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This interview was conducted with a prominent Neurosurgeon in the Northeast.  We did the interview anonymously because he fully disclosed how much money he was making.  

What do you do for a living? Neurosurgeon

I’m a neurosurgeon.

How would you describe what you do?

Neurosurgery is a specialty that involves the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and their supporting and surrounding structures.

What does your work entail as a neurosurgeon?

Three days a week I operate on the brain, the spine, or peripheral nerves. Two days a week I’m in the office seeing patients. I also teach medical students and I give lectures to residents.

How did you get started?

I became interested in medicine because I had a brain tumor when I was nine months old, so I was around a lot of doctors. I also watched the Donna Reed Show where Donna Reed’s husband was a pediatrician and I thought he had a nice life. And that’s the truth.

What do you like about what you do?

I help a lot of people. They come back to me and they say, “Thank you for helping me. I feel much better.” “Thank you for helping me. My pain is gone.” “Thank you for taking out my brain tumor.”

[The misconception is]That you have to be really smart to be a brain surgeon. I know a lot of people who are not smart, who are just hard workers and got through their residency. So, I think the joke, Well, hey, it’s not brain surgery isn’t necessarily accurate. I think it’s something that takes years to learn and it takes a lot of studying…But I don’t think that you have to be really smart.

I have four partners in my group who get along great. I can make my own schedule. I don’t have to work as hard if I don’t want to. One of my partners is much younger and has four younger kids, and he’s able to work less. We’re able to, in a sense, set our own schedules.

What do you dislike?

I dislike dealing with insurance companies who either deny payment for legitimate claims or delay payment for legitimate claims. In Pennsylvania they pay less for certain procedures than the same Blue Cross/Blue Shield company would pay for another city three hours away, like Cleveland or Columbus, which are comparable sized cities to Pittsburgh. The pay is between 50% and 100% higher in Columbus or Cleveland than it is in Pittsburgh. And that’s because Blue Cross/Blue Shield has the overwhelming majority of contracts in Pennsylvania, or at least in Western Pennsylvania, whereas in Ohio, there are lots of competing insurance companies.

How do you make money or how are you compensated?

I get paid for surgery. Of course, different people’s insurance pay different amounts. Medical assistance pays less. Medicare pays a little bit more. Private commercial insurance like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Health America, United, Aetna pays a little bit more, but pretty much everything is based on Medicare.

I would recommend neurosurgery. Nationally there is a big shortage of neurosurgeons now and there will continue to be a shortage of neurosurgeons for at least the next 20 years. The number of training programs has not increased in the last 15 years and more and more neurosurgeons are retiring earlier because of high medical malpractice costs and because of the stress of the profession. So, the number of neurosurgeons now, in the year 2007, is the same as the number of neurosurgeons in 1991, yet the population of the United States has obviously grown by a third since 1991. So, neurosurgeons are busier than ever…

One insurance company will be 116% of Medicare, another insurance company will be 111% of Medicare, so everything is a multiplier of Medicare. So, it makes you a little uncomfortable that the federal government, which sets Medicare reimbursement rates, really is setting the reimbursement rates for everybody else.

How much does a neurosurgeon make?

It depends.  Neurosurgeon salary can be anywhere from $400,000 to over a million.  It’s really a function of how hard you work and how your practice is set up.

How much money do you make as a neurosurgeon?

About $600,000.

What education or skills are needed to become a neurosurgeon?

Four years of medical school, a year of internship, and then neurosurgical residency is an additional six years. So, my training was seven years after medical school.

What is most challenging about what you do?

Micro-brain surgery done under the microscope for aneurysms or certain deep tumors. Uses of computers for a lot of surgery is standard now, so I think using a computer for brain surgery and using a microscope for brain surgery are the most challenging aspects of the job.

What is most rewarding?

Personally, I think just having the patients come back and say, Thank you for helping me. I have a wall full of thank you notes. A lot of people thank me, but when somebody actually sends me a thank you card, I put it up on my wall. And after 20 years, my wall is pretty much full with thank you cards.

What advice would you offer someone considering this career?

The entry into medical school is pretty much now the same as it was 20 years ago. You need about a 3.6 GPA and you need to have reasonably good medical MCATs, Medical College Admission Test scores. And then once you get into medical school, then you can decide on any medical or surgical specialty. And you rotate through the different specialties and you see what you like or which professor inspires you. But you have to want to work hard because residency is hard, but even when you go into practice, a normal work day is 10 to 12 hours a day, and there’s always some night and weekend call. I have four partners, so I’m on call every fifth night and every fifth weekend, which doesn’t mean I operate at all those times. It means I have to handle phone calls and emergencies. So, a lot of hard work and good grades in college and to get into medical school.

How much time off do you get/take?

