How to Become a General Surgeon? – Overview
A surgeon is a medical professional who specializes in the special treatment of specific organs or procedures.
Surgeons mainly conduct internal, invasive surgeries to treat various health problems.
They may include problems arising from injury or disease. For instance, surgeons can operate on a malfunctioning heart, remove a brain tumor or repair fractured bones.
Surgeons rely on highly technical diagnostic procedures, along with precision equipment for performing surgeries.
Unlike physicians, surgeons are not responsible to perform routine physical examinations. However, surgeons are directly engaged in patient care.
4 Steps to Become a General Surgeon?
There are four steps to becoming a general surgeon in the United States.
Firstly, you will need to complete high school with excellent grades, having a strong aptitude for science and math. Having a passion for medicine and the human body is also a plus point.
These are the four main steps to become a general surgeon in the US:
- Earn an undergraduate degree in pre-med
- Pass MCAT exam
- Enroll in medical school
- Enter surgical specialty and residency for surgeons
Now let’s take a detailed look at the four steps required to become a general surgeon:
How to Become a General Surgeon?
1 – Earn an undergraduate degree in pre-med
As an undergrad student, you should focus more on pre-med studies. Find a curriculum that is suitable to get admission into medical school later on.
During your undergraduate years, you will also need to take up organic chemistry. This lab science is considered to be a benchmark for identifying potential general surgeons.
Apart from this, make sure you learn the following subjects during your undergraduate with pre-med years:
- General chemistry
- Medicinal chemistry
- Vertebrae anatomy
- Cellular and molecular biology
2 – Pass MCAT Exam
Near the end of pre-med training, you should start preparing for Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
It is crucial to pass the MCAT with a maximum score if you wish to become a successful and skilled surgeon. Make sure to prepare for this test as soon as possible during your pre-med years.
3 – Enroll in medical school
Once you have successfully passed the MCAT with a high score, you will need to choose a medical school for enrollment.
4 years of medical school teach you everything you need to know about the human body. Its problems and surgical and non-surgical treatments.
To prepare for the upcoming residency after medical school, you can choose to take up additional courses, including:
- Mind, Brain and Behavior
- Practice of Medicine
- Homeostasis I & II
- Immunity and Disease
- Professional Development
4 – Enter surgical specialty and residency for surgeons
By the time you have completed medical school, you will need to choose a sub-specialty.
You will need to determine the specific area of the body or physiological system in the body you need to specialize in. This is where residency for surgeons comes in handy.
The residency program usually covers your chosen specialty. Here, you will work with professional, certified and expert physicians and surgeons.
You will be made to advise on diagnostics, treatment and prevention of disorders under the direct supervision of a trained, skilled mentor.
Once you complete your residency, you will then need to choose a sub-specialty and enroll in a relevant fellowship program.
Last, but not least, you will need to acquire a license to practice medicine and maybe earn a board certification at the same time.
Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding medical licenses. Make sure to fulfill every criterion for your particular state before applying for the license.
Next, you can choose to get board certification. This is a great way to boost your reputation and trust amongst patients.
How much is the salary for General Surgeon?
A professional, licensed general surgeon has the potential to earn high. The average salary also increases along with your experience. A general surgeon’s mean salary will also depend on the specific sub-specialty you are trained in.
On average, a practicing general surgeon in the United States can earn anywhere between US$ 123,000 to US$405,000 per year.
General surgeons are in great demand not just in the US but in large and small hospitals around the world.
These highly-skilled surgeons can perform numerous surgical treatments that are essential to combat several debilitating and degenerative diseases and disorders.
Make sure to choose a reputed medical school and trusted healthcare setting to complete your medical education and training.