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Neurosurgeons diagnose, assess and perform surgery to treat disorders of the nervous system. They operate on the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system which can involve any area of the body.
Training and qualifications required
Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine and two years of foundation training. This is followed by eight years of specialist training (ST1-8). This period of training will include completing your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.
Expected working hours and salary range
Working hours should not exceed 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings and weekends. On call highly likely.
Pay scales (2017):
Consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490.
Desirable skills and values
You'll need good hand-eye co-ordination, manual dexterity, excellent vision and visuo-spatial awareness. The ability to work under pressure and adapt with changing circumstances with confidence and caution are important. You'll also need good organisational and communication skills. You'll also need good team working and the ability to lead and manage a team. Physical stamina to cope with long hours and the demanding nature of work is essential.
There are 301 consultants in neurosurgery in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.