Surgeon Career Interview
Gail Rosseau is a neurosurgeon, which is a surgeon who operates on the brain. She has been a neurosurgeon for 18 years and currently works at NorthShore University HealthSystem, in Chicago, Illinois. She is also a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Surgeon Career Path
Gail went in to medicine because she wanted to help people, which is the reason that any good physician gets into the business.
As for getting into surgery, Gail went with what interested her: the mind.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the brain,” says Gail, “And I thought a career in that would hold my interest over a long time as well as give me the opportunity to give back. We are living in a time when discoveries about the brain will keep my career exciting, as I believe it will continue to be in the future.”
Gail has worked as a neurosurgeon for 18 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa and her medical degree from George Washington University.
In addition to the eight years of education necessary for a medical degree, physicians must also go through several more years for their residencies, which are on-the-job training at hospitals or care centers. Gail did her residency at George Washington University, and she did her neurosurgery fellowship, which is further training in a specialty, at the University of Pittsburgh.
Surgeon Degree Programs
If there is one thing to say about the education for medicine, it is that it’s not exactly short. To become a surgeon, a student must have a Bachelor’s degree, typically in pre-med, biology, chemistry or science-related; a Medical degree; and go through a residency program. All of these steps can last about 15 years.
Surgeon Job Description
Gail is a neurosurgeon at the NorthShore University HealthSystem, which is a four-system hospital affiliated with the University of Chicago.
Surgeon Daily Routine
“I normally see patients in the office or do scheduled procedures, but sometimes that can be interrupted by emergencies,” Gail explains.
As a neurosurgeon, Gail must deal with patients who need emergency care due to a head injury. This makes her days very hectic and varies the pace immensely because she never knows what the day will bring.
Gail must also perform academic duties, such as give lectures to students and other doctors.
Surgeon: Steps to Success
As with any physician, a surgeon must have extreme care for his or her patient. The patients’ lives depend on every move that the surgeon takes, so a surgeon must be willing to accept that responsibility.
Gail recommends that having both commitment and passion for neurosurgery is crucial.
Surgeon Job Opportunities
“It is very hard to get into this field, and it should be,” says Gail. “That’s in the best interest of society.”
Gail explains that not only is it competitive to get ahead in the medical ranks, but the work involved is also quite challenging. Because of the intense responsibility that a surgeon has, he or she needs to know so much information and have so many developed skills. This is why only the best of the best move along in a medical career.
Surgeon Favorite Aspect
“I love it when I can walk out of the operating room and can tell the family of a patient that the patient is going to be fine,” says Gail.
Surgeon’s Future Ambitions
Gail wouldn’t have her job any other way.
“I have my dream job,” she answers. “I love my job, and I am always recommending it to others.”
Advice for Prospective Surgeons
Gail cannot stress enough how rewarding this job is, as you are on the front lines not only helping people but learning about what makes people tick.
“Go into neurosurgery if you have a passion for patient care and the science behind it,” Gail advises. “I encourage students to look into this career because it is immensely rewarding for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world and anyone who is interested in neuroanatomy.”