Do you aspire to become a surgeon? Then this article is for you. Healthcare is the need of the hour, overlooking at the studies, the data projected indicate the increase in the population growth and equal decline in the quality health and added influence of accidents and mishaps, there is continued trend in demand for a surgeon and other medical professionals, but How To Become A Surgeon?
Before we begin answering that question we must understand, Who is a surgeon? What defines the role of a surgeon? A surgeon is a specialist and a trained medical professional who is licensed to operate upon a patient suffering from any complex illness or requiring treatment by puncturing the skin or tissues using invasive methods. Because such form of treatment involves risk, it is necessary for a surgeon to be a trained professional. Else, it can be too dangerous to perform a full invasive method of treatment for the patient.
How To Become A Surgeon?
Here is a step by step method explained:
1. High School
The first step to choosing a career as a surgeon begins at the high school. Pay extra attention to subjects like Biology, Physiology, Chemistry, and Physics. If you have a natural craving to unlock the depths of these subjects then it is a clear indication that this career is for you, because being a Surgeon isn’t a simple task, it requires genuine perseverance, dedication, and a sense of wanting to serve the humanity. It is profession driven by both skill and ethics.
The next step after High School must be focusing on SAT scores. Since it is a necessity to have SAT scores to join college, it is important you have excellent SAT scores to further your chances of being accepted into various colleges. So higher the SAT scores you get, more doors to premium colleges open up to you. You can edge your preparation by hiring a private tutor or taking a prep course for SAT.
3. Bachelor Degree
After the completion of college, it is mandatory to have a Bachelor’s degree before you can make your way into medical school. You can opt for any subject as your major; there is no recommended choice that is compulsory in order to be a surgeon but, however, it is necessary to have completed coursework in Physiology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and English. You can coordinate and manage your pre-medical courses accordingly such that you have sufficient time to prepare for the medical school. It is beneficial to have good contact with your professors and senior faculty to a personal extent because you may be asked for a letter of recommendation while applying for the medical school and may be easier if you obtain them from your professors.
It is an important test you must clear to be eligible for enrollment in the Medical school. Also, along with this test preference will be given to your college transcripts too. It is evaluated together to determine if you are eligible to seek admission in medical school. Once you have taken the test, you can start applying for various medical schools. The selection of best schools may be tricky because of various factors that influence your decision. So pay attention to reputation, location, and the cost to shortlist the best schools. Also, do not forget to submit the letter of recommendation from your professors and previous employers on demand. Some schools may ask for recommendation letters prior to acceptance while others prefer personally interviewing the candidates.
5. Complete the Med School
It is important that you complete the med school to earn Doctor of Medicine (M.D) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O). In the initial two years, the focus will be on the fundamental study exclusive to classroom and laboratory settings. The subjects include biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and medical ethics. During the last two years, you will be allowed hands-on experience by conducting the diagnosis of real patients under the strict supervision of medical professionals. This way you will be applying your classroom knowledge in real-time settings. During the period, of course, M.D and D.O may receive similar education and training. However on the later stages, the D.O’s are trained in the musculoskeletal system or more elaborately, the system of bones and muscles in the body. After the completion of the Medial school and residency programs, it is a growing trend where they may seek specific licensure examination in a field of special expertise.
6. Residency Program
After the completion of the medical school, you enroll in the surgical residency program where you are trained in the particular area of expertise. The work duration can last for 3-8 years and may involve working at multiple hospitals and treating patients under the supervision of doctors. Residency programs are used to train you intensely in the specialized area of study such as infectious disease, anesthesiology, preventive medicine, urology, and neurology. The duration of each program varies as per ones selective field of specialization.
Once you have completed the residency program, next step is to get licensed as a certified medical professional. Hence, it is necessary to be licensed to practice the profession; here are some eligibility criteria to be a licensed surgeon. You should have completed minimum four years at medical school and must have also completed residency programs too followed by passing of written and practical exams. It is also necessary to clear one of the following national standardized licensure examinations to complete the process of licensing.
- US Medical Licensing Examination for M.D.s
- Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) for D.O.s
- Some D.O.s also take the USMLE examination, although it is optional for D.O. Medical students.
Choosing the right path
Once you are successfully licensed to start practice, you can also choose a specialization depending upon your area of interest. It can benefit to narrow down your field of expertise.
There are different types of surgeons depending on their specialty. They are:
The surgeons who are cardiac specialists are trained to perform invasive and non-invasive surgery on the patients with heart complications.
They are specialists dealing with the area of expertise being the abdominal region such as the appendix, colon, and bladder.
While dealing with patients needing treatment for bones or ligaments would need an orthopedic surgeon who is a trained specialist in dealing with the musculoskeletal system of the human body.
They are experts trained to treat patients with the neurological condition. Most complex surgeries are part of Neurology and may require a highly qualified medical professional. Usually, a neurosurgeon is prepared in the residency program for not less than 6-8 years.
Being a surgeon is one of the high paying careers in the US or anywhere, where the average salary is in excess of $ 512,000.
So here is your complete reference to choosing the career as a surgeon. Being a surgeon takes a long duration and may require the surgeon to continue honing skills to stay updated with medical advancement. But apart from knowing the ways to choose this profession, it is important to consider it as your career preference only if you are willing work with perseverance and dexterity, having that mindset to dedicate your life to saving another.