What is a Brain Surgeon?
A brain surgeon is one of the medical practitioners that has the qualification to perform surgeries on the human brain, as well as on the other parts of the human nervous system. They are also known as neurosurgeons and they have the main tasks to examine, diagnose correctly and treat through surgery any disorders of the nervous system.
Job Description of a Brain Surgeon
The main job duties of brain surgeons start with an accurate examination and diagnosis of illness, with the prescription and administration of the treatment in cases where patients suffered from injuries or diseases. Being in an environment where you work close to patients, your role will also involve counseling them on the diet, or preventive health care or even on how to maintain a right hygiene.
A brain surgeon will also fulfill the tasks of getting medical histories, interpreting diagnostic tests, such as CT scans, PET scans or even performing them. These medical professionals will have to deal with the patients’ family members who are going through some emotional stages due to the circumstances occurred. As a brain surgeon, you’ll need the communicational and people skills in order to understand your patients, as well as be able to communicate well with them and to fulfill your work with the other medical personnel.
Communication can be very tough, especially when your patients have brain disorders. This is why you need to have patience and be very understanding. The pressure is very high since these professionals will encounter many times life and death situations that they have to manage. Since you’ll be dealing with a lot of cases, you’ll need to be really organized and pay attention to every detail.
How to Become a Brain Surgeon?
Becoming a brain surgeon means always steps through education. As a future brain surgeon, you don’t need a specific undergraduate degree. The medical admission school boards search in their future applicants some specific type of knowledge earned before in areas of biology, math, physics as well as chemistry. Additionally, those who want to go further should need to take into consideration their undergraduate coursework, classes in the area of social science studies, as well as English.
The main purpose of coursework is to prepare the students for the MCAT exam or else known as the Medical College Admissions Tests, where you’ll usually get tested and your knowledge measured in the area of biological and physical science, cognitive skills as well as verbal ones. The next step on this educational path is to obtain a medical degree.
During the first two years of your medical school, the accent will be put on topics such as pharmacology, gastroenterology as well as psychiatry, where you actually are led through the steps of learning the fundamentals of medicine. You’ll also have classes about the patient care and solving of the problems that often occur. The last two years of the medical school program will involve a practical part where the students will be placed in a clinical setting. Here they will complete rotations in areas such as Surgery as well as Neurology. Students that want also have the opportunity to finish a neurosurgical clerkship.
The third step is to complete a residency. According to each state, the residency requirements might be different. In some states, medical doctors who want to enroll into a residency program will first need a license. The time length of a residency is usually of seven years. This time is used for the students to gain a lot of experience in areas such as emergency medicine, adult surgery as well as elective surgery and more. As a residency student you’ll be learning more about the neuroradiology and neuropathology, and you’ll also need to do a research project at one point.
A great tip for brain surgeons is to complete a fellowship that will allow them to expand their knowledge and experience with the maladies that take place in the brain. The fellowship usually resumes and keeps the focus on diseases such as strokes, brain tumors, epilepsy and others as well.
In order to be able to practice medicine, you’ll need a license that is usually granted by the state board. The requirements of the license will vary according to each state, but the general lines that they all include is that all the doctors must bring the proof of training as well as passing of all three parts of the USMLE or else known as the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam. The three parts of this exam are usually taken in the first or second year of your residency program.
If you want to improve your chances for gaining more job opportunities or an advancement in your career then you should take into consideration becoming certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. To stand for the certification, first comes the process of application, then you must present a proof of your residency that is usually verified by the program director. The last requirement will be to pass an exam that is written, as well as oral examination.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to renew your certification every 10 years, this meaning that you’ll have to maintain your certification status through continuous education credits. You’ll need to participate at the MOC program or else known as the Maintenance of Certification.
Work Environment and Schedule
In the Operation Room, a brain surgeon always works in a very clean and sterile field and also under a lot of tension due to the conditions that might often occur. The work of these professionals can involve in a week’s time a schedule of 50 and up to 80 hours per week. As a brain surgeon, you’ll need to prepare since you’ll be on call most of the time and your vacation will resume to only 3 or 4 weeks.
During the time of a residency, your working hours will exceed over 80 hours per week due to the ward rounds, development as well as research and others as well. You might be called to come and evaluate a patient at very odd hours. Your working environment is all the time indoors in very light rooms, and a cool environment due to the air conditioning.
Pros and Cons of Being a Brain Surgeon
Like in any other career, you’ll encounter advantages and disadvantages. On the pro side you’ll find out that brain surgeons make a lot of money and they get the awesome opportunity to help other people that are in need of their aid. The downside of this job is that you are working a lot, and the educational requests are long and difficult.
Another pro in this job is that you’ll get good compensations, as well as a lot of respect for what you are doing. The con is that this job is very strenuous and stressful, not to mention that it is very demanding in every possible way. The time spent with your family or friends is quite limited due to the nature of this job itself. Before taking any decision and choosing this career make sure that you love what you are doing.
This career field is always filled with new and great opportunities for a continuous improvement in techniques, as well as in new discoveries. You also get the opportunity to develop and to grow in this area and to always expand your knowledge.
Brain Surgeon Salary
In 2015, in the US, the median average income for neurosurgeons was estimated to have a rate of $540,032 per year, according to Salary.com. Half of these professionals could have expected at incomes that usually varied between $400,010 per year and $680,010 per year. This reported figures are higher than the mean yearly income reported in 2013 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that reached at $233,152 per year for all Surgeons.
