How to Become a Surgeon

So you want to become a specialist surgeon?

A specialist surgeon is someone who focuses on a particular field of medicine such as cardiology, neurology, or another specific medical field. All specialist doctors have many years of education and training in their chosen areas. But before you learn how to become a surgeon who specializes in a single discipline, there are preliminary steps you need to take.

First, you will need to become a medical doctor. Becoming a medical doctor requires, depending on the state/country you live in, that you obtain a premedical science degree and follow it up with a medical degree. More often than not, your undergraduate degree will take about four years, and medical school will require another four.

Second, it is beneficial to gain real-world experience for several years as a general practitioner before going into a specific branch of medicine.

Third, you’ll have to apply for admission as a candidate to the training program of the surgical department of a medical school. The admission criteria for a trainee as a general surgeon are strict, and competition is usually fierce. This training could last from five to eight years. At that point, you can become certified in that field of surgery.

What are the attributes that I need to become a surgeon?

Successful surgeons possess specific characteristics and outlooks that contribute to fulfilling careers. Although a strong desire to become a surgeon is paramount, and the tenacity to persevere through ten or more years of formal training is essential, you must possess other attributes as well. Without them, a career in surgery may prove challenging and unrewarding.

In addition to the ability to think on your feet, problem-solve and work well under high levels of stress, you must also be able to manage:

  • Crises and emergency situations.
  • Long and grueling hours.
  • Extended periods of absolute concentration without breaks.
  • Working with your mind and your hands.

You must also possess:

  • Physical dexterity. Although you can acquire a certain amount of dexterity through practice, some of it is an innate ability. If you have had difficulty with dexterity throughout your life, surgery may prove difficult for you.
  • Respect for the human body and human life. Although the field of surgery may provide you with a very comfortable lifestyle, to be successful, your primary motivation must be a love of and respect for the human body and human life. Without it, patients may see you as less than genuine and not trust you.
  • Love of anatomy. A thorough knowledge of anatomy is the foundation of surgery.
  • Intelligence. If you struggle with your studies despite putting in effort daily, you may benefit from submitting yourself for psychological assessment to ascertain if you have the intellectual capacity to become a doctor or a surgeon.

Basic Principles Applied in Surgery

Regardless of the surgical specialty, or type of surgery performed, every surgeon applies fundamental principles in the operating room. Because it contains innate properties, human tissue reacts to injuries in predictable ways. So, over time a set of guidelines evolved to promote optimal healing. Commonly referred to as the basic principles of surgery, every surgeon, regardless of specialty or type of surgery performed, follows them in the operating room.

  • Diagnosis and preoperative assessment. An incorrect diagnosis may result in inappropriate, ineffective and possibly unnecessary treatment.
  • The consideration of alternative non-surgical treatment modalities. Because most surgery is invasive, it should be the last resort.
  • Proper treatment planning. It is said that good surgeons always operate twice. They visualize and plan the operation mentally before doing the actual surgery. Assisting the surgeon in this planning process are tracings, computer assisted simulations, model surgery, etc.
  • Minimum invasion. When possible, consider alternatives to open surgery.
    • Scope-assisted surgery versus an open surgical procedure.
    • Interventive radiology/angiography.
    • Surgical procedures to the heart requiring the opening of the chest are being replaced in some instances by minimally invasive procedures performed by accessing the inside of an artery and performing the relevant procedure with radiographic (X-ray) assistance.
    • Good visual conditions. Surgeons must be able to clearly see the area they’re working on.
    • Exposure of the surgical site. This takes place when the surgical incision is made, and dissection is performed to reach the intended surgical site.
    • Retraction is the “pulling” away of tissue to offer the surgeon maximum exposure to the surgical site.
    • Surgical assistants and nursing staff have noted that successful surgeons always seem to complain about the light.
    • Suctioning and sponging. This is necessary to remove excess blood which may obscure the operative field.
    • Some noted physicians in history were handicapped by blindness, but not so with surgeons.
    • Handle tissue gently causing as little injury as possible. This amounts to having respect for the human body as well as an understanding of the processes involved in the repair and healing of wounds.
    • Proper control of bleeding within the limits of:
    • Minimal electrocautery.
    • Minimal suturing.
    • Minimal sponging.
    • Every action must be purposeful. For safety and economic reasons, in the operating theater, time is of the essence. Do not waste time in the OT.
    • Sterility and asepsis. All surgical instruments must be sterile (the complete absence of microorganisms), and the operative field must be as aseptic (minimizing and weakening microorganisms) as possible.

