Become a Neurology Surgeon: Required Qualifications and Career Info

Neurology surgeons, or neurosurgeons, treat disorders of the nervous system through surgery, as well as non-operative means. They also manage problems relating to the supporting structures of the nervous system, such as the skull, vertebrae, meninges and blood vessels.

View 11 Popular Schools »

Neurology Surgeon Required Qualifications

Prior to entering medical school, a person must have completed premedical courses, including inorganic and organic chemistry, biology and physics. It is recommended that undergraduate students participate in extracurricular activities while earning bachelor's degrees in order to become more competitive medical school candidates. The next step is to complete medical school, which consists of four years of lectures, laboratory courses and clinical rotations, and results in a Medical Doctor (M.D.) credential or a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree.

Physicians are required to earn a license to practice medicine in all 50 states ( Allopathic, or conventional, physicians will take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to become licensed; osteopathic physicians need to successfully complete the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX).

After a physician has earned a license, he or she may begin a 6-year residency in neurosurgery. During the first year, residents must complete at least three months of clinical rotations in which they learn basic clinical skills. The American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS) states that a minimum of 42 months of training in clinical neurosurgery is required, while at least three months of training must be devoted to clinical neurology ( Up to 24 months may be dedicated to research, neuroscience training and elective rotations in neurosurgery subspecialties, such as pediatric neurosurgery or spine surgery.

Upon completion of a residency, allopathic neurology surgeons may earn optional board certification from the ABNS and osteopathic neurology surgeons may earn optional board certification from the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery (AOBS). Candidates for board certification must pass a written test followed by an oral exam.

Neurology Surgeon Career Information

Neurology surgeons diagnose, treat and prevent disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and the supporting structures for the nervous system. Surgery constitutes a large portion of their work, but they also examine patients and order diagnostic tests. Some types of surgery that neurology surgeons may perform include stereotactic radiosurgery, spinal fusion, brain surgery and endovascular surgery.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of available jobs for all physicians and surgeons, including neurology surgeons, will increase much faster than average; the expectation is that the physician and surgeon category will grow 24% over the 2010-2020 decade ( Those employed in rural and other medically underserved areas are expected to enjoy the greatest employment prospects. The average salary for physicians and surgeons was $184,820 in May 2012.

Show me popular schools

Related to Become a Neurology Surgeon: Required Qualifications and Career Info

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Neurology PhD Program Overviews

Students looking to obtain an advanced degree in neurology might consider a doctoral degree program in neuroscience or a...

Graduate Degrees in Neurology: Program Information

Qualified students interested in post-doctoral study of neurology and who already hold a medical degree might consider applying...

How to Choose a School for a Pediatric Neurology Degree Program

Pediatric neurology involves the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy, in...

Brain Surgeon: Job Description, Salary, Duties and Requirements

Brain surgeons examine, diagnose and surgically treat disorders of the nervous system. Training to become a brain surgeon...

Surgeon Assistant: Career Profile

Popular Schools

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics