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Do the deaths that you cause and could have prevented as a neurosurgeon stay with you neurologically?

I am intending to become a neurosurgeon after i finish med school. But the thought of constantly being haunted by preventable deaths lingers in the back of my mind.

Medicine neurosurgeon

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Maurice,


Approximately 50 percent of the population will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives.   Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trauma can change the brain.


Additionally, knowing what’s going on can be immensely helpful because it may help you realize that you’re not crazy, irreversibly damaged, or a bad person. Instead, you can think of a traumatized brain as one that functions differently as a result of traumatic events. And just as your brain changed in response to your past experiences with the world, it can also change in response to your future experiences. In other words, the brain is “plastic,” and you can change it.


Trauma can alter brain functioning in many ways, but three of the most important changes appear to occur in the following areas:


The PFC, or thinking center, is located near the top of your head, behind your forehead. It's responsible for abilities including rational thought, problem-solving, personality, planning, empathy, and awareness of ourselves and others. When this area of the brain is strong, we are able to think clearly, make good decisions, and be aware of ourselves and others.


The ACC, or emotion regulation center, is located next to the prefrontal cortex, but is deeper inside the brain. This area is responsible (in part) for regulating emotion, and (ideally) has a close working relationship with the thinking center. When this region is strong, we are able to manage difficult thoughts and emotions without being totally overwhelmed by them.


Finally, the amygdala, a tiny structure deep inside our brain, serves as its fear center. This subcortical area is outside of our conscious awareness or control, and its primary job is to receive all incoming information – everything you see, hear, touch, style and taste – and answer one question: “Is this a threat?”If it detects that a dangerous threat is present, it produces fear in us. When this area is activated, we feel afraid, reactive, and vigilant.


Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/workings-well-being/201703/how-heal-the-traumatized-brain

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