What Are the Requirements to Become a Neurosurgeon?


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The requirements for becoming a neurosurgeon include having a bachelor's degree in pre-med or other related field, studying for four additional years at grad school to obtain a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree and gaining acceptance into a residency program, according to health careers expert Andrea Santiago for About.com. Residency training normally takes seven or eight years before students can graduate.

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Those who wish to become neurosurgeons must start out as physicians who specialize in neurosurgery, notes Santiago. After completing a bachelor's degree, the individual must attend a medical-based graduate institution. Upon obtaining the medical degree, getting into a residency program can be a difficult venture because of the long years of training involved. Many programs only accept one to three applicants per year.

Applicants must perform well under intense pressure, and surgeons must remain calm during stressful situations, reports Santiago. Practicing surgeons are usually on call for many hours of the day. The job also requires impeccable analytical and critical thinking skills. A surgeon needs to have top-notch surgical skills to fulfill the requirements of the job, including the ability to conduct surgical procedures that call for delicacy. Neurosurgeons usually operate on head trauma patients or those who suffer from brain tumors. Using complex machinery and equipment are other requirements.

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