In 2008, the reported brain surgeon median income had an average that reached at $186,045 per year. Professionals who already had ten years of experience in the field and also had advanced specialization usually took home around $300,010 per year or even more. The income is also influenced by the type of employment or by the practice settings.
For instance, in the academic field in 2010, in the US, the salaries of these professionals reached at an annual average of $747,999 per year. At the same time, if they worked in a single specialty group then the received income was around $664,010 per year. Those who worked in a multiple specialty group could have expected at a salary that reached $819,709 per year.
The experience level also counted when it came to the income of these professionals. The median starting income of a brain surgeon in 2011 was estimated to reach at $395,010 per year, according to some surveys conducted by Profiles. With up to six years of experience in this career field the income grew to $589,510 per year. According to Neurosurgery Market Watch, the reported income with 6 to 15 years of working experience reached at a median average of $914,797 per year.
Salary of a Brain Surgeon in 2016
For the year 2016, in the US, the median income for brain surgeons is estimated to reach at $393,341 per year, according to the salary data survey provided by PayScale. The salaries of these professionals are comprised to start at $103,482 per year and climb up to $754,749 per year, with bonuses that are between $210.39 and $122,341. The profit sharing that is received by brain surgeries is estimated between $206.09 and up to $399,833, while the paid commission gets somewhere around $95,112.
The vast majority of individuals that work on these positions are men rather than women. The work that they usually perform is very demanding both physically and intellectually. This career is also influenced by several factors such as the years of experience in the field as well as the geographical location.
According to the years of experience in the field, the salaries tend to have a continuous and constant increase. For instance, an entry-level brain surgeon with up to five years of experience in the field will receive an income that reaches at $323,010 per year. Furthermore, one who is in this profession with 5 and up to 10 years of gained training and experience will gain around $416,010 per year.
Those who are already in this field and are seen as experienced brain surgeons with 10 and up to 20 years of work experience can expect to take home around $452, 010 per year. The veterans in this career field with more than 20 years of experience and with plenty of activity can expect to earn around $488,010 per year.
The incomes also vary according to each state, being mainly influenced by two additional factors such as the costs of living as well as the living expenses. The national reported average for brain surgeons reaches at $399,421 per year. The best paying jobs for these professionals can be found in New York, where the estimated incomes tend to be above the national average reaching at a median payment of $418,063 per year. On the other side, you’ll also find that there are regions where the median income that is granted is below the national average. For instance, in Los Angeles a brain surgeon salary is down with 12%, reaching at a median average of $353,289 per year. The same percent can be found in Chicago where the granted median payment is estimated at $350,010 per year.
Brain Surgeon Salary in Canada, Australia and UK
In Canada, the median annual income for brain surgeons is estimated to reach at C$327,744 per year, with a starting point in the salary that is comprised from C$98,529 per year and up to C$517,669 per year. The bonuses that are granted in this career field will vary from C$1.02 and up to C$118,361. Experience also affects the payment level for these professionals.
For instance, an entry-level brain surgeon with up to five years of experience can expect to gain around C$254,010 per year, while one with 5 and up to 10 years at the working field will take home around C$412,010 per year. Those who are in this field for 10 and up to 20 years can expect to earn around C$303,010 per year, while the veterans in this field with more than 20 years of experience and plenty of activity can expect to earn an income estimated at C$372,010 per year.
In Australia, the median income has an estimated average that reaches at AU$242,210 per year. The starting point in the incomes of these professionals ranges from AU$60,403 per year and up to AU$502,006 per year, with granted bonuses that can go up to AU$101,737, this leading in the end to a total payment that is between AU$70,958 per year and up to AU$594,429 per year. The level of experience impacts and affects the Neurosurgery industry as well.
For instance, a brain surgeon with 1 and up to 4 years of experience can expect to gain an estimated income of around AU$63,872 per year. Additionally, one with 5 to 9 years will take home earnings of AU$290,010 per year. The veterans in this career field with 20 years of working experience or even more can expect a salary that can reach AU$445,723 per year.
In the United Kingdom, the median average income is estimated at £99,577 per year, with a starting point of the salary that ranges from £34,522 per year and up to £369,203 per year. The bonuses that are granted in this career field are comprised between £976 and £97,375, while the profit sharing that is received is evaluated at £50,010. The years of experience have their role as well. An entry-level brain surgeon, with up to five years can expect at an income of £98,010 per year. At the same time, a mid-career professional with 5 up to 10 years of working experience will get only £97,010 per year.
The figures tend to increase after 10 up to 20 years reaching a whopping £112,010 per year. The late-career employees in this field with more than 20 years of activity and plenty of experience will take home earnings estimated at £212,010 per year. The national average income for brain surgeons, in the UK, is estimated at £101,256 per year. The best paying jobs are provided in London, the total median income reaching a huge amount of £103,316 per year.
Conclusion on the Brain Surgeon Salary
In the US, the incomes can increase gradually due to the educational training and the years of experience and they can decrease due to the state or location as well.
The salaries that these professionals are receiving are very good, but the working hours are long and this work can be very demanding. Thus, it is good to evaluate how this will positively or negatively affect your personal life. The best news is that brain surgeons often make huge differences in the lives of the people that they treat. They spend a lot of time in the practice setting, this leading often to less time spent with their families, but serving the common good of helping many in desperate and urgent need.