Other principles applied are not surgical in nature, but are still critical to patient comfort, trust and confidence.

  • Anatomical considerations. A surgeon needs to have a detailed knowledge of the structure of the human body.
  • Physiological considerations. A surgeon must have a comprehensive understanding of how the human body functions.
  • Patient considerations. It’s critical for surgeons and members of the surgical team to take into account the fears and preconceived ideas of the patient about surgery and its outcomes.
  • Social. Certain diseases are more prevalent in specific socioeconomic groups than in others.
  • Religious. The transfusion of blood or transplantation of organs is a taboo in some religious groups.
  • Financial. What are the economic implications of the proposed operation to the patient/healthcare organization?
  • Expectations. What is the expected outcome and success of the procedure?
  • Communication. It is essential the patient understands the parameters, risks, and limitations of surgery and anesthesia. Providing information on scars and other conditions that may be present after surgery is necessary so that the patient is as prepared as possible for the operation and what may transpire when it is finished.
  • Information. This includes data about the proposed procedure and any alternatives. The patient must also be informed about any potential pain or discomfort that may be experienced, as well given pre- and postoperative instructions.
  • Implications. Will the patient be able to continue with normal activities e.g., studies/work/sport/hobbies? If not, will the condition be temporary or permanent? Does the patient need a medical certificate?
  • Complications. What can go wrong during and after the operation?
  • Prognosis. What is the success rate of the surgical procedure, and for how long will the benefits of the operation last?

Various Disciplines in the Field of Surgery

The American College of Surgeons recognizes multiple surgical specialties [1]. As you consider the type of specialty that is best for you, it’s helpful to review your available options.

  • General surgery is performed by surgeons trained to manage surgical procedures covering almost any area of the body. Within general surgery are subspecialties that include the following:
  • Colon and Rectal Surgery is also known as proctology. The focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic floor dysfunction and colorectal cancer.
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery, also known as otolaryngology – diseases and disorders affecting the ears and structures within the respiratory system.
  • Maxillofacial and Oral surgery also includes dental surgery – treatment for patients with face, facial skeleton, mouth and related organs injuries, diseases and disorders.
  • Neurosurgery – disorders involving the brain and spinal cord. Read the Path to Becoming a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon.
  • Obstetrics and gynecology – medical and surgical care for pregnant patients, including the development of the fetus and disorders of female reproductive organs.
  • Ophthalmic surgery – diseases and disorders of the eye, vision, and contents of the eye socket.
  • Orthopedic surgery – anything having to do with the musculoskeletal system including bones, muscles, and joints. Subspecialties of orthopedics are:
    • Foot and ankle
    • Hand – includes upper extremities.
    • Joint replacement – mostly the hips and knees, but can include the ankles and shoulders.
    • Oncology – treatment for benign and malignant tumors of the musculoskeletal system.
    • Pediatrics – orthopedic conditions in children.
    • Spine – manages the care and treatment of back problems.
    • Sports – focuses on patients who are athletes and individuals suffering from athletic injuries.
    • Trauma orthopedics is a growing field. Patients are individuals with critical or multiple injuries to the musculoskeletal system.
  • Pediatric surgery – disorders for individuals still considered children, including teenagers. There are multiple subspecialties within this area.
    • Neonatal – newborn care.
    • Prenatal – fetal care.
    • Trauma – Because children take lots of risks and end up hurting themselves, pediatric surgeons frequently face situations involving traumatic injuries sustained by children.
    • Oncology – malignant tumors and benign growths.
  • Plastic and maxillofacial surgery – cosmetic procedures and the repair of body parts after the loss of tissue such as an ear. Thorough knowledge of the musculoskeletal system is critical.
  • Thoracic surgery – anything in the chest area, but primarily the heart and lungs.
  • Urology – manages benign and malignant medical and surgical disorders of the adrenal gland and the genitourinary system for both males and females.
  • Vascular surgery – treats diseases impacting the arteries and veins throughout the body. Hardening of the arteries may be the most common problem that vascular surgeons treat.