Well, we have requirements for continuing medical education. So, we have to go to approximately two meetings a year and those are usually in nice places. I’m going to San Diego in three weeks. I just came back from Washington D.C. in the spring. So, you get sort of a chance to go on a nice vacation to a nice place for a meeting. And then usually the amount of time you take off, other than the meetings, is about four weeks a year.

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

That you have to be really smart to be a brain surgeon. I know a lot of people who are not smart, who are just hard workers and got through their residency. So, I think the joke, “Well, hey, it’s not brain surgery” is an understatement. I think it’s something that takes a lot of years to learn and it takes a lot of studying, and you have to keep up with your field, you know, read two or three journals a month, take your courses, go to the meetings go to continuing medical education things. But I don’t really think that you have to be really smart. I mean, I know a lot really smart neurosurgeons but I also know a lot of neurosurgeons who are not real smart. I mean they’re not geniuses.

What are your goals/dreams for the future?

I’d like to, at some point, stop operating and just teach residents full-time. I’d like to be able to do more laboratory research, which is hard to do unless you’re doing it full-time. I did laboratory research for a year and a half during my residency and if you’re doing it full-time, you can do it. But to do research in a laboratory when you’re actually practicing neurosurgery is essentially impossible. So, I’d like to be able to teach residents full-time because I think that’s very satisfying and do some clinical research.

What else would you like people to know about what you do?

I would recommend neurosurgery. Nationally there is a big shortage of neurosurgeons now and there will continue to be a shortage of neurosurgeons for at least the next 20 years. The number of training programs has not increased in the last 15 years and more and more neurosurgeons are retiring earlier because of high medical malpractice costs and because of the stress of the profession. It’s a stressful profession. So, you have 98 residency programs graduating 136 residents a year and there are about 150 neurosurgeons leaving practice each year because of health or retirement or what-have-you. So, the number of neurosurgeons now, in the year 2007, is the same as the number of neurosurgeons in 1991, yet the population of the United States has obviously grown by a third since 1991. So, neurosurgeons are busier than ever because the population is growing and the number of neurosurgeons has remained just about the same as it was almost 15 years ago.

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{ 342 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam February 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Possible yes, easy, not always. You have to be prepared for emergency surgeries, but the usually have multiple surgeons, annd they rotate on days, so yes, you have time off and kids are possible. : )
As is going out during the day. : )

Hope this helps

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Kamy February 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I know it sounds silly, but watching Grey’s Anatomy has inspired me to become a surgeon – because of the fact that I will be saving people’s lives. I mean, I have always been interested in a career in the Medical field, but I was never sure. Now, I KNOW I want to be a surgeon, and this has made me realize which specialty I might want to go into. The only thing I am worried about is having a family and NOT being able to be there all the time. I really want kids when I grow up, be there for their soccer games, and their school performances. I want to go out with my husband during the DAY… Please clear this up for me, I need to know that it will be possible for me to have kids before I get too close to 30-years-old.

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Spoo February 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I hope all you budding brain surgeons acquire an adequate command of written English. Anyone sawing through my cranium must have the ability to spell and apply punctuation.

Yours

Spoo

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Samantha aka ;) February 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

You might want to back off. I am quick to correct you if you want to include me in any kind of crap like this. This is an informal comment area, not a school report. If I wish to type to fast, I will. Try not to get your head sawed open anyways, might make you even more of a stereotypical jerk. I am thirteen and in tenth grade honors classes with straight A’s. If you really want to go there, come on. Lets. I am more than insulted by people like you who think that they must correct other when they are far from perfect themselves. Please, keep your opinion of the smarts of people that you do not know to yourself. No one wants to hear it.

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Lina February 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

No doubt the job will be stressful. However, I see it rewarding if one is truly dedicated. It’s “never” too late to try. My grandpa’s doctor was a pharmacist and applied to medical school to become a cardiac surgeon when he was around 33. My dentist was a car mechanic and he applied to dental school at 40. He’s in his late 60?s now and still going strong in the field.

As long as you keep pushing yourself towards your goal, I see no problem! You can do it!

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Savanah February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Hello my name is Savanah, I’m 14 years old and i have wanted to become a Neurosurgeon since i was 10. I was wondering if it really only takes 7 years of college to become a neurosurgeon, because everyone is telling me that I’m going to have to go for around 16 or more years when i get out of high school.

Sincerly
<3 Savanah

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trave45 February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Savanah,

Hi, thanks for the comment. This particular interviewee said it took him 7 years after Med School. So that’s 11 years plus your undergraduate degree. So yes you are looking at about 15 years total of schooling after high school. You are making money and getting paid some during that time however. Generally doctor’s start making some money after medical school. Hope this helps. Thanks!

