Professor Amy Rasmussen
AP English Language and Composition
28 March 2014
It was a gloomy, rainy day. I could hear the thunder storm pondering on earth. Suddenly, I heard a phone call from one of my mom’s best friend who happens to have brain tumor. At that instance, there was chaos all over the house, at one side I could see people crying like babies crying when they can’t find their mom. The other side was the family getting ready to take her to the hospital. My mom’s friend Seema had dark brown hair, very tall, and always had a beautiful smiling face. We rushed to the hospital, and quickly the doctors took her to the ER and performed brain surgery. During this time interval our hearts were pounding like if they are going to fall apart from our body. Both of our families waited, waited, and waited to see if Seema’s going to be fine. As soon as we heard the footsteps of the doctor everyone raced to the door like a Usain Bolt running in a olympic. When the neurologist came and told us what is going on in her body we were contented by the news because they have successfully removed her tumor. After couple of months passed prior to her surgery Seema, started having severe migraines and she was constantly vomiting. Due to this she lost tremendous amount of weight because as soon as she ate she would throw up so her body couldn’t get the nutrients that it needed. Secondly, after couple of days Seema had another problem in which her arms and legs had no support, due to this she couldn’t do anything forcing her to take help from other people.
In my life I have faced many difficult challenges, and saw many people suffer from cancer, from my uncle to my best friend’s dad who had a Parkinson’s disease at an early stage of his life, which took his life leaving his friends and relatives behind. Seeing this I was determined to change people’s lives as much as I can, in any way I can. When my uncle was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease it completely changed my life because I saw the pain he had to go through, the emotions that were around him, and most importantly living in a constant fear of “am I going to live or die? My family took him to the best hospitals that was known for treating people who have Parkinson’s disease, I don’t remember leaving any hospital that we knew, and as soon as we heard people telling us that “ hey you should go here, that hospital is very good”, at that instance we took him there. After long time the surgeries that the doctors did was unsuccessful, at that point he was left to die. The loss of my uncle hit hard on me personally and my family because I was missing the care he gave, the smile, the kindness he showed not only to us but the whole community. I kept thinking to myself why did he had to go? Why? There was no answer.
Every year people in the United States are diagnosed of having more than 180,000 different brain tumors. ( US News & National Brain Society). Neurosurgery refers to a medical specialty which deals with, of course, the brain, spinal cord, nervous system, and much more. Although there are many fields in which a person can go while pursuing his study in neurology, such as doing brain research, research of brain tumor, and doing research of spinal cords. I want to pursue the field of brain tumor. The topic brain tumor already looks interesting because every day it’s going to be a mystery, everyday I am going to find new ways of how to treat people who have brain tumors.
While I am young right now and don’t have any experience of what goes on in the medical field, I try to read the news that are related to health especially towards neurology. For example, last summer I went to Baylor Medical Center in Carrollton, and surprisingly I found this neurologist by the name of Dr. James. While I was visiting I learned an abundance of information due to the fact that the neurologist was very kind, and didn’t bother sharing his personal life as to how he became a successful neurologist. While I was “ interviewing” Dr. James I asked him many questions ranging anywhere such as what kind of school do I have to go, how long does it take to become a neurologist, job ethics, how’s the life working as a neurologist, grades that I need to have in order to get into a good medical school, and how do you maintain a good relationship between the family and the work. But there’s one thing that he told me which boosted my love towards becoming a neurologist is that he told me “ In life you will face many challenges, people will tell you you can’t become a neurologist, you can’t do this or that, but don’t listen to them instead go FORWARD, let your dream come true”. Hearing this I was determined to change my life around. I will do whatever it takes to reach my goals. That’s the reason I stay up until 2 in the morning everyday not because I have APUSH homework but I am determined to achieve what I want to achieve in my life.
