How Long Is the Training Process for a Neurosurgeon?

Becoming a neurosurgeon is a long and difficult road, requiring eleven years of training in total. Individuals need this training in order to manage the complexities of neurosurgery, which is known for being one of the most difficult medical specialties. In this article, we unravel the physiognomy of a neurosurgeon, outlining the training involved and highlighting what it takes to sustain in such an arduous occupation.

Undergraduate Education

This is the initial step in the training of a hospitalist in terms of education, where completion of an undergraduate degree is required. Therfore, most people become a neurosurgeon by majoring in biology, chemistry (minor in biology), or physics. This step is usually a 4 year program where students have to perform well academically in order to get into medical school.

Medical School

Medical School - For about another four years of schooling following undergrad, you will go to medical school. There are two section in medical school:

What: Years 1-2, Pre-Clinical Years: The first two years are dedicated to learning basic medical knowledge in classrooms and labs.

The last two years focus on rotations through the different specialties in medicine to allow students practical experience under supervision in clinical settings.

Residency Training

The main part of neurosurgical training begins with a residency program after medical school. Neurosurgery residency is also a long program, spanning 7 years. This is a period in which the resident learns all facets of neurosurgery including diagnosis, operative techniques, emergent care and post-operative care. The writing and publication of research by the residents is a vital part in their advancement as professionals.


While not required, most neurosurgeons choose to complete a fellowship after their residency. Common fellowships are in pediatric neurosurgery, spine surgery or cerebrovascular heart this year and cloud that one to two years. This additional training allows neurosurgeons to develop specialized expertise in their areas of interest.

Board Certification

Neurosurgeons are required to be board-certified in order to practice on their own. You must pass the strict oral and written exams that are offered by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. They must maintain certification throughout their career by meeting continuing education requirements.

Lifelong Learning

Neurosurgery is also a learn-as-you-go specialty of practice. Neurosurgeons must stay current with medical technology, surgical methodologies and patient care best practices through ongoing learning.

The whole ordeal including the duration of training is around 14 to 16 years after high school to be a full-fledged practicing neurosurgeon. Four years in undergraduate, an additional four years of medical school, seven years of residency then if pursuing a fellowship filling even more years.

For any aspiring neurosurgeons out there, it is of paramount importance to comprehend the number of years a neurosurgeon have to go to school and acknowledge the level of commitment needed.

In summary, neurosurgeons undergo lengthy and rigorous training in order to deal with the high stakes and difficult nature of typical neurosurgical cases. The dedication and long years of education and training that being an audiologist requires make it unappealing to many, but for those who do enter the field out of a passion (a true calling) to work in audiology, it can be an incredibly rewarding career both intellectually and in terms of patient impact.

how many years do neurosurgeons go to school

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