JobShadow Staff

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Samantha aka ;) February 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I just want to say this. I am almost 14. I have been deeply passionate about prospering as a brain surgeon, and was completely and utterly terrified whe I looked up the training required. I am blessed with natural smarts, and am thirteen in honors tenth grade classes. I had to do summer courses and double up my courses to get to this point. In order to accomplish, you really have to be determined and passionante. I am scared to dive into something this big, but I know that this is what I have dreamed of for almost 7 years now. If you really want to accomplish this for yourself, you can, but you have to push yourself and REALLY REALLY want it. It appears hard, but trust me, with the benifits, plus knowing that YOU accomplished such an amazing feat, would be well worth it.

Hope to work with ya some day. Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Go big or go home. ; )

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Patrick Adusei February 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I just love this career of a neurosurgeon, sometimes I think of people who suffer because of certain defects and I desire to help them and bring them beaming smiles on their faces. Jesus is their only hope. Its a lovely career.

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:) February 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I have wanted to be a neurosurgeon since I was six. I am now thirteen, straight A’s is honor high school courses, planning to duel enroll. I love your insight on a job with so many questions to be answered. And to all with dreams as big as mine, GO GET EM!

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Corbin February 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I’ve wanted to be a neurosurgeon since I was 8. I’m 14 now, but what university did you go to? I live in birmingham, alabama. There is a very good hospital nearby but im still not sure what my salary would be.any opinions?

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samareye February 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hi i am really inspired by your story, i am 17 and would really like to follow in your footsteps.

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Jessi February 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I’m 14 too! This is one of my goals in life. I have always wanted to help people. Also I love science, but I have had back surgery when i was younger due to a nerve.

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Tay Tay Charlie Resutek February 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

My name is Tatem Resutek ( A.K.A Tay Tay ). I’ve came very interested into the study of neurosurgery. I still have a few years of school on my back and I’m still looking for universities that have great medical training. this Interview has been life changing, it’s always the little things that help. You got to enjoy the little things.

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Aly February 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I am 17 as well, but I think I’m more into general surgery. This seems like something very difficult, great salary, but I bet they have to give up a lot in order to become a neurosurgeon. Good luck to you guys.

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Corey Crouch January 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

I love this interview, I really do. I’m 17 and graduating in 2012 with around 60 credit hours at EMU through something called the Early College Alliance. I started to become interested in the perception of other people and why they think the way they do. More so, Psychology. But as I grew older and took more Biology courses, I realized that I wanted to learn about the processes. This is an inspiration, thank you.

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Ursula January 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Even though I am eleven, I am seriously thinking that I should be a neurosurgeon

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Maureene January 23, 2012 at 3:16 am

Hi, I am a student. I highly appreciate your inspirational interview. I’ve wanted to be a neurosurgeon so as to help those who suffer. May you kindly help me know whether a person who studies nursing as an undergraduate can still specialize in neurosurgeon field. May you kindly tell me the steps to follow. on my email adress (maureenewr70@gmail.com)
Thanks a lot.
Maureene.

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Corynne January 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I’m 14 now, and I’ve wanted to be a neurosurgeon since I was 10 or 11. I’m extremely nervous to begin college, and worried about malpractice insurance and dealing with families of my patients.

This article is very interesting and inspiring.

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student January 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Hey, I was wondering if there would be any neurosurgeons available to answer a few questions by email for a school project of mine. I only need a few minutes of your time (I know most neurosurgeons have a busy schedule). Help is much needed, thank you!

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Hannah January 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

This is amazing! This is exactly what I want to do….it is such an incredible job!

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Alii Bhurtun January 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Thanks a lot for this inspirational interview. i am a medical student and will be a neurosurgeon. Thank you for stressing on how hard work is important.

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Paulene January 17, 2012 at 3:44 am

I’m 15, and I wanted to be a neurosurgeon only last year. I wanted to become a neurosurgeon because they saved my brothers life. Since then, I always looked up to neurosurgeons.

I’m glad you don’t have to be “really smart” to be a neurosurgeon, because I don’t think I’m very smart.

I’m willing to work hard :)

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trave45 January 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

Thanks for the comment Paulene. Working hard will trump ‘brains’ any day of the week.(although I wouldn’t sell yourself short, there are many different forms of ‘smart’.) Also, there’s a lot of really intelligent people out there who don’t find success because they aren’t willing to work at it. Find what you truly have a passion for, work at it, and the rest will fall into place.