Types of Surgery

Once you become a surgeon, you may be called upon to perform one or all of the following types of procedures.

  • Open surgery is when a surgeon makes an incision with a scalpel, inserts instruments into the opening and performs surgery. An example of open surgery is a surgeon making an incision with a steel scalpel in the abdominal skin to perform a gastric operation.
  • Aspirationis a type of biopsy procedure where fluid and diseased tissue are removed by a needle for laboratory examination. An example of this is a breast biopsy where the tissue removed is sent to a lab to determine if it is cancerous.
  • Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive treatment where diseased tissue is destroyed by freezing it. Skin tumors, skin tags, and even freckles can be removed by this method of surgery.
  • Electrosurgery uses electrical instruments operating on high-frequency electric currents. Electric currents can harden tissue, or destroy it. In essence, a surgeon “burns” away diseased tissue, or growths, or make surgical incisions while the electric current seals off blood vessels at the same time, thus minimizing bleeding.
  • Laser surgery utilizes a laser beam to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove surface lesions. Lasers can be used for eye surgery, removal of skin marks and small tumors.
  • Scope surgery is minimally invasive since it does not involve slitting open the body as a surgeon does in open surgery. Some common scope surgeries include laparoscopy, endoscopy, and colonoscopy.
  • Shockwaves is a noninvasive surgical technique where soundwaves are used to break apart kidney stones. However, the sound, or shockwaves come from outside the body. Currently it is considered the surgery of choice to break apart large kidney stones.
  • Ultrasonic scalpels use soundwaves to make surgical incisions that minimize This type of surgery is used when extreme precision is needed to remove small and delicate tissues, but can also be used for large tissue removal.

Post-surgical Discomforts and Complications

No matter how minor the surgery, almost all patients experience a period of discomfort during the healing process. Although every patient heals differently, most discomfort improves daily and ultimately disappears. Some of the most common discomforts include:

  • Constipation and gas (flatulence).
  • Nausea and vomiting from general anesthesia.
  • Restlessness and sleeplessness.
  • Soreness, pain, and swelling around the incision site.
  • Sore throat (caused by the tube placed in the windpipe for breathing during surgery).
  • Thirst.

No operation is routine. All surgeries carry with them some inherent risk because most surgeries invade the body. Risk can result in complications. Complications common to all surgeries are excessive bleeding during or after an operation and infection of surgical wounds. Others are:

  • Delayed healing and non-healing wounds. An example of this is a broken bone taking a very long time to heal, or perhaps it will not grow together at all.
  • A hemorrhage occurs when there is rapid blood loss from the site of surgery. This may lead to shock, so it must be treated quickly.
  • Loss of function. Sometimes a patient will be unable to perform one or more tasks or activities after the operation that were possible before the surgery.
  • Lung (pulmonary) complications. This complication is monitored for the first 48 hours after surgery. Sometimes deep breathing and coughing exercises are mandated for the patient to minimize the risk. The most common symptoms include wheezing, chest pain, fever, and cough.
  • Neurological complications.These may manifest as the loss of individual senses such as vision, feeling in a specific area, or control of a voluntary muscle.
  • Reaction to anesthesia. Although rare, patients can experience mild to severe allergic reactions to anesthetics.
  • Rejection. An example of this is the rejection of a transplanted organ such as a kidney.
  • Shock. Shock is created by excessive bleeding, wound infection, brain injury or metabolic problem. Immediate treatment is required.
  • Sinuses and fistulas. These are small canals and holes which can result from surgery.
  • Urinary retention. Temporary urine retention, or the inability to empty the bladder, may occur after surgery due to anesthesia.
  • Wound infection. When bacteria enter the site of surgery, an infection can result that delays healing. In some cases, wound infections can spread to nearby organs or tissue, or to distant areas through the bloodstream.

Other complications are more external. They may not impair function, present life-threatening situations or interfere with activities of daily living. But they can lower self-esteem and self-confidence because they can be obvious and mar external aesthetics. For a patient these conditions can be all-consuming and surgeons must be prepared to manage the emotional implications. External complications include:

  • Over exuberant healing
    • Keloid – a growth-like scar of a surgical wound.
    • Scarring – usually harder than the adjacent tissue and often cosmetically not pleasing.
  • Pigmentation and loss of normal pigmentation – discoloration or loss of normal coloring to the area.

