How to Become a Surgeon


Becoming a surgeon is a very tough decision since this kind of profession is probably one of the most difficult and expensive professions to achieve. Not everyone is fortunate to have the wealth to support an expensive education like medicine that is why some students have to work part time jobs just to support their education. If you want to become a surgeon, you should be prepared physically, mentally, emotionally and most importantly, financially. Learning how to become a surgeon is not the only important thing to consider before making the tough decision but you should also determine if a surgery career is the right job for you.

How Do I Become a Surgeon? Personal Traits and Characteristics Required

To determine if surgery jobs would be suitable for you, you should consider your interests, knowledge and personal characteristics. Before acquiring the knowledge, you should already have certain degree of knowledge about science, especially some basic knowledge about the functions and structures of the body. If you are interested in these topics, then considering the option to become a surgeon might be a good decision.  Aside from being interested in science and health, you should also have specific interpersonal traits and skills.

  • If you want to be a surgeon, you should be courageous and strong enough to handle difficult situations. As a surgeon, you will be faced with difficult circumstances especially during operations. Patients put their lives on your hands. You should be brave and courageous in order to handle the pressure of your profession.
  • A surgeon should be hard working. Surgeons, as medical professionals, usually work for long hours without regular or scheduled day offs and duty time because of the great need for professional surgeons. Aside from their main job, to become a surgeon, you should be willing to study for long hours, train hard and complete all the requirements needed in order to complete the education and training requirements.
  • To become a surgeon, you should also be flexible since caring and handling patients can be difficult at some point.
  • To become a good surgeon, you should also be compassionate and conscientious. A good surgeon always prioritizes the health and welfare of the patients and act according to what is right and moral.

If you have these traits, taking the long road and completing the requirements for surgeons will not be that difficult. The next step to consider is to decide what specific surgery job you want to take. There are a lot of surgeons from plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, cosmetic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and heart surgeons. If you want to become a plastic surgeon, here are the necessary requirements you need to comply and finish to become a plastic surgeon.

How to Become a Plastic Surgeon?

  • Undergraduate Degree Program and Medical College Admission Test

After finishing high school, proceed to college and finish a 4 year course. There are no specific degree programs in college for surgery professions but you should take the course relevant to your future profession just like in pre-med school. Your degree program should be recognized for a pre-medical degree program such chemistry or biology. After finishing your college, you need to proceed to a doctorate degree program for surgeons. Make sure to pass the admission test so you can obtain placement for a medical school. Getting high scores will also be great so you can qualify in prestigious medical schools in the country.

  • Doctorate Degree Program, Clinical Rotations, Residency and Licensure

Once you finish your undergraduate degree and pass the medical college admission exam, apply in a medical school and complete your doctorate degree program. This will take another 4 years wherein the first half will be focused on learning surgery educational foundations like pathology, physiology, anatomy, histology, immunology, psychology and medical ethics. The second half of your doctorate education will be spent for clinical rotations and practical trainings.

After earning your doctorate degree (you can opt for online doctoral degrees, the next step is to finish your residency. There are two main pathways on how to become a plastic surgeon. One is the integrated model wherein you need to finish 6 to 7 years residency but includes all your surgical trainings and the independent model wherein you need to finish 3 years of surgical residency and another 3 years for your specialization which is plastic surgery residency.

After finishing your residency, the next step to become a licensed surgeon is to get the necessary certifications and pass the licensure exams required in your country. During your last year of residency, you can already get the licensure exams for plastic surgeons so you can practice your profession right after finishing your residency program.

Aside from the licensure, another important component on how to become a surgeon is to take continuous trainings and education as required in your state to maintain your license as a plastic surgeon. Continuous education and training will also help you remain updated with the recent trends and evolutions in the surgical industry, and new medical technologies related to plastic surgery.