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priscilla January 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

i have always known i wanted to do something more in life and for a very long i have been convinced being a neurosurgeon is the way to go .im 16 and very good @ very good at science subjects but the time it takes is really long i dont think my finances can really let me go that far

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Chris January 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Im 16 and im a sophomore in high school. I have been wanting to become a neurosurgeon since i was 7. My question to you is, do college’s & med schools look at your test scores, or your grade? I ask this because in Algebra 1 my teacher was hard on us. I had bad grades in her class, but on the final ( EOC ) i made a level 4. ( Grading scale is 1 2 3 4 ) & i made a 91. Also on the Biology EOC which i took today, i made a level 4 & i made a 95 and maintained a A all year. So would i get into a good college with level 4′s on my test scores, or must i excel on the grade in the class as well? Thanks alot man, you have inspired me alot. – Chris

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MOHAMMED AINOOSON January 9, 2012 at 6:38 am

thnx 4 this inspiring message

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Mitchell January 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I am 13 with all A’s with honor roll classes and I have been pursuing to be a neurosurgeon all of my life

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Iman January 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I am a 13 year old girl, and I want to become a neurosurgeon! This article really is great and has inspired me even more. Hopefully I will become a neurosurgeon one day.

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lexi January 7, 2012 at 2:59 am

I’m a twelve year old in a British school and I read about this and wanted to be a neurosurgeon or a neurologist. I want to go to Harvard Med, Yale med, Satnford Med, or Johns Hopkins or Brown. Are these good for specializing in nuerology?

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Clare January 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

My problem is that I really enjoy and excel in all subjects, but this article is definitely inspiring me to truly make a difference for others as a neurosurgeon! I’m 14 and planning everything out :)

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Ava January 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I am only twelve, but am an aspiring neurosurgeon or spine surgeon. I am doing dissections right now in science, and loving them! I am very excited to become a surgeon, even though I have a long ways to go.

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Fluzby January 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm

You need good grades in English, English literature, mathematics ( to enter a decent college) and I highly recommend you learn other languages- where you want to work etc etc. Also you need to at least get an A* in Biology and an A in physics and chemistry.

@Abraham ,
There used to be a Girl in my school that freaked out and flinched in Biology practicals ( Animal organs) and now she is in medical school. So in theory, I suppose you will get over it. Tell yourself that flinching is just ridiculous and there are a lot more studies to overcome than this silly habit !

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Abraham ologundudu January 1, 2012 at 6:01 pm

This is really inspiring. I’m 17. I want to become a neurosurgeon, i sometimes get irritated with much blood. Do you think i can still get over it?.

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renee January 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm

hi i loved this article i just kept reading it tell, i thought i could never do this job i am so scared that no college will except me and even if they do i am scared i might fail. i am only in middle school as of right now and i just want to know if you do good in high school you wil be able to make it with out doing so great on tests, because im not very good at testing. i guess my final question is did you do good on tests and were your grades really good in high school?

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Theo James December 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’m 18, I developed the interest for neurosurgery after reading the ben carson story. I,m really smart in science subjects but the time it takes is discouraging me. Thanks for the motivation.

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Jodi-Ann December 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I have wanted to be in the medical field for most of my life (I’m 16 years-old), and I have been trying to decide whether to become a neurosurgeon or general surgeon because both fields are of great interest to me. I have to say that this interview convinced me make neurosurgery my number one choice. I’m very excited to get started as I start applying to colleges in the spring. Thank you :)

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Nana kwame December 29, 2011 at 9:01 am

I am 15 years and I have wantd 2 be a neurosurgeon from age 11,but havnt had much inspirations. But thanks for encouraging me.

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Salma Abey December 29, 2011 at 12:44 am

Truly i have been inspired by this and you are exactly what i need to pursue my career.

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Timothy December 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Yes I am twelve and I would love to be a neurosurgeon. Ben Carson is one of my true inspirations.

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Shol December 26, 2011 at 8:18 am

Really Inspiring!! I’m really great at science subjects and love studying. With this i guarantee making it….No doubt everyone who would be lucky to be a neurosurgeon. GOOD LUCK.

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Greg December 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

I am 15 and eager to head over to cornell for pre-med going on neurosurgery!

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Larry December 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm

My family has always been poor and i want my future family to have more. I am good at science, math, and history. My Dad has a really bad back injury and this motivated me to become a Neurosurgeon.

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Christina December 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

All of this sounds really good.
I’ve always wanted to join the medical field since I was in
elementary school. This just topped the cake!
I’m really not one of the brightest teens out here, I suck in biology..
This just opened some new doors for me!

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Kirsti December 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Sooooo just today I decided to be a neurosurgeon and I thought, well I’m not really that smart, I mean I MANAGE a 4.0 just because I have street smarts and I know that if teachers SEE you’re trying they’ll give you better grade but I’m rly not that smart…. so seeing this makes me really happy. :)

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Michelle December 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I’m a neuroscience major, and I’ve wanted to become a neurosurgeon for a while now.
Hearing that some neurosurgeons you know were hard workers to get where they are makes a huge difference to me.
Because I work hard, and I’m not naturally smart, and I always doubt myself.

