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Is becoming a neurosurgeon worth the time and effort?

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7
100% of 5 Pros

7 answers

Paul’s Answer

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Hello, Mehakpreet,

I am an orthopedic surgeon but I went into medical school thinking I wanted to be a Neurosurgeon because of a book I read. I very much agree with Parthey's answer and I highly recommend reading "First, Do No Harm: Reflections on becoming a Neurosurgeon" by J. Kenyon Rainer. This book will make you want to become a neurosurgeon. For me, it turned out that orthopedic surgery was better suited for my personality and lifestyle but I think neurosurgery is a great field to use you brain, your hands and to help out others. It pays well but also requires a high level of training, dedication and sacrifice. Where I live, it requires a 4 year college degree, 4 years of medical school and a 5-6 year Neurosurgery residency training program. The last NS hired in our town was given a salary of $850, 000 but he was also on call every other day and every other weekend. It would be up to you to decide if you have the level of dedication required for this. Hope this was helpful. Good luck.
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Parthey’s Answer

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Hi Mehakpreet!

Great question - thinking about the time and effort needed for various career paths is a very important consideration. For this particular question, I think you will find the most helpful information to come from someone who is currently a doctor (or even a surgeon, or hopefully specifically a neurosurgeon, to get right to the area you are asking about).

However, from anyone I have spoken to that is a doctor or involved in the medical field in some way, it takes a considerable amount of dedication to complete the long path of education required of doctors. Those that complete the path are driven by an intrinsic motive to serve others and make an impact in the world through their fascination of the medical profession and delivery of care to our fellow human beings.

That said, to gather the most helpful information, I would recommend that you find a doctor/surgeon/neurosurgeon, if possible, who would allow you to shadow them as well as ask these deep questions about their motivation to become a doctor.

Parthey recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the specific requirements on the path to becoming a doctor, starting with courses required during undergrad to gain medical school admission, MCAT procedures, medical school curriculum, etc., and make sure these things will be interesting and/or enjoyable or at least bearable for you on your way to your ultimate goal of becoming a doctor.
  • Find a doctor/surgeon/neurosurgeon who you can ask about their experience in school and their drive to choosing their profession.
  • Set up a shadowing day/assistantship where you can experience a day in the life of a surgeon.
  • Introspect. What are your reasons for choosing the medical path? Are they intrinsic or extrinsic?
  • (If interested) Check out a book called When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. It is a very touching book written by a late neurosurgeon about his own life. I think it can provide a lot to think about for everyone in the quest of expanding our minds, however it is also relevant to your question. Good luck!
Thank you so much ! Mehakpreet K. Translate
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Paul’s Answer

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Hello, Mehakpreet,

I am an orthopedic surgeon but I went into medical school thinking I wanted to be a Neurosurgeon because of a book I read. I very much agree with Parthey's answer and I highly recommend reading "First, Do No Harm: Reflections on becoming a Neurosurgeon" by J. Kenyon Rainer. This book will make you want to become a neurosurgeon. For me, it turned out that orthopedic surgery was better suited for my personality and lifestyle but I think neurosurgery is a great field to use you brain, your hands and to help out others. It pays well but also requires a high level of training, dedication and sacrifice. Where I live, it requires a 4 year college degree, 4 years of medical school and a 5-6 year Neurosurgery residency training program. The last NS hired in our town was given a salary of $850, 000 but he was also on call every other day and every other weekend. It would be up to you to decide if you have the level of dedication required for this. Hope this was helpful. Good luck.
oof. thank you so much ! I'll definitely keep this in mind Mehakpreet K. Translate
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Laura’s Answer

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Sorry for my delayed response.... Being a neurosurgeon is something that is more rewarding than just the pay check that will come with a career like that. If you have a passion, I say go for it. You will forever be changing lives in this career path. When I was younger, I was told you should do what comes easiest to you and the success will come. If the medical field is something that you find interesting and challenging, you have to allow yourself to try.
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Dinesh’s Answer

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Hi Mehakpreet,

Great question again and whats nice to see is that you have started evaluating the time and effort that may go into your future career. Frankly instead of evaluating is it worth time and effort, I would personally recommend you to evaluate for all its worth are you passionate about the field and willing to give yourself to this field??? If the answer is No, it ain't worth your time and effort, irrespective of how many existing doctor or Neurosurgeons may advise you to go for it. Sit back and think what you like the most, what you are good at and what you are passionate about and chose a career in that field. It would be worth the time and effort. Hope this helps click a thought :-) All the best!!!
thank you ! Mehakpreet K. Translate
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Jason’s Answer

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I couldn't speak to the value of becoming a neurosurgeon because that's not the path I selected. However, after 20 years in the working world, I do recommend you focus on selecting a job that you'll be passionate and excited to do for the next 40 - 50 years. You'll see that your happiness as you start your career will be tied to doing something you enjoy, finding the work/life balance that is important to you and working with people that you enjoy being around.
aw okay ! thank you so much ! Mehakpreet K. Translate
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Laura’s Answer

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Sorry for my delayed response.... Being a neurosurgeon is something that is more rewarding than just the pay check that will come with a career like that. If you have a passion, I say go for it. You will forever be changing lives in this career path. When I was younger, I was told you should do what comes easiest to you and the success will come. If the medical field is something that you find interesting and challenging, you have to allow yourself to try.
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