In this article let’s take a look at whether Is neurosurgeons are in demand, whether a good career & is worth it, or if they a stressful jobs by looking at all the pros and cons of being a neurosurgeon.
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So without any delay let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
Is a neurosurgeon in demand, a good career, and worth it?
Yes, a neurosurgeon is in high demand, a good career option and definitely worth it as long as you are interested in brain and helping people, this career also has low competition and high demand.
There are some serious disadvantages with this career option like it is a high stress job, and you will have to study a lot of years and expensive education to become one.
Now let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of this job.
Pros and cons of neurosurgeon
Pros of neurosurgeon
1. Highly paid
One of the main advantages is that neurosurgeons enjoy high salary, the salary of a neurosurgeon is so high that it is probably the highest paid job in medical field and surgeons.
The average salary of a neurosurgeon in America is around 600,000$ per annum, the salaries sometimes can reach up to more than half a million dollars every year and sometimes even a million dollars.
You might be wondering why neurosurgeons are paid so much, well there are many reasons like neurosurgeons deal with treating the problems and injuries of brain which is the most delicate part of our body,
so dealing with brain injuries and treating those injuries require different types of skill set, and it is also a high risk operations, there is also demand and supply gap of the neurosurgeons, all of these factors contribute to higher salary of neurosurgeons.
It is also the fact that brain injury treatment can cost up to $3 million because these treatment of brain injuries are very complicated.
But obviously the salary will be lesser for beginners, you salary will depend upon your experience, knowledge expertise, etc
2. High job satisfaction
Another advantage is that you have high job satisfaction as a neurosurgeon.
Basically the job of a neurosurgeon is to deal with problems and injuries of brain nervous system and spinal cord issues, and It is a general knowledge that brain and nervous system is responsible for various activities including walking listening speech emotion thinking memory hunger direction touch breathing and many more activities.
And if somebody faces any brain injury then it can have a significant impact on their life like they might lose the ability to walk or listen or even speak and as a neurosurgeon you can get a chance to restore their ability of speaking by treating the brain injury and
you can give them a new life, and as a neurologist you are also able to remove injuries and problems of brain like brain tumour and you can build a good relationship with the patient in the process of the treatment.
On the other hand neurosurgeons are also highly respected and professional people in the society.
So overall neuro surgeon have high job satisfaction and happiness because of their contribution to life of people.
3. Low competition high demand
Another thing is neurosurgeon is also a low competition career option.
As a matter of fact in America there are only 3,500 neurosurgeons who are board certified who are practising neurosurgery. And there are less than 100 residency programs of neurosurgery which are officially recognised and approximately 50000 neurosurgeons are practising in various countries of the world
and if you take a look at in countries like India then there are only 2500 certified professionals so there is a huge demand and supply gap in many countries including India and America because
according to CDC, traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for more than 64000 deaths of people in America in 2020 alone, which means more than 176 people die every day due to brain injury but if you check the data as I mentioned earlier that less than 4000 neurosurgeons are there in America but 1.5 million people face the TBI disease and 2 lakh people have been hospitalised.
This data and numbers really show that neurosurgery is a career option that is in low competition and has high demand because there are more number of patients as compared to the doctors treating the patients.
4. Get into research field
Another advantage of being a neurosurgeon is that you can get into research field.
As a neurosurgeon your job is to treat the patients who are having brain injuries and injuries of nervous system, and the fact is brain is actually the most complex and sophisticated part of our body, even when science and technology has become so advanced still we have not
been able to understand all the things about our brain, there are still many questions left to be answered and remain mysterious about brain so when you are studying neuroscience,
You are not just studying about the brain through the books but also doing the research in laboratories and trying to understand more about the brain by getting more practical experience.
And if you are really curious and interested about learning more about the brain and removing the mysteries of various brain activities like how we think and what are the emotions and other things then you can also become a research scientist as a neurosurgeon,
you can discover any medicine and cure for any brain disease by doing innovative research in the laboratory which can save millions of people’s lives in future, you can also publish white papers about your research apart from treating patients and curing their brain injuries in the hospital.
Another advantage is a team work.
As a neurosurgeon whenever you are doing any surgery of the patient like removing any brain tumour or anything,
normally the brain surgeries can take up to two hours to nine hours duration because brain is a complex part, It is also high risk operation so as a neurosurgeon who is taking up the job of the surgery,
you will get a company of another surgeon sometimes depending upon the surgery complexity, anesthesiologist, and a nurse and you guys will be working as a
team members during the surgery and all these people are dedicated and highly passionate to their job and because your interests will align with your team members so you can develop good bond, relationship with them while executing the surgery of the patient.
These are all the advantages, let’s see the disadvantages.
