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Neurosurgeons are [[[surgeons]] who practice neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spine, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.[1][2]

Education and training[]

In the United States[]

In the United States, a neurosurgeon must generally complete four years of college, four years of medical school, a year-long internship (PGY-1) that is usually affiliated with their residency program, and five to six years of neurosurgery residency (PGY-2-7).[3] Most, but not all, residency programs have some component of basic science or clinical research. Neurosurgeons may pursue an additional training in a fellowship, after residency or in some cases, as a senior resident. These fellowships include pediatric neurosurgery, trauma/neurocritical care, functional and stereotactic surgery, surgical neuro-oncology, radiosurgery, neurovascular surgery, Interventional neuroradiology, peripheral nerve, spine surgery and skull base surgery.[4] Neurosurgeons can also pursue fellowship training in neuropathology and neuro-ophthalmology.

In the UK[]

In the UK, students must gain entry into medical school. MBBS qualification (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) takes 4-6 years depending on the student's route. The newly qualified Doctor must then complete Foundation training lasting two years; this is a paid training programme in a hospital or clinical setting covering a range of medical specialties including surgery. Junior doctors then apply to enter the neurosurgical pathway. Unlike other surgical specialties, it currently has its own independent training pathway which takes around eight years (ST1-8) before being able to sit consultant exams.[5]

Notable neurosurgeons[]

  • Gazi Yasargil – Known as the father of microneurosurgery
  • Harvey Cushing – Known as the father of neurosurgery
  • Walter Dandy – Known as one of the founding fathers of neurosurgery
  • Wilder Penfield – Known as one of the founding fathers of neurosurgery, and pioneer of epilepsy neurosurgery
  • Joseph Ransohoff – Known for his pioneering use of medical imaging and catheterization in neurosurgery, and for founding the first neurosurgery intensive care unit.
  • Lars Leksell – Swedish Neurosurgeon who developed the Gamma Knife
  • Benjamin Carson – Renowned pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, pioneer in hemispherectomy, and pioneer in the separation of conjoined twins, joined at the head
  • John R. Adler  – Stanford University neurosurgeon who invented the CyberKnife
  • Wirginia Maixner - Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. Primarily known for separating conjoined Bangladeshi twins, Trishna and Krishna.
  • Sid Watkins – World renowned neurosurgeon who served for 26 years as the Formula One Safety and Medical Delegate (race doctor)
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons

See also[]



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