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Hannah December 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Thank you for this interview,
I am 19 years old and I have wanted to be a doctor since I was three; and a neurosurgeon since I was 12. I am attending RPI right now and it is very tough. I have a GPA of 3.04 right now but I am retaking some classes I did not do well in and working my butt off to up that GPA. I had a 4.0 in high school and I have always done well with any class even slightly medically related, you’ve inspired me to stay on my track and try to help people in the way that you have, I only hope I can make it into medical school the first time around!

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Abbey December 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Well im 13 and i wanted to be a neuro surgeon since i was about and i have a GPA of 3.89 I GET GOOD GRADES WHAT CLASSES SHOULD I TAKE IN HIGHSCHOOL TO BECOME A NEURO SERGEON?

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Amadi December 11, 2011 at 7:24 am

Im 23 and im finishing my medical school in may 2012. and im schooling in Europe. i hope i get to be a neurosurgeon at least. or is my age a factor?

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Mmuso Thage December 5, 2011 at 1:16 am

Thanks alot for the info im 15 and you’ve just insipered me that little bit more thank you

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Drew Patterson November 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Thx for the information, It rly helped a lot bc this is what I am going to do. I have kinda screwed up my high school grades but just to make up for them I am going to a community collage first, so my GPA will be were I want it… But thx a lot, it’s much appreciated.

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Jummy November 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I may only be twelve but I’ve wanted to neurosurgeon for years. :)

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Trudy Ani Asamani November 29, 2011 at 3:44 am

Enthusiasm just ran through my bones after reading this , I am a 14 year old and I really aspire to be neurosurgeon.

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trey November 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I mean hey I’m only 12 years old and this is what i want to become in life.

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Natalie November 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Ever since my sisters death I have become more than interested in being a neurosurgeon. She had severe brain damage and had her cranium removed, she was improving within the first week of the surgery but sadly the insurance company did not want to pay for her stay in the hospital because they did not want to pay a lot and wouldn’t allow my mother to change insurance. They moved her to a sub-acute although she was in a deep coma and was still at high risk of passing away at any second. Within the week she got really bad. They didn’t even have a neurologist in the place so she was immediately taken to another hospital after 2 days of pleading form myself and my mother. She remained 2 weeks in the ICU because she had many infections and the neurosurgeon did not want to lay a hand on her any further as he feared her death while in the procedure. She passed away due to low immunity from her white cells. I know that if they would have tried harder they could have saved her but I thank them either way for what they did. I promised my sister I was going to become one of the best neurosurgeons and I was never going deny help to anyone I would try and save many life’s . And I shall! I am interested in this career to save life’s not for the money.

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Samantha aka ;) February 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Wow. This is so amazing, and I am so sorry. I know you will make your sister proud, and make sure this never happens to anyone near you again, be it family or patients.

I wish you well.

: )

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FutureNeuroSurgeon ( Sarah Allen ) February 25, 2012 at 1:17 am

Hi Samantha :)

Hey there i really like how you backing these people up and fighting back because those people that leave crude comments , have such cold heart’s what do they get of it A KICK! its not fair LIKE who cares about someones grammar and spelling well it is important but at the same where not doing a bloody essay well i cant speak because look my grammar aint good i aint gonna deny it but people can better themselves! i love it when you get people like yourself and leave such a nice comment like that hehe!

BECOMING a freaking doctor or neurosurgeon WHO CARES ABOUT GRAMMAR as long as you can speak english good enoug people dont care about that, its not the most important part of the JOB!!!!!!!!!!!! its the surgery geeeezzzzzz some people really need to get over themselves?

MAKES ME SO SUPER MAD!!! THOSE PEOPLE WHO MADE RUDE COMMENTS BACK OFF no one cares i have good friends that are doctors and surgeons IF u ask them? Yes it is important but at this moment in time it does not really matter people make mistakes

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FutureNeuroSurgeon ( Sarah Allen ) February 25, 2012 at 1:35 am

Aw this is very touching i really feel for you my DEEPEST CONDONLENCE’s i know it is probably a i long time ago! I feel for you and your mother :’( <3

That is terrible but i think you will become one of the GREATEST NATALIE i feel the exact same way not that same thing has happen but i am really in it to do it for the people i wouldnt care at all about the money but we need it to live right hehe! awwws BEST OF LUCK and you will really do amazing things! God bless you my dear one thing never loose hope in yourself and believe always stay positive some have great academic skills who cares pfffft just stay commited and focused and strong and work hard it will pay off ( NOT to say your not smart enough its just i really wish u the best sorry if i am so into this IT MEANS alot to me too i really want to make a huge difference in the world even though its been years i havent started yet! Somethings holding me back BUT GO GO FOR IT nothings impossible yay! good LUCK :D

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Chase November 24, 2011 at 12:48 am

I’m about to start college this upcoming year, and this article helped me out a lot. I’ve been struggling trying to decide exactly what I want to do and this helped me see things from an inside point of view. Thanks!

