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How to Become a Surgeon

Charlie S
Surgeons are one of the most respected and highest paid medical professionals in the world. Naturally, it takes a lot of focused efforts to become one. Read more to know how to enter the medical profession and become a surgeon.
Being a part of the medical profession is a privilege. Those who are a part of it get the opportunity to serve mankind like nothing else, which is the reason why people from the medical fraternity are indeed held in high esteem.
Entering this profession requires extremely focused dedication, along with a deep liking for medical sciences. Simply said, one cannot decide to become a part of the profession on a whim, more so if one aspires to specialize in surgery.
To become a surgeon, one needs to put in consistent hard work and possess the willingness to learn new things in this field. Extended working hours are the norm in this profession, as is the tremendous amount of stress brought upon by the sheer responsibility that comes with being a surgeon.
The medical profession is meant for highly talented and skilled students, who have a deep interest in medical science. Students who are sincere and consistently score well in subjects like Biology, Zoology and Chemistry, can think of joining a degree course in medicine and then a post-graduate course in surgery.
As a specialized course in medicine, it takes a student around 7 to 8 years of studies and internship to become a surgeon. You need to be sure that you are prepared to live an academic life until you're in your late twenties. Further, it takes a few years of practice before you manage to establish yourself as a professional of repute.
Another factor to be considered before joining a medical college is the affordability. Being a coveted and high-paying profession, a medical degree does not come at a shoestring budget. You need to be financially ready before you decide to think of beginning admission procedures.

Academic Preparations

This field demands sincere study from an early age. Usually, academically inclined youngsters, especially those interested in science, tend to opt for medical field. Thus, to become a surgeon, start working on your dream right from high school.
  • Concentrate on subjects like Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and get good grades throughout high school.
  • You must score well on the SAT in order to gain admission to an undergraduate course at a reputed university.
  • You need to necessarily opt for Biology, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, along with English.
  • Aspiring medical students have an average GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 at the undergraduate level.
  • Finally, you need to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and score well in order to qualify for medical school.

Application Procedure

It is common knowledge that getting into a medical school of your choice is tough, considering the large volume of applications, compared to the few seats that are available. However, one needs to prudently go about planning the applications to get into a decent college.
  • Conduct ample research on possible schools so that you can shortlist around 10 to 15. Keep in mind your specialization and budget while selecting colleges.
  • The medical school application process is centralized, called the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
  • This is where you apply online and include details regarding your academic background, along with your personal essay and (if required) recommendation letters.
  • Along with your grades, your personal essay plays a major role in introducing you to the admissions committee of a school. Ensure that it suitably conveys your skills and talent, and brings out your best characteristics.

Being in a Medical School

Try to make most of the golden opportunity you get, as getting admission in a good medical school is extremely difficult. Your surgical training will be the highlight of the four years you will spend there. Your specialization in surgery will depend upon your scores.
In the first two years, you will be given classroom and lab training on vital subjects like Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology and Forensic Pathology, Histology, etc. In the second year itself, you would have to appear and clear the first part of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).
In the third year, you would get practical experience which is very essential for a surgeon. You would be getting good exposure to pediatrics, gynecology and family practice. In the fourth year, you would have to take the second part of USMLE and do well in it.


The residency program provides college pass-outs training from experienced surgeons in patient care, medical knowledge and developing interpersonal skills. You have to work as an assistant surgeon for the 5 year residency internship.
Residency programs are compulsory, if you wish to practice as a surgeon in the US. Also, most students take the third part of the USMLE at the end of the first year in residency, due to which they complete the licensing procedure.
There is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into being a part of this noble profession of medical science. What you get in return is a fulfilling career that is extremely rewarding.