What do neurosurgeons exactly do?

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yalla22

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What is the job of a neurosurgeon like in terms of procedures, the types of people that go into this field, the hours, salary?
 

freetheyaz

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Usually, they do things like neurosurgery or brain surgery. Hours are long, pay is good. People that go into the field are control freaks that believe they are Gods.
 

yalla22

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but what types of surgery exactly? and why is it so high paid?
 

sunnyjohn

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Why is the pay so high?

The training is long. They drill holes in people's head.

Non-medical folks have a fascination with the heart and the brain. Anyone who has permission to drill a hole in your head or cut on your heart makes money the big bucks 'cause regular folks don't know better.

RAH, RAH DERMATOLOGY! GO ACNE!
 

microgal

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but what types of surgery exactly? and why is it so high paid?

My father is a neurosurgeon. He does primarily spinal surgery (herniated disks, spinal stenosis etc. ) and then brain tumors, spinal tumors, and your basic trauma (i.e. car accidents and gunshot wounds to the head). The hours are beyond long...he has operated for 36 hours straight before and he has been getting called into surgery in the middle of the night for 30 years now. The pay really depends on what type of practice you are in like any specialty does. He was in the military for 10 year and worked at the county hospital for 20 years so he was on salary (didn't matter how long the hours were). The residency is one of the longest I think it's 6+ years.
 

bahina

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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe
by Katrina Firlik.
It is a great book (it just came out). It will tell you everything you need to know about the field of neurosurgery.
 

Green Pirate

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the responses in this thread have been good so far. One thing you want to remember though is that many people incorrectly label neurosurgeons as "brain surgeons." Most of neurosurgery is involved in other parts of the nervous system (i.e. the spine), while just about 30% of all procedures actually involve going into the brain.

it's a very attractive field for a variety of reasons though.
 

freetheyaz

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where do you get your statistic of 30%?
 

Green Pirate

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where do you get your statistic of 30%?

not sure where I heard that... it might have actually been from Firlik's book. I also believe I saw it somewhere on the neurosurgery residency forum
 

Porcelain16

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i work in an epilepsy center where the surgeons focus on surgeries exclusive to this disorder-hope this helps.
 

Jonesie

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What is the job of a neurosurgeon like in terms of procedures, the types of people that go into this field, the hours, salary?

Neurosurgery typically deals with the brain and/or the spine. Here are a some sub-specialties within neurosurgery along with a few procedures that they perform and conditions they treat:

Spine
-spinal fusions
-removal of all/part of disc (discectomy)
-spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, etc)
-spinal tumors

Neuro-oncology
-brain tumors
-spinal tumors

Cerebrovascular neurosurgery
-stroke
-aneurysms
-vascular malformations
-brain hemorrhage

Functional neurosurgery
-stroke
-parkinson's
-epilepsy

Pediatric neurosurgery


As Microgal said, the specialty is well-paid because of the long hours and the high degree of training required. Residency is six years, and some neurosurgeons end up doing a post-residency subspecialty fellowship that can last anywhere from 1-3 years. I work for a group of neurosurgeons, and while some are successful at maintaining a life outside of their practice, the work-family balance is very, very difficult.
 
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Green Pirate

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I work for a group of neurosurgeons, and while some are successful at maintaining a life outside of their practice, the work-family balance is very, very difficult.

what work do you do with neurosurgeons? how did you get the job? it sounds neat.
 

jstuds_66

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What is the job of a neurosurgeon like in terms of procedures, the types of people that go into this field, the hours, salary?

:laugh: Watch Grey's Anatomy and pay special attention to the different things that McDreamy does; he's a neurosurgeon.:laugh:
 

pyrois

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Currently operations on the brain itself are very limited with respect to true "restoration" procedures (then again the same could be said of most other surgeries).

Essentially operations on the brain focus on restoring overall brain function by destroying non-essential parts of the brain (cauterization, removal).

There are only a handful of cases in which brain surgery "fixes" a specific part of the brain, and even in those few cases (essentially blood clots) the patient has a greatly diminished lifespan after undergoing the procedure.
 

premeddick

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I actually just shadowed a neurosurgeon on Monday. The attending and residents showed up at 7am and did case reports in a conference room. Then they took an hour and did rounds to all the patients bed sides. By 8:30 they were all scrubbed up and in surgery. Clinic followed surgery for the rest of the day. I guess the on call schedule for neuro is pretty rigorous too. They said they are pushing the 80 limit pretty constantly. This is just my experience.
 

Droopy Snoopy

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Why is the pay so high?

The training is long. They drill holes in people's head.

Non-medical folks have a fascination with the heart and the brain. Anyone who has permission to drill a hole in your head or cut on your heart makes money the big bucks 'cause regular folks don't know better.

RAH, RAH DERMATOLOGY! GO ACNE!

Also there are very few residency spots, so demand stays extraordinarily high. Most of the southern part of my state is covered by a singe practice of 3 neurosurgeons.
 

Jonesie

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what work do you do with neurosurgeons? how did you get the job? it sounds neat.

I work in the academic office. On paper, it's nothing that great -- limited patient contact, mostly paperwork -- but I've tried to find as many ways to learn from it as I can. What's cool is that I've gotten to know some pretty amazing docs and pick their brain about medicine and neurosurgery, and most have been happy to offer me advice about med school. I've also learned a lot about the business and administrative aspects of an academic practice.
 

sunnyjohn

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what work do you do with neurosurgeons? how did you get the job? it sounds neat.

I work as a scrub for a bunch of surgeons, in the OR. We do neuro 3 a week and emergency cases as needed.

It is cool, but I don't think I could stand the residency.
 

Jacq

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highly recommended. I read this book a few months ago, I loved it.

agree. Other good ones are Tales of Neurosurgery, Harvey Cushing:A Life in Surgery,The Healing Blade & Gifted Hands. Read them all, good stuff :thumbup:
 

run4boston

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I second what premeddick said. However, at this hospital they round at 6 am. Some procedures start at 7 am. Procedures can take a long time because of the time in getting through the skull let alone the time to carefully dissect away tissue.
 

Enwysefinest

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Dr. Shepherd is a neurosurgeon and so is Dr. Shephard. Dr. Shephard is so much cooler. Plus kate is ten times hotter than who ever Dr. shepherd has been with.
 

Dr Durden

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When the Air Hits Your Brain is another excellent book on the subject, though somehwhat dated.
 

Green Pirate

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I work as a scrub for a bunch of surgeons, in the OR. We do neuro 3 a week and emergency cases as needed.

It is cool, but I don't think I could stand the residency.

how did you land that? I really want to do something like this.
 
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