People who are considering to become a neurologist should have the true love of becoming a neurologist because you are there to help someone. Just imagine what would happen to 180,000 people who have brain tumors each year? What would happen to people if the number of neurosurgeons just keeps decreasing? What impact it’s going to have on the society? What would those 180,000 Americans and many more around the world would do? When a person becomes a health professional that means he’s giving up his time, life, and family for the will of his patients. That’s the reason not everyone can become a doctor or a nurse. Wouldn’t you want your doctor or nurse to be educated, to be determined on what they are doing so that you don’t die like my uncle did fighting brain tumor? We want our future doctors to be well educated, confident, determined, and passionate on what they are doing.
In order to become a well educated, confident, determined, and passionate neurosurgeon a person has to go through grueling school from the beginning of his high school career. The first step to become a neurosurgeon starts at high school; as soon as a person enters high school he should already made up his mind that he wants to become a neurosurgeon because at that point you will know what classes to take, what kind of GPA you need to have, what AP classes you will need take so you are a head of the game. Basically as soon as a person enters high school he should already planned what he’s going to do as one neurologist explains in his biography “ I didn’t have a drivers license,” says Sisti, “and Dr. Lovelace said he’d drive me. So, at the age of 17, I was being chauffeur driven by a professor of neurology to and from work at the Neurological Institute—you see, my future was already mapped out.” ( The Making of a Neurosurgeon: Dr. Michael Sisti). Many students think that becoming a neurologist or going into any other field is very simple but in reality it’s very laborious as stated by a book written by a neurologist where he states “ A subject difficult to master, and it takes most of you leaving no space for anyone else. Those who have practiced this subject know that out of all surgeons, the maximum adrenaline has been secreted by them”. (First Do No Harm : Reflections on becoming a neurosurgeon). Now this should tell you what kind of life do neurologist have, and how challenging their life is; I mean every second of their life they are working or training- leaving their family and friends behind as Dr. Rainer describes that neurologist are so busy that they don’t have time for others.
After graduating from high school, the next step is a four year college/ university which are necessary because you need Bachelors and Masters in order to get into Medical school. Going to college or four year university is the second step toward becoming a neurologist. In college one has to work like a slave working in a plantation because slaves worked day and night in which all day long they worked in extremely immense plantations and after a tiring day they would come home and make food, clean their houses, etc. same thing goes here with the students who are trying to pursue their career in neuroscience. A person who is thinking about becoming a neurosurgeon can’t waste time because there’s no time to waste; every second of your life counts, every moment of the breath you inhale or exhale needs to be wasted on reading and studying and because of these criterias there’s about the same number of neurosurgeons as there were in 1950s. ( Health. US News/ Neurosurgeons). A person who is trying to become a neurosurgeon can’t be the guy who is partying every weekend, going to every football games, hanging out with his friends, skipping classes, and doing his homework whenever he feels like to. If that’s the case then you probably have picked the wrong career because you would NOT survive medical school.
Hopefully, those four years of your college experience was great with all those studying and not being able to party every weekend, not being able to hang out with your friends, above all not being able to go to every football games. But that was nothing it was a piece of cake. The next step toward becoming a neurologist is the one and only MEDICAL school. Before I start talking I want to give an idea of how medical school actually looks like by a neurologist who had the same experience as many of us will soon have he says “ You want to become a neurosurgeon?” he asks. “Your gonna have to walk from Maine to Georgia and you know what? Along the way, your going to break your arm and you better just slap a cast on and muddle through it, because that is what its like.” ( Columbia Neurosurgery). Now you can understand the difficultness of neurosurgery medical school; if you think college was wearying than you have no clue what’s going to happen in medical school. First of all, in order to get into medical school one has to score very high in MCAT ( Medical College Admission Test) so you can get into a prestigious medical school such as John Hopkins, Yale, Stanford, SMU, and many others.There are many criterias that a medical school looks at when they open the door of admissions such as extracurricular activities, grades that a person had while they were in college, and MCAT which is one of the test that medical schools look at as one newspaper explains “ In 2012, approximately 43.8 percent of people who applied to medical school were accepted, which means that being accepted to medical school is no easy feat”. ( Global Post). The reason why medical school is very tough because this the place where everything starts to get serious, this is the place to see if you really qualify to become a neurologist. While attending medical school one will learn many aspects of neurology such as how the brain works, what are the different parts, and most importantly you will be working in a real life hospitals in which professional neurologist will monitor every moves of yours they are like hawks watching constantly on it’s prey. Now in medical school what’s different is that students will be loaded with homeworks, homeworks, and homeworks; some day one might not even get to sleep. You might be thinking how does this dude knows this? Good question. Well I have many older friends who went to medical school and became a doctor, and since I’m planning to become a doctor I have asked them many questions and guess what they told the exact same thing as the doctor I quoted above.