Frontiers of Surgery

Medical science is always evolving. Doctors and researchers are continually looking for ways to minimize risk, pain, infection and healing time to patients. There are two types of surgery on the leading edge of medicine.

  • Robotic surgery. With the use of a camera and mechanical arms with surgical instruments attached to them, a surgeon can operate by sitting at a computer console. The console provides the surgeon with a magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical site from which she or he controls the movement of the mechanical arms. The advantages of this technology include fewer complications, quicker recovery and smaller, perhaps less visible scars. As robotic surgery is refined, it’s possible that surgery can be performed on a patient who is a long distance away, including operations on astronauts in space or soldiers in the battlefield.

Healthcare Informatics, formerly known as The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) commissioned a video featuring Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci Arm device. Dr. David Samadi of Mount Sinai School of Medicine explains the arm and gives his thoughts on the future of robotic surgery.

  • Tissue engineering/regenerative medicine. Although regenerative medicine does not yet play a significant role in treatment, it has the potential of transforming how surgery is approached. According to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the goal of tissue engineering is to develop,“biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function.” [2]. They developed a two-minute video on tissue engineering which you can see here:


Medical scientists can already grow specific types of tissue from the patient’s own cells, thereby avoiding the risk of rejection. The FDA has approved the use of artificial skin and cartilage, although their use in patients is still limited. The growing of an organ, such as a kidney from the patient’s own cells, appears to be just around the corner.

surgeon
A mini bio-engineered human liver that can be implanted into mice. (Source: Sangeeta Bhatia, MIT)

 

 

The History of Surgery

The Egyptians practiced surgery as early as 1600 B.C. Papyrus scrolls vividly describe the splinting of fractures, the care of wounds, the drainage of abscesses, etc.

Hippocrates (400 B.C.), commonly described as “the father of medicine,” wrote books on surgery, including the treatment of head injuries. The Hippocratic Oath is a pledge some medical students make when they become doctors and is commonly believed to include the phrase, “first, do no harm.”

As surprising as it sounds, during the Middle Ages, surgery was mainly performed by barbers as part of their duties. They aided monks, who, at that time were considered the primary practitioners of medicine. But a Papal decree forbade monks to spill blood on themselves, so surgery was performed by the barbers instead. Over time surgery was claimed by scientific medicine in the 16th to 18th centuries.

John Hunter, a Scottish surgeon (1728-1793), applied experimental methods in surgery. He taught his students that a surgical operation was the last resort and an admission that other methods had failed.

Two seemingly impossible situations presented stumbling blocks in the field of surgery. One was the excruciating pain associated with surgical interventions. The other was the almost inevitable wound infections occurring after surgery, especially surgery to the abdomen, chest, and skull. Most of these were fatal.

In the 1840’s, English surgeon Joseph Lister overcame the problem of intense pain through the use of anesthesia. In the 1860s, he introduced principles of surgery which significantly reduced infection.

The 20th century saw a rapid expansion and refinement in anesthetic technique, anesthetic agents and machines, sterility and asepsis, and the discovery of antibiotics. Each advancement allowed surgery to expand into many sub-surgical disciplines. With them came new, safer and less invasive surgical techniques which have become the standard surgical practices and procedures of today.

The development of the heart-lung machine made safe surgery to the heart possible – culminating in the first successful human heart transplant in 1967 by Professor Christiaan Barnard, a South African heart surgeon.

Since 1967, there have been many additional contributions in surgical history, particularly ones that lead to its newest frontiers.

References:

[1] A Guide to Surgical Specialists, American College of Surgeons, https://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/specialists.

[2] Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imagining and Bioengineering, https://www.nibib.nih.gov/science-education/science-topics/tissue-engineering-and-regenerative-medicine.


 

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    Comments : 335 thoughts on “How to Become a Surgeon”

    1. I would love to become a doctor because I want to help people feel and get better and I hope that I get this job because all of you guys want to and I want to so we can help other people and our loved ones get better and I…and we all just want this job to help alot even billions of of people that get hurt I your world because alot like I mean alot of people get hurt in your world ,and pretty much only alot of people in our world can help so alot of people try but I really can’t because I am only A very very very smart 4th grader that’s only 9 years old so all you guys have a chance to become a doctor so try your best to become one smart doctor.

