Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders that affect any portion of the nervous system and spinal column including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
In the United States, a neurosurgeon must generally complete four years of college, four years of medical school, a one year internship and six to seven years of neurosurgery residency. Most, but not all, residency programs have some component of basic science or clinical research. Neurosurgeons may pursue an additional training in a fellowship, after residency or in some cases, as a senior resident. These fellowships include spine surgery, skull base surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, trauma/neurocritical care, functional and stereotactic surgery, surgical neuro-oncology, radiosurgery, neurovascular surgery, Interventional neuroradiology and peripheral nerve surgery. In the U.S., neurosurgery is considered an extremely competitive specialty composed of only 0.6% of all practicing physicians.