How to Become a Surgeon

Surgeons are medical doctors whose specialty is performing medical operations as a form of treatment.

If you are interested in medicine, have excellent manual dexterity, and strong academic skills then you might like to become a surgeon.

Surgeons work to treat illness, correct deformities, and repair injuries by performing operations on the tissues and bones of a patient.

Many surgeons specialize in a particular area of surgery, for instance, neurological surgery or cardiovascular surgery.

The path to become a surgeon is no doubt challenging.

Around eleven years of education is needed to start practicing independently, and this is without a specialization.

Entry into medical school is competitive, as is placement in internships.

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In line with this, surgeons earn a very high income and have excellent job security.

Education Requirements to Become a Surgeon

When you become a surgeon, you will have many years of training ahead of you.

If you’re a high school student, completing subjects in math and science will be of help.

You will need to work hard throughout the course of your education to get good grades that will grant you a place in college, and later medical school.

You’ll need to start by completing a four year undergraduate degree at college, preferably with a pre-medicine degree.

After college, you’ll go on to medical school.

Entrance is based on your grade point average, an interview, and your grades on the MCAT.

At medical school you’ll complete coursework and also have the chance to start working with patients.

At this time you’ll need to elect surgery as the focus of your studies.

After medical school you’ll complete an internship which lasts for one year, followed by a residency which is usually three years long.

After residency, you can choose to complete a specialization.

Some sample surgical specializations could include Cardiovascular surgery, Orthopedic surgery, Neurological surgery, Otolaryngology, or Plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Surgeon Job Description

A surgeon works to correct deformities, treat illness, and help injuries to repair through operative intervention.

A surgeons work will usually begin with another medical professional referring them a patient.

The surgeon will review the patient’s medical history and schedule a time to meet with them.

During this meeting, a surgeon will inform a patient of their surgical options.

They will describe the procedure, along with any risks involved, and may also speak with a patient’s family at this stage, particularly in the case of children or the elderly.

A surgeon will discuss the patient’s requirements with other medical staff who will be assisting, including the anesthesiologist.

During surgery, the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored as the surgeon performs the operation.

Afterwards, they will have follow-up consultations with the patient to monitor their progress and make sure that infection or other complications do not occur.

Some surgeons provide emergency surgery, and work on an on call basis.

Many work long hours, with a lot of overtime.

Here are some of the tasks of a surgeon:

  • Meeting with patients
  • Reviewing patient history
  • Making a diagnosis
  • Completing a surgery
  • Communicating with other medical staff
  • Reviewing a patient’s recovery

Surgeon Salary and Career Path

When you become a surgeon, you’ll first start treating patients while completing your internship.

Of course, you will have the guidance and supervision of experienced medical personnel.

After your residency is complete, you’ll be able to start working independently as a surgeon.

Some surgeons go on to specialize in particular kinds of surgery, as listed above.

Others go into administrative positions within a hospital, while some become teachers or go on to complete research.

The median salary of a physician is $186,000 a year.

Specialists can expect to earn closer to the median of $336,000 a year.

For more information on a career in surgery, visit the American College of Surgeons website.

Some similar roles to that of surgeon you may be interested in include:

  • Physician
  • Doctor
  • Chiropractor
  • Dentist
  • Optometrist
  • Veterinarian
  • Podiatrist
  • Registered nurse

When you become a surgeon you can look forward to receiving excellent salary and a very secure job.

You also have an opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of the community around you.

Being a surgeon is certainly a demanding career, but it’s not without its rewards.

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