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The Steps To Become a Surgeon

When you are entering the medical world, there is no profession more coveted than a surgeon. Surgeons are known for being some of the highest paid medical professionals. It’s for good reason. The job is stressful. You must be able to thrive under pressure. You can’t be squeamish. You need steady hands and to focus for hours on end on a single patient’s surgery. It is not a surprise that the process of becoming a surgeon is so long. When it’s your goal to perform surgeries, help people, and, in some cases, save lives, below are the steps to become a surgeon.

High School

The first thing everyone must finish, whether you want to become a surgeon or an entirely different profession, is to finish high school. In a lot of cases, the ability to become a high-level medical surgeon is determined by the high school grades and SAT score. Getting into a good undergraduate college is paramount. You may already be out of high school but making sure that your good grades and high scores on exams are utilized to get you into a good school is essential to pursuing a career as a surgeon.


Then, you will be an undergraduate. There are many majors that apply to becoming a surgeon, especially since there are many different types of surgeries. Studying biology is a great way to get into medicine, but it isn’t the only major that will lead you onto this path. You could study psychology as well. You could study chemistry. Whatever your passion is when it comes to surgery, your undergraduate major should be in line with your eventual goals.

Graduate Medical School

Once you have graduated from a four-year college, it will be time to go to graduate school. In the case of a surgeon, you will be attending medical school. Various occupations in medicine require different graduate degrees, but to become a surgeon you should get a Master’s degree and a PHD.

As your education continues, your work will become more and more specialized. You may get your Master’s in general medicine, but your PHD will be in some sort of surgery. You can then specialize in surgical education further. What type of surgery do you specialize in? Whether it’s plastic surgery or heart surgery, now would be the time to decide.


Then you will need to be certified in your area of medicine and, specifically, surgery. You will have to take an exam or two. Luckily, there are many ways to study and prepare for these tests. For example, a practice surgery shelf exam will help you prepare for the real thing. These mock exams are just like the test, providing nearly identical questions and answers to the real deal test. You don’t want to fail these exams, so it’s prudent to do everything in your power to pass them on the first try. That’s why shelf exams and study guides are so important. Don’t overlook this step in the process.


One of the final things you need to do before becoming a surgeon is to do an apprenticeship with another surgeon. This is a compulsory step in the process. Some see it as the pathway to surgical autonomy. Before you run your own surgery practice, you’ll need to do a residency. This sort of residency takes on average 60 months to complete. Then, when you have seen just about every situation you will encounter in your specialized surgical profession, you will be able to go out on your own.

Surgeons are very highly paid medical professionals. It takes a lot of education and a special type of person to do the job well. When you go through all the school, the certifications, the accreditations, the apprenticeships, and the exams you need to pass, you will be able to carve out your own space in the medical field.

Depending on the kind of surgery you want to do, people’s lives are often in your hands. No wonder it takes so much schooling and experience to even become a surgeon. So, if it’s still early enough in your life for you to pursue this dream, now you have an idea of what you will go through to get there. For many, it is worth it!