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Jessica November 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm

My dad said the first word I ever spoke was doctor.:) I have always worked really hard in school. Im currently in highschool making straight A’s taking the advance honors diploma. My dream is becoming a doctor just like you! . I am really involed in my church and love helping others. I have not taken the ACT’s yet. Can you tell me if their is a number that medical schools really look at when they decide whether or not to accept a canidate? Most kids my age are worring about the score to get into a good college with a scholarship. My family is very poor!!! So me too!!:) My question is??? What magic number does it take to get a scholarship to college and do medical schools look at that number when going over potential medical students? Thank you so much.

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simba November 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

ever since i was little i have wanted to be a doctor. i just didnt know what kind until now. i just have so many questions because as a freshman in highschool i wanted to get a head start in looking for schooling opportunities. what is the best undergrad. school and med school to attend. thank you so much. please email me hmb.goalie@gmail.com. thank you

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Mamie November 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Thank you sir, you have inspired me to work even harder to raise my GPA push to recieve my dream job in Neurosurgery!:) I now know i can reach my goal if i really work hard, and try my best.

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Chidinma.U. November 19, 2011 at 3:30 am

I had always wanted to become a neurosurgeon and this has just inspired me but isn’t there any scholarship programme dat cld be of help.

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anonymous November 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Wow. This is a literally life or death job. I have wanted to develop in the medical job and this is definetly the one. I am 12, and my questions are:

1. What is the ratio of supply and demand?
2. How many people who say they want to become a neurosurgeon really become a neurosurgeon?
3. How many years does it take if you want a PhD in this too?

Just asking… ;)

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Samantha aka ;) February 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I am thirteen, so I very much understand your questions, and am wondering myself.

I have an answer to number one, but a very vague one, so I hope it helps a
little. In th US, there is expected to be bo a 14% increase in demand, and a 60% decreas in supply by 2016, therefore, now is a great time to get in the swing of it.

: ) Hope it helps!

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Yann November 13, 2011 at 8:00 am

thank you i hope i can be as succesful as you i’m 13 on december 7 and i hope i can be a neurosurgeon

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racheal munthali November 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

there is a reson why i am still alive today…and there is a reason i l live tomorow….the article is helpful for an up-coming neurosurgeon like me.. send me an email….raczya@gmail.com

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James November 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I am only 14 but i’m sure this is what I want to do. I have a question though, if your in school and training for so long how do you support yourself or your family while your going through this stuff?

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Tameeka November 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

I am interested in becoming a Neruosurgeon, I am applying for Medical School. Which is a process in its self, however I am concerned about my age, At the age of 35 I am not sure if it frowned apon at a certain age because the job can be very stressful.

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Alias February 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Good luck! It may be harder but if there is a need for surgeons, then I wouldn’t think it impossible. You will be older than others by the time you are qualified, but if you are dedicated then I see no reason why you wouldn’t make it.

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Ray November 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

It is a great career to have. But a lot school. Great pay off at the end tho

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emmanuel November 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

this has really motivated, and i have made up my mind to be a neurosurgeon so far God want me to be there i will be there someday i believe

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Page November 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

I’m a junior in high school and really did not know what I wanted to do as a career but after reading this it inspired me and I’m taking medical courses through our local university and I’m going to go to college and become a neurosurgeon. The salary looks great but I want to know that feeling of people thanking me for what I’ve done. Thank you for helping me decide what I want to do with my life.

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Spencer Johnston November 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I am very surprised and concerned with all the people who are leaving comments. You all say that you want to be Neurosurgeons, but as I look most of you cannot formulate a sentence correctly! I am very scared for the future. It does not put any confidence in those of us who may need Brain or Spinal Surgery in the future.

P.S. Get out of the high school age of say plz and thnx it’s very immature especially if you want to be something so important to people’s lives

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Jakob D February 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I got a kick out of your comment. I may go into Medical School and be a Nuerosurgean. I haven’t actually decided yet, although I am curious on how much time you will have to spend time with your family or friends, as it seems like a time-consuming job. I will graduate in 2016, and yes, I am 13, so not all of us have no grammar.

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Samantha aka ;) February 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Actually, laughing at your own demise isn’t the brightest yourself. I am a rather intelligent thirteen year old, and I am confident that once us YOUNG people go all the way through school, we will be more than qualified to cut YOU open!

Please, keep in mind the facts, and that most of us are still working to GET the proper education, not go outside fully prepared to perform life saving surgery.

The ignorence bestowed upon the younger generation is a majority census, NOT a 100% guarantee that we are all ignorent like the people who treat us so. What is the point of being smart if people blow you off as ignorent anyways? Ponder that one.

