How to Become a Neurosurgeon

A neurosurgeon is a medical specialist concerned primarily with the brain. They conduct surgical procedures to treat and heal a range of conditions, including diseases, blood clots, and traumatic injuries. One of many skills for neurosurgeons includes the ability to stay calm and focused in circumstances of life or death. To meet emergency care requirements, they are often required to work on immediate requests.

Neurosurgeons are not only operating on the brain. They must comprehend the system in its entirety and the circumstances that can affect it. The diagnosis of the nervous system, heart, spine, and spinal cord disorders is part of the job. Supplying patients with both non-operative and surgical care is also part of the job.


Professionals in this career may treat conditions such as congenital abnormalities, brain injuries, cancers, neurological disorders, brain or spinal infections, strokes, or degenerative spine diseases. To learn more about pursuing this field, continue reading below.

How to Become a Neurosurgeon 1
Neurosurgeons conduct surgical procedures to treat and heal a range of conditions, including diseases, blood clots, and traumatic injuries. Photo credits:

Educational Background to Become a Neurosurgeon

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Neurosurgeon training requirements start with an undergraduate degree. Although there is no particular degree required for a bachelor’s level thesis, aspiring neurosurgeons may choose to focus their studies in advanced biological sciences, such as a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science, to meet medical school admission requirements. Students are expected to graduate from an approved bachelor’s degree program with pre-meditated courses such as microbiology, biochemistry, and human anatomy.

Step 2: Attend Medical School

Aspiring neurosurgeons are required to attend medical school to receive a Doctor of Medicine. Traditionally, medical school courses are rather inflexible, consisting of medical summary classes paired with experiential modules, usually completed in the second half of the four-year degree.


Step 3: Pass the Medical Licensing Exam

The examination can be carried out immediately after medical school or in the first portion of a residency program. However, you must receive a passing score to practice.

Step 4: Complete Your Internship and Neurosurgical Residency Program

Neurosurgical requirements include completing a one-year hospital internship following a six to eight-year neurosurgical residency after obtaining an MD. Aspiring surgeons acquire patient management skills in addition to other abilities that will aid them in their careers in neurosurgery later on.

Step 5: Become State Licensed and Board Certified

Through submitting an application, paying the necessary fees, and providing test scores as well as school records, neurosurgeons may apply for certification through the medical board in their state. After receiving approval, they will be able to practice independently as a neurosurgeon.


Average Salary of a Neurosurgeon

According to, these surgeons are one of the medical field’s highest-paid doctors. In 2009, a neurosurgeon’s average income was $660,664 per year. The top 10% of brain surgeons earn more than $1 million a year.

How to Become a Neurosurgeon 2

Where Do Neurosurgeons Work?

Brain surgeons are trained to treat patients with brain and spine injuries, aneurysms, blocked arteries, congenital disabilities, brain and spinal cord tumors, and peripheral nerve disorders. Brain surgeons practice in both public and private hospitals. They also work as part of a team together with other experts and health professionals, such as a hospital stroke team or a critical care team.


To become a neurosurgeon, you need to have strong communication and leadership skills. In addition, you will need to endure a lengthy schooling and certification process. If you want to know about more careers in sciences and healthcare, click here.

Also read – How to Become a Successful Medical Technologist