Summary of how to become a surgeon.
Dreaming of a career as a surgeon? Do you feel inextricably drawn to the world of scalpels, procedures, and scrubs? Whatever the case, surgery remains one of the top medical specialty choices for those who have what it takes. To find out if this professional direction is right for you, take a free career and aptitude quiz.
There is not one single time figure that can be given. As with most medical fields, becoming a professional in surgery takes a fairly large time commitment. The only way to figure out how long it will take for you to become a surgeon is to break down the steps and figure out the length of which specific path you will follow. The amount of time required for education will also vary depending on what specialty you are pursuing a career in. In general, though, we can say that you will need 13 to 18 years to become a surgeon.
One of the first requirements for entry to medical school is an undergraduate degree. This will generally take four years. If you take AP courses in high school and load yourself up, you may be able to finish in three. Of course, this may not be advisable if you are following a pre-med program due to the difficulty of some of your courses.
Following the completion of your four-year degree, you will begin medical school. There isn’t too much to say about it. Medical school will take four years regardless of what field you wish to enter. For those who have difficulty keeping up with the rapid pace, it may take anywhere from 5-6 years, but 4 is the standard amount of time.
This is where your choice of path matters. The typical surgery residency will be anywhere from 5-7 years. If choose to pursue a residency in general surgery, for example, you can expect to spend 5 years in residency. If you wish to go into something more specialized, such as plastic surgery or neurosurgery, you will spend a longer length of time in residency, generally around 6-7 years.
Following your residency, you will be able to practice as a surgeon. You are, in every sense of the word, a surgeon. If you want to move into a very specialized field, though, you will more than likely have to pursue training after the completion of a residency program, generally in the form of a fellowship. Fellowships may last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the area.
And there you have it. From beginning to start, become a surgeon will take at least thirteen years of post-secondary education for most people. If you feel the urge to, you may also choose to extend your education by receiving post-residency training and researching. Total time to become a surgeon: 13-18 years
Surgeons not only require a formal extensive education at medical school. Every U.S. state additionally requires a surgeon to acquire medical licensure. Surgeons must take and pass the COMLE (Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam), or the U.S. MLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination).
On top of that must surgeons must also receive certification in surgery (and also in their specific sub-specialties) by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialists) or the AOA (American Osteopathic Association). In practically all states are surgeons required to earn CE (continuing education) credits all through their careers in order to continue to be certified and maintain licensure.
According to the American Board of Medical Specialties, there are 14 main surgical specializations. If you want to work as a surgeon, it is essential that you determine which specialization you wish to work in. Specialties may vary in type of work, pay, lifestyle, and so on. This post includes important information for anybody considering work as a surgeon. Specializations may also differ from each other in pay.
If you want to discover if this professional environment is your ticket, you can take our free career and personality test.