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FutureNeuroSurgeon ( Sarah Allen ) February 25, 2012 at 1:20 am

GO SAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) yay sorry had to back her up because the pathetic things that people say people are so mean it’s not fair!!!!!! SO GO BACK TO SAD LIFE AND DO WHAT YOU DO BEST be a loner! this is what you get you better becareful what u say to people! heheh

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FutureNeuroSurgeon ( Sarah Allen ) February 25, 2012 at 1:27 am

You serious?? No offense yes you have your opinion that’s okay everyone has a right to their own say but right here right now it does not really matter at all….

CONCERNED WITH WHAT? the grammar who cares? nobody! its NOT IMPORTANT get that in ya head mate! ALRIGHT! all people need is confidence and a hard working , commited , focused mind and PASSIONATE self and love what they do as a job :D Kthanksbye

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Amy November 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I’m 12 years old, I want to be a neurological surgeon this has inspired me to become my dream! Thank you very much for all these informations! I’m so exited for my futur even if it’s gonna be in a long time! Thanks! Theres gonna be an other neurosurgeon!!!

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Arash November 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

i am really interested in becoming a neurosurgeon. I am in grade 9 and live in Canada. My percentage in science so far is 99%. Is that enough? could you send me more info on how to become a neurosurgeon plese send it to arashj_1997@yahoo.ca.
Thank you so much

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shujaa green November 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

im a sophmore in highschool and im interested in becoming a neuro surgeon.I have two questions, first are there any ways i can get more exposure to what medical doctors do? beside going to the doctor? second i will probably end highschool with about a 3.5-3.6(did not do well freshman year) what are the schools i should aim to get into?

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future November 1, 2011 at 3:25 am

I have been wanting to me a doctor ever since i was 3 and a neurosurgeon ever since I was 8, I want to know do I really have a chance. I really want to help people to live a better live ,or to live at all. The I want to pursue this passion is because I love how the brain works. One day i wish i can fully understand the brain. This will be my goal until I day. I still have a long way to go, I do not know if i can do it. I think I can start a wave of people to become a neurosurgeon. please email me at nabeelzg@live.com

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Taonga Kaira November 1, 2011 at 1:46 am

i really appreciate this a lot, im graduating in 2013 and im thinking of applying for med school during the course of next year. This year i discovered my pashion in surgeory which is of course neurosurosurgeory and , this motivates me even more so that I keep pushing and working hard because 11 years is really not childs play , but if you’re pashionate then go for it , good luck to everyone planning on going into this medical feild. Wish you all the best!!

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grace October 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I’have always wanted to be a neurolgist, never a neurosurgeon because i thought you have to be smart. I’m a hard worker and i graduate in 2013 and this article has made me reconsider becoming a neurosurgeon. Thank you very much.

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Lloyd October 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Well this article has enligthnd me and as l0ng as i can remmber i’ve always wantd 2 be a brain surgeon hard work n comittment is what im all about and a challeng is what i crave for

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ashlesha October 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

I m 15 yrs. old & this is my dream to become a neurosurgeon since i was 6 After reading this article i feel that my dream is apt but i have heard that there are many complications to be a neurosurgeon, especially the time span is much so i m dam confused about that. Plz can u help me to overcome this problem? Can you tell me in detail about the time required for each & every step of becoming a neurosurgeon? please do reply on coolash.dh@gmail.com

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Rorry Beans October 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm

My boyfriend really wants to pursue this as a profession, and I’m extremely supportive of him. However, what I am wondering, is how much time do you get to spend with your family if your a neurosurgeon? I believe you have to work pretty long hours, but does the family life suffer?

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Abbey loves neuro surgery October 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm

well im 13 and i always wanted to be ither a cartiontherastic or neuro sergeon but i think im leaning more towards neuro because it fasinates me more!

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keljian king October 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm

im 13 and this is very impressive 2 me.this is what i wont to be when i grow up

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delight October 22, 2011 at 3:53 am

i feel inspired by this great interview,and i really want to be a neurosurgeon,i’m just 16,and i’m travelling next week to russia from nigeria and i know many nigerians didn’t have this opportunity,i’ll start a one-year language course,with God all things are possible

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mark varner October 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

thanks i’ve wnted to be a nuerosuergon for 10 years. i remember i got intested
when i was watcing a video of nuero sugey when i was four.

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Lacie October 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I’m 15 years old and i’ve been inspired by various neurosurgeons. My mother works with the spine and brain institution at our local hospital . I’ve volunteered there for the past two years and have witnessed several operations that amazed me. I’m always looking for more research in the practice to further my education in the practice. There are many decisions in making the right path to become a neurosurgeon and i really wanted to know detailed steps in becoming one. I’ve always had a passion for the neurological side of the human body, i only wish to know more about it and be mentored to get my education the right way. If you have anything that can help me in following my goal, please email me. laciesmith.charlton@gaggle.net

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Neurologist Salary October 18, 2011 at 1:02 am

Thanks for this wonderful interview… I have always wondered about Neurosurgeons and this gives a clear insight about them.

