You may be familiar with neurosurgeons from watching Grey’s Anatomy. But as interesting as their lives are, the life of a real neurosurgeon is a bit different.
The hours are long, the sleep is minimal, and the lifestyle is anything but glamorous. And they probably don’t go by the name McDreamy.
But the question remains, what does a neurosurgeon do? Keep reading to find out.
What Does a Neurosurgeon Do?
On a day-to-day basis, an experienced neurosurgeon will see patients and do surgery on the brain, spine, or other parts of the nervous system. Their overall goals are to diagnose patients, treat neurological issues, and prevent further illnesses from occurring.
To become a neurosurgeon, you need four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and about seven years of residency (specialized, post-medical school training).
Their days are long, so a practicing neurosurgeon may begin their workday at 6 am and end at 6 pm. A good neurosurgeon should be resilient, adaptable, and calm under pressure. This is especially important for emergency surgeries where life-changing decisions must be made very quickly.
Compared to other specialties, neurosurgery deals with lots of emergencies. And because of this, neurosurgeons are always on call, meaning they could be paged at any moment by the hospital.
But when they aren’t performing surgery, they’re talking with patients and taking notes on their condition. This includes evaluations, consults, and post-operation discussions.
What Illnesses Do They Treat?
If an illness affects the nervous system, a neurosurgeon may be the one to treat it.
In the brain, they work on brain bleeds, brain tumors, skull fractures, and brain malformations. For the spine, they treat spine tumors, spine fractures, and spine malformations. They may also treat illnesses like strokes, chronic pain, herniated discs, movement disorders, and epilepsy.
These illnesses could occur naturally over time, or they could be induced by a traumatic incident like a car accident.
What Does a Neurosurgeon Do on Your First Visit?
During your first visit as a patient, you’ll talk to your surgeon about the problems you’ve been experiencing. After that, they may refer you to another specialist or suggest you undergo surgery.
If you end up discussing a potential surgery, they will walk you through the procedure, explain the pros and cons, and answer any questions you have. And if the surgery isn’t necessary, they may ask if you’re interested in pursuing other routes first.
Overall, the purpose of the discussion is to help you make informed decisions and guide you through the process.
Now You Know What a Neurosurgeon Does
So what does a neurosurgeon do?
To sum it up: they make lives better and even save them! And while they may not live the life of a Grey’s Anatomy doctor, they’re still pretty amazing. So if you ever need to be treated by a neurosurgeon, you’re definitely in capable hands.
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