Careers in Medicine: Specialty Information
Nature of the work
A neurological surgeon provides the operative and non-operative management
(i.e., prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, critical care, and
rehabilitation) of disorders of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous
systems, including their supporting structures and vascular supply; the
evaluation and treatment of pathological processes which modify function or
activity of the nervous system; and the operative and non-operative management
of pain. A neurological surgeon encompasses the surgical, non-surgical, and
stereotactic radiosurgical treatment of adult and pediatric patients with
disorders of the nervious system; disorder of the brain, meninges, skull, and
skull base, and their blood supply, including the surgical and endovascular
treatment of disorders of the intracranial and extracranial vasculature
supplying the brain and spinal cord; disorders of the pituitary gland; disorders
of the spinal cord, meninges and vertebral column, including those that may
require treatment by fusion, instrumentation, or endovascular techniques; and
disorders of the cranial, peripheral and spinal nerves throughout their
Neurological Surgeons can receive training in the following subspecialties:
- Endovascular surgical neuroradiology - uses catheter technology,
radiologic imaging, and clinical expertise to diagnose and treat diseases of
the central nervous system.
Residency training in neurological surgery lasts five to seven years, the
first year of which is a general clinical/surgery training year. Neurosurgical
residents are trained in all aspects of neurosurgery, including cerebrovascular,
pediatrics, spine, trauma, and tumor.
The annual salary for neurological surgeons ranges from $287,000 to $637,000.
For more information
Neurosurgery deals with the diagnosis and treatment of
pathological processes, which affect the nervous system. It includes the
operative, non-operative, intensive care management and rehabilitation
of patients with disorders affecting the brain and skull, spine and
Most consultant neurosurgeons spend four to five sessions in the
operating theatre per week with the remainder of the time spent on pre-
and post-operative ward care of the patients, outpatient clinics,
teaching and other administrative duties.
Largely as a result of advances in diagnosis, special imaging X-rays and
scans, anaesthesia and intensive care, there are many conditions now
amenable to neurosurgical treatment, e.g. brain tumours, head injuries,
spinal problems, etc.