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Bryan October 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

(1) I’m currently in 10th grade taking honor/AP classes, but I still feel it’s not enough to get into good schools like Harvard University etc.. Any tips on what I should do from now on? (2) I am really looking forward to pursue my dream of becoming a surgeon (preferably a neurosurgeon) but I hear it’s a course of 14 years of studying to get your license, so my question is, how can I make some money to support my “future” family if I’m studying for 14 years? (Sorry for the ignorant questions, I’m just stressed after an inspiring exhortation by my teacher to the class that I happened to take in quite personal, which helped me) T-T – reply to hernandezbryan66@gmail.com thank you.

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javohn October 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Does anyone one know how different the work conditions are in Canada from
The united states .

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Tunde October 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

since i was three i wanted to be a doctor but didnt know that there was such a large selection in six grade i decided to become a nerosurgeon right now im 13 and i was just even more inspired to become a nerosurgeon this has just made me think and i really need to step it up to become a nero surgeon wish me luck and thank you

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Tyson elphinstone October 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm

i will be this and this is an sweet article well wright

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Haris October 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Im only 13 i have a really long way to go but this is what i want to become. Thank you for the artical it cleared things up for me and now i will work my hardest to achive my goal!

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Thomas October 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I am a Nigerian doctor. I have just been given a slot in a neurosurgery residency. I am pleased to read this column. I hope our future correspondence helps me realise my dream of becoming a really smart neurosurgeon.

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Wellington. October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm

i also want to know what med school did you go to because i’m going to apply to John Hopkins and i wanted to weight out the possibility of that happening

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Wellington. October 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm

im a college student transferring schools just because of the science programs offered in the school i’m transferring to. i had already made my mind up on being a neurosurgeon but this gave me some inside on the life of one, all i had on the life of a neurosurgeon was based on the character Derek Shepherd from greys anatomy, but the better the realism, the better i can see myself as a neurosurgeon within the next 10 years. so thanks for the inside.

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Brenda October 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

i am 12 years old and i think this is what i want to become in my life

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Matt February 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I’m also 12 and I’m looking at different occupations. I’m really interested in the brain and I think its amazing what are minds can do. The thing that runs us and everything we do is inside a small capsule (our skull), it is so interesting. I would not mind being a neurosurgeon and I think it will be nice to have people thanking me for a job well done.

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RIley September 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You have inspired me. Thank you sir.

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Abby September 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

I have been interested in becoming a neurosurgeon for the past year and your article has helped me to understand more about what is required to become a neurosurgeon and i am sure that i will be a neurosurgeon in the future God’s will .
Which university did you attend ?

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Japhet Sha'agi Kineze September 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

What can we do to develop Neurosurgery and to help the poors who are passionate about being a Neurosurgeon. Pls help and encourage the future Neurosurgeons such as scholarship studying abroad to those willing and God will bless You. Thank You.

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Japhet Sha'agi Kineze September 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

How can a person from poor be a Neurosurgeon? Or is there any scholarship application?. Being a Neursurgeon as a specialty is my dream,initiative and passion. And am from a poor baground which i found it so hard to afford some task,such as studying abroad but hoping to be a Neurosurgeon. Pls help me. Thank’s and May God Bless You. Japhet Sha’agi Kineze:+2347031051919

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alyssa gonzales September 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

how much do you get paid , after you pay all of your workers ? And working at what you do fun? And do you have time for family ?

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JackTenbusch September 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

ok i really like science and i rely like the brain im really interested in this practice. im only 14. I have a long time ahead of me.

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javohn August 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I really want to job shadow a neurosurgeon. At this
Point I know that money is not what it’s about. Where is
A good place to do my fellowship.

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angelo j. cueva leo August 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I’ve always wanted to be a surgeon but i didnt know what type of surgeon, this has helped me A LOT. The salary is very comfortable and knowing that i will help people just motivated me more then ever. Im 17 years old and i graduate on 2012, this is my Main Goal in life.

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Kevin Kuchipudi January 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Hey buddy, both of us have the same ambition. Let’s work hard achieve our goal. Im 17 as well and will graduate in 2012.

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Aly January 28, 2012 at 2:55 am

I am 17 as well, but I think I’m more into general surgery. This seems like something very difficult, great salary, but I bet they have to give up a lot in order to become a neurosurgeon. Good luck to you guys.

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micheal oyaponnle August 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

this article has enlightened me i will stop at nothing but become one

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Adil Mubarak August 23, 2011 at 5:16 am

Great article it really makes it clear for me. I just want to know, how much do youj earn fresh from medical school or training and to earn $600,000 how many hours do you have to work a week?

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Blaize August 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I have gotten really interested in neurology in the past 6 months. This article really helped me understand what I will have to do to become a neurologist. I am only 11 years old but I know that this is what I want to do.

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