    2. I would love to become a doctor because I want to help people feel and get better and I hope that I get this job because all of you guys want to and I want to so we can help other people and our loved ones get better and I…and we all just want this job to help alot even billions of of people that get hurt I your world because alot like I mean alot of people get hurt in your world ,and pretty much only alot of people in our world can help so alot of people try but I really can’t because I am only A very very very smart 4th grader that’s only 9 years old so all you guys have a chance to become a doctor so try your best to become one smart doctor.

    3. My name is Abdihakim i really interest in the field of surgery but my i have low grade in biology ,and the other thing is that is that i am from refugees how can i purusue that course mostly interested in General surgeon and the problem is from being poor family any advice please

      • Get better grades – no shortcuts. Studying medicine – and especially surgery is extremely competitive.
        Extra classes, repeat a year – whatever it takes – get your grades up – like significantly up.

      • No age restriction – but as old as one gets after premed and medical school studies, and a long residency – like 13 years after school.
        So at least 30-35 years old!

    4. Good day doctor.
      please sir,I need advice base on what am currently perceiving.
      l want to become surgeon student (doctor),but people are telling me that is not possible for Anatomist to become medical director, please sir is that true?
      Because am currently studying anatomy at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
      please sir can an Anatomist become a medical doctor?
      And if yes, how will I go about it?

    5. Good day doctor.
      please sir,I need advice base on what am currently perceiving.
      l want to become surgeon student (doctor),but people are telling me that is not possible for Anatomist to become medical director, please sir is that true?
      Because am currently studying anatomy at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
      please sir can an Anatomist become a medical doctor?
      And if yes, how will I go about it?

    6. I love medicine..but currently studying anatomy in the university will it be possible to go for a degree program in anaesthetics after school without having to spend all complete years required to be a doctor…how many years will it take me?

    7. Hi! Thanks for such a great article!

      I’ve wanted to become a surgeon my whole life, but becoming a surgeon now has been getting more and more competitive. Almost every other student in my school is aspiring to be a doctor now. How can one stand out and increase their chances of becoming a successful surgeon, whether they are just a high school student, an aspiring pre-med student, or a competing medical student?

      • Let me keep it short – “Your passion will make room for you”.
        Many years ago (before specializing) a senior surgeon spoke this words into my life and it changes my perspective…

    8. Hi! Thanks for such a great article!

      I’ve wanted to become a surgeon my whole life, but becoming a surgeon now has been getting more and more competitive. Almost every other student in my school is aspiring to be a doctor now. How can one stand out and increase their chances of becoming a successful surgeon, whether they are just a high school student, an aspiring pre-med student, or a competing medical student?

      • Let me keep it short – “Your passion will make room for you”.
        Many years ago (before specializing) a senior surgeon spoke this words into my life and it changes my perspective…

    9. I’ve always wanted to become a surgeon and get into the medical field. I know it would be difficult and challenging, but I am all for that! Do you think it would be a good idea to talk to some current doctors to see what things they did when they were in school?

      • That is always a good idea – following successful people just makes good sense! Best with following your dreams!

    10. I’ve always wanted to become a surgeon and get into the medical field. I know it would be difficult and challenging, but I am all for that! Do you think it would be a good idea to talk to some current doctors to see what things they did when they were in school?

      • That is always a good idea – following successful people just makes good sense! Best with following your dreams!

    11. Hi my names Oceana i’m 14 and i am very drawn to surgery. I’m starting high school this year and i want to start learning about the medical field as soon as possible. What would you recommend me to try other than the science classes i’ll be taking? if you’d answer it’d be greatly appreciated!

    12. Hi my names Oceana i’m 14 and i am very drawn to surgery. I’m starting high school this year and i want to start learning about the medical field as soon as possible. What would you recommend me to try other than the science classes i’ll be taking? if you’d answer it’d be greatly appreciated!