Cons of neurosurgeon
1. Long years & continuous education
One of the primary disadvantages with any surgeon not just neurosurgeon and doctor profession in general is that it is very hard to become a doctor and especially in neurosurgeon for two main reasons.
Education is very expensive which we will later talk about it but education is also very long and extensive, you will have to commit yourself for a lifetime education As long as you are doing operations and surgeries.
After completing your intermediate education, You would have to spend 4 years in your undergraduation of medical education in America and other 4 years for your master’s and one more year for internship program before you can become a neurosurgeon and do surgeries.
Similarly it takes a lot of time like more than 7 or 8 years to become a neurosurgeon or any other surgeon in general in India because neurosurgeon requires a lot of extensive skill set which you can only acquire through practise.
And your education does not stop once you become a neurosurgeon as you will have to commit yourself for a lifetime education, You need to keep yourself updated with all the techniques and knowledge of neuroscience because technology is changing rapidly and
the treatment of many new brain injuries and diseases are getting better with more research and development into neuroscience so you need to keep yourself updated with latest treatment techniques for the patients.
2. Stress and workload
Another disadvantage is the stress and workload over the neurosurgeons is more.
You should know that brain is the most important because it is responsible for several functions and brain surgeries are very complicated and critical because there are hundreds of billions of neurons interconnected with each other just like universe and all the stars planets,
and whenever a neurosurgeon is performing any brain surgery then depending upon the complexity of the patient condition the surgery can be between 2 to 10 hours duration.
During this time the neurosurgeon has to have high levels of concentration and focus because you cannot afford concentration lapse as you are dealing with extremely delicate part of the body, and because brain surgeries are very high risk operations there is always a stress of yourself to save the life when you are doing the surgery.
Apart from that, if you are working in a private hospital then you would also get late night emergency calls and also work during festivals and holidays and
You would have to sacrifice your family and social life to your work sometimes, most neurosurgeons work more than 50 hours every week, most probably you will have irregular working hours and work schedule in the initial period of your job.
And if the surgeon loses the concentration During the operation, he can make some mistake which can also cost the life of the patient as millions of people die due to doctor error every year so all of these factors contribute to higher stress and anxiety for neurosurgeons.
So yeah as I mentioned earlier, neurosurgeon is a career option which is highly stressful just like other surgeon because of the complexity of the brain surgeries.
Because of high stress of job, more than 50% of the surgeons face anxiety and depression, and many surgeons and doctors get addicted to alcohol and other drugs to cope up with the stress.
3. Expensive education
Another disadvantage is that it is very expensive to become a neurosurgeon.
On average it can cost you around $300000 to become a neurosurgeon in America because medical schools are very expensive and you also need to get internship.
And when it comes to India, Apart from leaving few government colleges, to become a surgeon it can cost you around 1.5 crores which is really expensive.
- Why American universities are so expensive
- Why MBBS in India is so expensive
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4. Deal with emotional stress
Another disadvantage is that you might have to deal with emotional stress and pain like brain surgeries are very risky operations and people who undergo these surgeries and operations will have to take a lot of bed rest like more than 10 days and also need at least 5 months to fully recover from the operation but not all the brain operations are successful.
For example if somebody got brain tumour then the survival rate will be very depending upon the type of disease like Oligodendroglioma – 90% for patients 20-44, 82% for patients 45-54 and 69% for patients 55-64, Glioblastoma – 22% for patients, etc
So the survival rate of brain surgeries will depend upon factors like the type of disease, age of the patient, patient health and diseases he already has, etc and
if somebody dies during the operation of brain surgery then the neurosurgeon is responsible to inform about the death of the patient to the family members which can be quite stressful and emotional pain.
And sometimes if the death occurs due to human error, the surgeon would also get a lot of guiltiness and get into depression.
5. Face sues and cases against you
Another disadvantage is that you can also face many malpractice claims & patients can sue you for not doing medical treatment properly.
According to report, doctor manual errors during the treatment is the third leading cause for death of the patient after heart disease and cancer, and
study shows that more than 4.5 lakh people died due to doctor errors in America every year similarly another study shows that one out of three physicians have been sued by the patient
at least once in the career, neurosurgeons have 99% more chance of getting sued at some point in their career which is lot more as compared to other specialists in medical field.
And if any doctor is sued then it not only costs a lot of money to hire a lawyer in favour of you but also if you are proven guilty, your medical license would be suspended & You would not be permitted to do operations again.
$348,065 was the average payout for medical malpractice claims in 2018 so this malpractice claims can cost you a lot of money not just the cost but even if you are not proven guilty your credibility will decrease and also your wealth, but more importantly you will be stressed out to hell.
These are all the advantages and disadvantages of being a neurosurgeon
With that said let’s end the article
These are all the things you need to know about being a neurologist
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