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Great read !

Thought I'd share it with anyone who cared.

Obviously many articles and surveys directily quoting neurosurgeons have routinely revealed that neurosurgical training and practice pays a toll in time spent with their respective families.

These are examples from a survey asking neurosurgeons to tell it like it is which some of you may have seen. I'm including stuff focusing mainly on the lifestyle/training aspects of neurosurgery that some people on this board are probably concerned about (these responses come from multiple neurosurgeons who are mostly academic folks mind you, and have it "easier" than most private guys)

1) Throughout your training, what has been the hardest thing to deal with? (Brain Subach, Private practice)

"There is a significant time commitment to training. I believe that neurosurgery residency is one of the toughest things you will ever do. Sometimes you miss meals, or sleep, or a shower. But you are doing the coolest cases. You see the brain exposed, then you work on the spine, then a trauma rolls in. I swear it is almost like a drug. You are working really hard with a group of people that you trust, and you are saving lives. You are changing lives every single day. But it is long and hard. If I didn't have an understanding and supportive family, I doubt I would have made it."

2) What is your hobby outside of work and how do you balance your heavy workload and family?

"My hobbies have been skiing and woodcarving. I have also traveled a lot giving lectures and attending meetings all over the world. My heavy workload has always interfered with my family activities. None of my children wants to be a physician."

3) How would you summarize neurosurgery in one phrase or sentence?

"A dynamic surgical specialty where substantial demands are placed on time, emotions and intellectual and psychomotor development where the rewards (clinical and academic) exceed the sacrifices."

4) What is your hobby outside of work and how do you balance your hectic work schedule and family? (Sean Grady, Chairman Penn)

"This is a tough issue, and requires care and attention, with the cooperation of a very understanding spouse. Residency is particularly stressful because of the time demands. My wife and I married at the end of college and I had 4 children between med school and residency and we remain happily married. I can assure you that is unusual, and is only possible with a very strong and independent spouse."

5) Throughout your training, what has been the hardest thing to deal with? (Leland Albright, Chief, Pitt)

"Trying to have some balance between work and family life. Neurosurgery is extremely demanding, and I have always been somewhat of a workaholic. Truthfully, I don't think I've had a balance; work has taken the lion's share of my time. The problem is that I love what I do.

The other difficulty is the few malpractice lawsuits, which are exceedingly stressful.

If a medical student is interested in neurosurgery, I would warn them: beware the lifestyle. This is a very demanding high-stress field which does not leave much time for family life; the divorce rate is, I believe, around 85%."

6) Throughout your training, what has been the hardest thing to deal with? (David McClone, Chief Northwestern)

I don't think anything made me question my choice. When I started, you were on call every other night, and you worked every day, so it was very difficult. It was exciting, but it took everything you had to do it. Fortunately, it goes so quickly that it's over soon. I think it might be a little easier to handle now, although it's still very difficult because the patients are so sick.

In the long term, of course, it's initially important where you get a job, but after residency it's all up to you. You have to think about what direction you're going: academic or community, then focus on making yourself look good to those people.

7) Throughout your training, what was the hardest thing to deal with?
(William Friedman, U Florida)

"There are several things which are challenging to busy neurosurgeons. The first is comforting patients with incurable problems or with neurological complications from surgery. The second is balancing our jobs with the other important areas of our lives - family, physical fitness, friends, and spirituality."

8 ) Throughout your training, what was the hardest thing to deal with?
(Hunt Batjer, Northwestern)

"Throughout residency training, the most difficult factor was fatigue. The constant availability and onerous call were quite debilitating over time. I hope we are doing somewhat better nowadays in our training programs.

Neurosurgery is an extremely hard way of life. My advice to any students considering this field is to make very sure that you won't be happy doing something else. If you think it will make you more money than other fields, forget it. Financial reasons would never justify the lifestyle of a busy practitioner in neurosurgery."

9) Throughout your training, what was the hardest thing to deal with?

"Long hours and sleep deprivation, and the lack of control over my life and schedule. This was a time when my/one's peers are beginning to enter the adult world in various ways and residency can be very infantilizing. My family and friends had no clue what I was doing and in fact they still don't."

and I think the final quote sums it up..

10) How would you summarize neurosurgery in one phrase or sentence?

"Neurosurgery is a jealous mistress."

Tired of OT.

I need something new, something fresh and revigorating. We need a revolution. Meh, really bored lately of internet... I think I'm going to take a break.

See you later, everyone :)

First publication in Neurosurgery

WOOT ! First time I get my name on a neurosurgical article (3rd author) that's going to be in some major canadian journal of medicine. Hopefully, it's going to be start of a great career :D

Neurosurgery, here I come !

Got XBL !

GT: Shoruen.

(neuro backwards = oruen )

( I love street fighter games, so shoryuken sounded cool)

Here's shoruen then. :D

See you later.

Exams in 1 month, haven't really worked a lot so far, lots of catching up to do. See you in 5 weeks, guys :). And wish me luck ;)


I need to get back to my usual studying habits. January has been a ''slack-off'' month, and I spent too much time here (over 200 posts this month). Anyway, just thought I'd inform those who care.

I'll be back in a few months. Until then, I might occasionally lurk this place, but probably no more than 5-10 minutes a week. Actually, let's try to make that 0 a week. Good Bye, friends :)

I'm happy !

Just got an email from our chairman of neurosurgery, inviting me to 2 special operations this tuesday ! *jumps out of joy*

Got my exam results back !

Gastrology : A

Pneumology : B

Cardiology : B *cries*

Everything went well in the cardiology exam, but we also have a physical exam part, and while I did make some mistakes in that part of the exam, I figured I'd get at least an 80 in the physicals... Looks like I got a **** 62, which puts my overall cardio grade 0.5% under the cutoff for A. *cries*

Oh well, at least my cardiology professor thought I was brilliant, so it'll compensate a bit for this major disappointment.

And no need to tell me I'm insecure. I know it already : )