Children experience neurosurgical issues that are often markedly different from those that affect adults, which is why pediatric neurosurgeons complete extensive pediatric training in addition to the standard program for general neurosurgery.
People often confuse neurosurgeons with neurologists. While both doctors treat disorders related to the nervous system, only neurosurgeons are authorized to practice surgical intervention as a treatment.
Pediatric neurosurgeons must have successfully completed a minimum of four years of medical school at an accredited institution, followed by a one-year surgical internship. In addition to this training, they must complete at least five years of residency training focused on neurological surgery and further training in pediatric neurosurgery. They then get certification through both the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
These specialists make pediatric care the center of their practice and learn the unique nature of the surgical and medical care of young patients through practice and training experience.
Pediatric neurosurgeons see patients who represent a wide range of ages, from newborns to older teenagers. Many patients need to receive care throughout their lives and will want to build a longstanding relationship with their pediatric neurosurgeon over years of ongoing care and close follow-up.