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How many hours does a neurosurgeon work


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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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