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The Disadvantages of Becoming a Neurosurgeon

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The job of neurosurgeon is considered to be one of the most prestigious in the medical industry. While it pays well and typically has solid benefits, working as a neurosurgeon does not come without disadvantages. Understanding some of the potential drawbacks of this type of career can be beneficial if you are considering a job in this field.

Training Requirements

One of the potential disadvantages of becoming a neurosurgeon is the training requirements involved. Before you can start working as a neurosurgeon, you must go through a number of years of intense training. You have to start out in a pre-med program and then get into medical school. Medical school usually takes another four years to complete. After medical school, you must go through a surgical residency to become a neurosurgeon. This takes several more years to complete. By the time you become a neurosurgeon, you have spent many years in school and made a large financial investment.


Another potential disadvantage of working as a neurosurgeon is the responsibility that comes with it. When you work as a neurosurgeon, you are dealing with people's spines and brains. One slight mistake could potentially cause major damage for your patient and could result in paralysis or death. This means that if you do not perform well every single day, you could end up hurting someone and their family significantly. This is one of the highest pressure jobs available in the medical field.


Even though most neurosurgeons strive to work on a particular schedule, this rarely can be adhered to. When you become a neurosurgeon, you are part of a very select group of surgeons. When someone needs surgery in this area, you can be called at any time day or night. This often results in the need to work many more hours than you would like to work. Working so many hours can put a strain on your personal life as well as your health.

Continuing Education

Another potential disadvantage of working as a neurosurgeon is the need to engage in continuing education. Since you are counted on to provide excellent care in this area, you have to keep up with the latest technology and medical advances. This often requires you to take extra courses and training in the proper areas. You also must read many medical journals and other documentation to stay up-to-date on these advances. This can consume a lot of your time.


Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.

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