O.'s are not considered on an equal level. However, it is likely that it would be better to get a D.O. degree from U.S. than a foreign M.D. degree. There are D.O.'s that match into allopathic neurosurgery residency programs but I'm sure the match rate is not quite as high as those with M.D. degrees.
 
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