Skip to main content
4 answers
Asked Viewed 6308 times Translate

How many hours does a neurosurgeon work

For a Neurosurgeon resident, there is an 80hr cap. Are there some residencies that go over that cap secretly? Yes. Should they? No. Its horrible for the Neurosurgeon and the patient. You find that at top programs, they have policies in place that prevent you from going over that 80hr cap. Speaking of program of choice, there are programs in the USA where Neurosurgeons only work 10-12 hrs per day for 6 days averaging roughly 60 to 72 hours. These programs are usually called "Country Club" Programs. They exist. You just have to find them and they are probably super competitive to get into. As an attending, you'll have more power to control your hours. You'll likely work 7-5 or 8-6 hrs in length, if its what you want. Kev S.

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
100% of 3 Pros

4 answers

Updated Translate

Christopher’s Answer

This depends a lot on stage of one’s career and where someone works.

The hours during Neurosurgery residency training are famously tough. Residents average between 60-80hrs per week or roughly 12-16hrs per day. That means one week could be 40 and another could be 100+. Most days are 6am to 6-8pm but taking call is 24-28hr long shifts. While that may sound intimidating, during medical school you become accustomed to working 12-14hr days and 60-80hr weeks between class, clinical work, studying etc.

The good news is after residency the type of job you take and the type of call (eg covering emergencies) you agree to take dictates your schedule. Most surgeons will start their day between 05:30 - 07:00am and finish between 03:00 - 07:00pm depending on whether you have clinic (seeing patients in office setting) or surgery.

The good news is that while there is no way to avoid the hard work and occasionally long hours, there are a variety of jobs to suite different lifestyles and priorities.

100% of 1 Pros
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate

Estelle’s Answer

The workweek of a neurosurgeon is extremely variable. During training, they work 80+ hours a week. After residency, surgeons have more ability to dictate their schedules and the amount of call they take.

Updated Translate

Rachel’s Answer

Most surgical specialties require a very heavy work load during training. Although there is a limit of 80 hours per work week, I agree with the above answers in that this limit is often surpassed. However, once you have completed training, you will have the option of taking call or not for the emergency room. You will have much greater flexibility in your schedule and can dictate your hours.

Updated Translate

Sara’s Answer

Unfortunately the above answer is simply inaccurate. Although residents have 80 hour weekly restrictions, in specialties such as neurosurgery, they are surpassed every single week. While each program differs as to specific schedules, I would say this is true of most if not all hospitals. In most programs, expect to work at a minimum 100 hours up to 120 hours per week. Many programs work 12 days on, 2 days off. In the 12, expect to work 6am-8pm as described above. However, the call shifts (2-3 per week) will be 6am-12pm the following day (ie 36 hour shifts 2-3 times per week). Great profession but make sure you are willing to dedicate your life to it and nothing else, at least for the seven years of residency.