Finally, the last step towards becoming a neurosurgeon is doing residency. Many of us don’t know what residency is. That’s good because I have asked myself and my older friends who went to medical school and became a doctor is what is residency? Guess what they told me? It’s a place where you live and you are training to become a professional neurologist. This is the place where everything is tested- mentally, physically, and emotionally, this is the place where you feel like you can’t do anymore but those doctors who are trained like Navy SEALS put you the place where you have never thought you could do. The work days are tremendously long as some shifts will be 12 to 14 hours and the next day you have class to attend as one doctor by the name of Dr. Tom who resides in Atlanta says that “ Like many aspiring surgeons, Tom worked insanely long hours, typically averaging 120 hours per week”, telling what he had to go through in order to become something.( Rising Stars: Neurosurgery: Long Hours, Making A Difference). This is the place where every kind of scenarios are tested this is the place where those quick drills you had in medical school comes in handy. Luckily, I have a friend who is doing residency in Pittsburgh for the past two years and he told me that the life of residency is miserable- every other day he has to work for at least 12 to 14 hours. When I heard this I fell to bottom of the earth because there’s no way I can survive doing 12 hours knowing that I have to attend classes the next following day. ( Muhammad Yasir). In fact one doctor who is also in the process of becoming a neurosurgeon has schedule laid out because each second of his life counts as he states “ I’m presenting this under the shadow of the 30 hour straight rule and the 80 hour work week”, if you go to his website he has laid out his plans as to what he’s doing in each hour because he’s counting by an hour because the shifts are counted as an hour. ( KevinMD.Com- A neurosurgical resident’s typical day) After some wearying, grueling, and tiring years of doing residency it’s finally time to move on.
After residency that’s when everything for real starts because it makes sense that after those wearying, grueling, and tiring years that you have spent doing residency you have to put that into practice. Now finally WELCOME to the real world of business, and medical. Now it’s the time to get real because there’s no more fake patients you have to cure but now you have to treat real life people who have diseases that needs to be cured. If you screw up there’s no saying sorry, one mistake can kill that person and because of this doctors in medical and residency go super hard because they want to make the best of the best. Now let’s talk about your daily life as a neurosurgeon. Now people have to understand that becoming a neurosurgeon is not an easy job. Many neurosurgeons have multiple jobs at different hospitals. According one Neurosurgeon by the name of Farhad M. Limonadi he states that “ It varies every day. It varies every year, in Neurosurgery your first year is different than your second which is different than your third”, so everyday you are going to have different challenges and different things. ( Farhad M. Limonadi, MD (Dartmouth).. One of the most important thing that people should remember about becoming a doctor is balancing your work life to your family life because you can’t just spend 24 hours at work you have to give some time to you family. Money is not the most important thing in life.
|Process of Becoming a Neurosurgeon|
|Get High School Diploma|
|Four Years of accredited college/ university
|Four Years of Medical School
|Four to six years of Residency
|Write your board exams once you’ve completed the residency. If you pass, you’ll be a certified neurological surgeon.|
|Work as a Neurosurgeon|
In order to become a neurosurgeon there’s a lot of steps involved because neurosurgery is one of the most dangerous and most challenging medical field. If a person really wants to become a neurosurgeon they should start very early and be determined because it take a lot of manpower as well as dedication. Most importantly a person must be able to balance the time between work and family.