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Prevea Health

How should I choose a neurosurgeon?


Choosing a neurosurgeon to assist you and your medical needs, may feel like a daunting task. To help determine the right fit for you, start by researching the credentials of a neurosurgeon.
A common path for a neurosurgeon includes graduating from medical school and completing a seven-year residency, on average. Traditionally, the length and intensity of the schooling and training leaves most neurosurgeons well-suited to perform most cases. However, some neurosurgeons choose to enhance their training through completing a fellowship.
Why is a fellowship important?
  • Specific and specialized training
  • More experience
  • Exposure to rarer conditions
Specific and specialized training
A fellowship serves as a way for a neurosurgeon to receive specific and specialized training in a subset of their area of specialty. For example, some subspecialties may include: spinal deformity, minimally invasive spine, endovascular, pediatrics, skull base, neuro-oncology, open vascular and neuro-critical care. Focusing on a specific interest allows an individual to gain a level of expertise while acquiring an exceptional level of skill.
Fellowships typically offer a unique experience for a neurosurgeon which includes working in a high-volume hospital and being mentored by a leader in their field. The setting and mentorship provide the opportunity to perform more cases before beginning to practice while learning different perspectives, procedures and styles of management.
Exposure to rarer conditions
In most cases, a rarer condition requires the use of innovative techniques. Having the ability to see and manage rare conditions allows a neurosurgeon to learn and grow in a way they may not have been able to during medical school or residency.
Prevea has two fellowship-trained neurosurgeons.
Hoon Choi, MD, performed a one-year spine fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and now serves on the faculty. This is the oldest spine fellowship in North America for neurosurgeons, with graduates being leaders in the field. He is proficient in both complex and minimally invasive spine surgeries. He is a leader in robotic-assisted spine surgery and travels frequently to teach fellow surgeons around the country.
Joseph D. Chabot, DO, performed a two-year open and endoscopic skull base fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. At this fellowship, he learned minimally-invasive approaches to deep-seated brain tumors and vascular lesions, as well as stereotactic radiosurgery.
After narrowing down your options, it’s important to select a neurosurgeon you trust and have a strong rapport with. Scheduling an appointment with a fellowship-trained surgeon may add a new perspective to help you find the right fit.

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