N is for… Neurosurgeon!
The next time someone tells you “it’s not brain surgery,” you can reply that it is – because you’re a Neurosurgeon.
Neurosurgeons are responsible for diagnosing and operating on the brain, which is your body’s most important organ. Ironically, one of the best-known neurosurgeons in the U.S. is Ben Carson, a guy not typically associated with saying very smart things, and who was known as a poor student in school. He ultimately became famous as a younger man due to his experimental surgery on Siamese twins who were joined at the head. (Unfortunately, his very first patients have never lived “neurologically normal” lives, despite the surgery, though he apparently perfected his technique over time.)
Neurosurgery, despite my opening joke, is actually quite a demanding profession. Not only do you need the kind of skills involved in other types of surgery, such as steady hands, mechanical abilities, 3D thinking, understanding of human anatomy and physiology, but you’ll also need to be a specialist on how the human brain functions, as well as an expert on blood vessels, nerves and the spinal cord and the spatial relationships between these various parts and systems. This requires many years of training in school as well as apprenticeships in the medical field, known as residencies.
- Best Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery (US News and World Report)
- Dr. Q – Neurosurgeon who inspired Brad Pitt to begin a film project based on his life and work
- How Do I Become A Neurosurgeon? (NYU School of Medicine)
- The Most Interesting Neurosurgeon in the World (D Magazine, October 2012)
- The Story of the Surgery That Made Ben Carson Famous – And Its Complicated Aftermath (Washington Post, 13 November 2015)
- Gifted Hands (2009)
- Stuck On You (2003) – features a cameo by Dr. Ben Carson
- The Man With Two Brains (1983)
Other Nifty Jobs That Start With N
- Nuclear Engineer
Want to learn about even more cool jobs?
Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.