Hello, my name is Mark MacBayne. I’m the Practice
Administrator for Hematology and Oncology, and Adult Bone Marrow Transplant at UCSF Medical
Center. I’m here today to talk about how to become a brain surgeon. A brain surgeon, is
a physician who specializes in surgery on the brain. The first step in becoming a physician
is to complete an undergraduate course of study at a four year college or university.
Typically, one interested in going to medical school will major in a science, such as biology,
however, this is not required. If you do not major in a science, however, you will need
to make sure that you complete all of the science prerequisites for medical school.
That being, at least two years of biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and calculus.
Medical school is highly competitive. And in order to be a viable applicant for medical
school, you will need to keep your GPA at or above 3.7, during your undergraduate career.
You will also, you need to take what’s known as the MCAT, or the Medical College Admissions
Test. This is a standardized exam, that all med school applicants must complete. Medical
schools use your MCAT scores, along with your GPA, to evaluate your viability as a “stu”,
medical school student. Once you’ve started medical school, you’ve committed to an additional
four year course of study. The first two years are typically reserved for didactic instruction
in the health sciences, and the second two years are typically reserved for clinical
instruction. That is , learning the clinical skills of being a physician. Upon completing
medical school, you become a medical doctor. However, you’re not quite ready for brain
surgery. First, you must complete a residency in a surgical program. Particularly, in this
case, in neurosurgery. Neurosurgery is one of the few specialities that does not employ,
necessarily, the match system. “How”, so you would need to apply to teaching hospitals
that have a neurosurgery residency program. This is a minimum of “a”, an additional eight
year course of study, beyond your medical school education. And during these eight years,
you learn first the skills of a surgeon, and second the skills of a brain surgeon. Upon
completion of your residency in neurosurgery, you can opt to go on and do additional formal
studies, during your fellowship. Upon completing all of your formal post graduate training,
you can take the board exam and become a practicing neurosurgeon. This is Mark MacBayne, Practice
Administrator for Hematology and Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant at UCSF Medical