Spinal Surgeon

Handle medical issues and surgeries relating to the spine.

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
~ $215,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Spinal Surgeons do?

Nobody gets excited at the prospect of undergoing surgery. But, when a patient faces back surgery, he or she can at least take solace in the fact that there are specially trained Doctors who can skillfully handle a scalpel. A Spinal Surgeon can hold the title of Neurosurgeon (who specializes in nerves) or Orthopedic Surgeon (who specializes in bones), but most Spinal Surgeons cross-train between the two specialties.

As a Spinal Surgeon, you perform surgeries to relieve common back problems, such as herniated disks or bone fractures. Typically, your surgeries are scheduled so that you know what to expect from the day, but you might also put in time at the emergency room, where you take whatever case rolls in. In the latter case, you might work with Trauma Surgeons and other Surgeons to treat the different conditions patients have.

Outside of the operating room, you maintain a full schedule as well. Consultation is a huge part of your workday. Back conditions are now one of the major reasons people miss work or struggle with day-to-day tasks, so your expertise is in demand.

To best assist your patients, you ask questions, gather a medical history, and order tests, such as x-rays. Then you review the information and make a diagnosis.

Not all treatments involve surgery; you also educate your patients about physical therapy and chiropractic care. You hand out exercise assignments, formulate a plan for back care, and follow up to make sure that plan is solving the problem.


Should I be a Spinal Surgeon?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Spine Surgeon

    How to become a Spinal Surgeon

    Most Spinal Surgeons have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||doctorate+%2899%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,99
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