How to Become a Surgeon
Surgeon Job Duties
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Surgeon
Surgeon Salary
Influential Surgeons
Leading Organizations for Surgeons
Top Cities for Surgeon Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Surgeon

It typically takes a person approximately eight years to become a Doctor of Medicine. However, depending on one's goals, even more education may be needed. The first step in becoming a surgeon is to obtain a bachelor's degree and then move on to medical school. Competitiveness for acceptance into medical school will vary depending on the individual school; however, on the whole every medical school is difficult to get into. An excellent transcript from one's undergraduate school will be beneficial when applying to medical school.

Once in medical school, the average student will spend about four years and long hours studying because the courses can be very taxing. After graduating from medical school, a person will have to spend four to eight years completing their internships/residency program. The length of time for an internship/residency program depends on the specific area of medicine that is chosen.

All physicians, including surgeons, must become licensed. In order to become a licensed, practicing surgeon, a person must complete one to seven years of post-graduate medical work and then complete an examination. Once a surgeon is licensed, there should not be a problem getting licensed in other states as most states do not require another examination. However, some states do limit reciprocity. Surgeons from foreign countries usually most complete a U.S. residency as well as a written examination before they can practice.

What does a Surgeon do?

A surgeon is a doctor of medicine who treats patients that suffer from injuries, disease, and deformity. The main area of treatment that a surgeon works in is operations that require a patient to be either completely sedated or relaxed depending on the procedure. While performing operations is the main course of treatment, it is not uncommon for a surgeon to still counsel patients on issues such as preventive care as well as examine them. A surgeon may also be called on as a consultant. In this role, a surgeon would help to interpret diagnostic tests such as MRIs, CAT scans, etc.

While it is possible to specialize in general surgery, many surgeons choose to specialize in a specific area of surgery. Such areas include plastic surgery, otolaryngology, cardiovascular surgery, neurology, orthopedics, and reconstructive surgery.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Surgeon?

Those looking to become a surgeon should have a good bedside manner, meaning that they are caring and understanding, even when the patient may make it difficult. Surgeons should be good listeners as well as be open-minded. Emotional stability and the ability to help patients without becoming too involved is a must and perhaps even a skill that can be mastered over time.

Many times during the course of surgery, a physician will need to make quick decisions. Therefore, a surgeon cannot be indecisive. Also, those looking to begin a career in surgery must realize that continuing education will be required in order to stay up-to-date on the technology and other new advancements.

The ability to work as a team is also beneficial for several reasons. First of all, some surgeons choose to work in a practice. These medical practices can be made up of all surgeons or a variety of physicians. Either way, surgeons who work in a practice often work as a team with the other physicians. The second reason is during an operation, there will be a number of people in the operating room. These people include nurses, anesthesiologists, and, of course, the attending physician. In short, surgeons will need to have the ability to work well with a large number of people in sometimes stressful situations.

Also, surgeons do not always follow a set schedule. In fact, during 2006, more than one-third of the full-time surgeons worked more than 60 hours per week. Therefore, a person must being willing work outside of normal working hours and be ready to put in more than 40 hours a week.

How much does a Surgeon make?

The number of surgeon jobs is expected to grow 14 percent within the next ten years. This is mostly due to the large number of aging population and the greater demand for healthcare. Overall, surgeons continually make one of the highest salaries of any profession. The average income for surgeons who had practiced over one year was $282,504, while the average income for those practicing less than two years was $228,389. Surgeons who owned a least part of their medical practice tended to have higher incomes than those who were salaried.
Surgeon Salary | More details for Surgeon Jobs | Salary

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

James R. Bean is the current President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. During his first year of medical school, he knew he would specialize in neurological surgery. Since that time, he has helped a great number of people and has worked hard on behalf of his patients. While he admits that neurological surgery is one of the most complicated fields of surgery due to the small room for error, he asserts that it is also one of the most rewarding areas of surgery as well.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

There are several leading organizations within the medical field that are beneficial to all surgeons. Other organizations cater to specific specialties. For example, there is the Association for Research in Otolaryngology which specializes in furthering the science and the development of procedures for ear, neck, and throat surgeries. Another association that may be a little more well-known is the American Academy of Pediatrics which works to support physicians who specialize in pediatrics. This includes both surgeons and general pediatricians.

Another famous association that is a leader in the field of surgery is the American Medical Association. This group works to further the science of medicine and the development of procedures for all doctors. In addition to these things, the AMA also makes recommendations on procedures, medicines, and appropriate tests. These recommendations can, of course, include when surgery is appropriate.

What are the top cities for Surgeon jobs?

Surgeons are needed everywhere; however, the greatest need is for general surgeons in the rural/low-income areas. Otherwise, any large city, especially those with a medical school, teaching hospital, and/or high level trauma center, always has a high demand for surgeons.

Other Careers of Interest

Anesthesiology has a wide range of applications and sub-specialties. Many anesthesiologists are involved in perioperative medicine, which involves...

Cardiologists diagnose and treat illnesses related to the heart and the cardiovascular system. Cardiologists are generally seen by referral. If...

A gastroenterologist is a physician who has had advanced, formal training in the diseases of the digestive system. Gastroenterologists often treat...

Obstetrician and Gynecologist
An obstetrician/gynecologist is a physician who specializes in the basic medical care of women, specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders...

An oncologist is a medical physician who diagnoses and treats patients with cancer. This involves the study of tumors, managing chemotherapy...

An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. An ophthalmologist is licensed to practice...

An optometrist is a medical doctor who provides vision care to their patients while specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases....

A physician examines a patient, but a pathologist examines tissues and fluids. They examine biopsies, blood and stool samples, rather than living...

Pediatricians assess, diagnose and treat children and adolescents. They form one of the four main types of general practitioners, the others three...

Usually podiatrists work in private offices or clinics and have a small support staff. Also, it is not uncommon for podiatrist to visit nursing...

Urologists are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with urological disorders. Urological disorders could include problems with either...

Surgeon Jobs

Browse by Location | Browse by Career



Career & College Resources


Creative Commons License