    13. Hi so i really want to become a surgeon but it is a lot of years to do and i am up for the challenge up i feel like once high school is done im going to be on my own and im going to get lost and mess up what to do you guys recommend i should do to be more sure of the right path im walking towards to. Also what does it take to be a surgeon because i want to be a truama surgeon

      • Hi Daniela, There is just not a short answer to your questions, but I will try. Invest in yourself, set good and solid goals and take one step at a time. Celebrate your victories and do not be deterred by your apparent failures – be tenacious and always maintain a positive attitude. If you can join one of the Apprentice Doctor Camps or do some shadowing with a surgeon it will be great… Dr Anton

    14. Hi i am 15 years old and currently in Year 10 in the UK. i really enjoy Biology,Chemistry & Maths although i do struggle on Physics and dont particularly like it – is it necessary for me to do Physics in A levels or college? And im really liking the idea of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.. what can i do to secure my chances of getting into medical school?

      • My opinion is that Physics at A-level will be a move in the right direction.
        May I also add advice from my associate in the US (thus from a US perspective):
        There is no doubt physics is a tough subject. And because it gets into some abstract concepts, it can be difficult to follow some of the ideas. Nevertheless, the path into any pre-med program is rigorous and does require physics as well as organic chemistry, biochemistry and biology. Humanities courses are also required which contribute to communication, critical, and analytical thinking skills.

        While you can use much of the content of physics and other science courses in pre-med programs, the other value of them studying science, including physics, is mental discipline you acquire while studying and understanding the content. It helps you adjust to the way of thinking and approaching problems all medical students, physicians and surgeons need.

        As far as securing your chances of getting into medical school, there is no absolute method. The competition is fierce. You will need a fairly high grade point average and a curriculum strong in the sciences. Before applying to any pre-med program, you will have to get into an undergraduate program and major in a science-related discipline while also taking science courses that support that curriculum, which will necessarily include physics. And, as in high school, your grades will have to be exceptional.

        My best advice to you is to learn to think like a scientist and doctor and focus on your studies. Volunteer in hospitals or clinics. Shadow doctors. Involve yourself in medicine as much as possible, including going to some of the medical camps that are offered for high school students. This shows initiative and a strong interest in your professional future.

        Best of luck to you.

    15. Hi i am 15 years old and currently in Year 10 in the UK. i really enjoy Biology,Chemistry & Maths although i do struggle on Physics and dont particularly like it – is it necessary for me to do Physics in A levels or college? And im really liking the idea of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.. what can i do to secure my chances of getting into medical school?

      • My opinion is that Physics at A-level will be a move in the right direction.
        May I also add advice from my associate in the US (thus from a US perspective):
        There is no doubt physics is a tough subject. And because it gets into some abstract concepts, it can be difficult to follow some of the ideas. Nevertheless, the path into any pre-med program is rigorous and does require physics as well as organic chemistry, biochemistry and biology. Humanities courses are also required which contribute to communication, critical, and analytical thinking skills.

        While you can use much of the content of physics and other science courses in pre-med programs, the other value of them studying science, including physics, is mental discipline you acquire while studying and understanding the content. It helps you adjust to the way of thinking and approaching problems all medical students, physicians and surgeons need.

        As far as securing your chances of getting into medical school, there is no absolute method. The competition is fierce. You will need a fairly high grade point average and a curriculum strong in the sciences. Before applying to any pre-med program, you will have to get into an undergraduate program and major in a science-related discipline while also taking science courses that support that curriculum, which will necessarily include physics. And, as in high school, your grades will have to be exceptional.

        My best advice to you is to learn to think like a scientist and doctor and focus on your studies. Volunteer in hospitals or clinics. Shadow doctors. Involve yourself in medicine as much as possible, including going to some of the medical camps that are offered for high school students. This shows initiative and a strong interest in your professional future.

        Best of luck to you.

    16. My favorite part of your article is when you said that a surgeon should have a primary motivation to respect and love the human body. This reminded me of my aunt’s daughter, who we noticed that her head is unusually shaped. With your tips, I will be sure to find a surgeon who can fix its shape.

    17. Hi am a 16 years old and I will be a Junior in high school next fall 2015-2016. I have recently found a passion for pediatric surgery and I want to be as successful as I can for it. I am going to start taking college classes at my community college to get the basic courses out of the way for my bachelors degree. I haven’t always been very good at chemistry, but I love biology, astronomy and math most of the time. haha

      I was just wondering if anyone had advice on things I could be working on during this summer to help me prepare voluntarily (with hospitals or other medical facilities) and such or academic (classes I could be taking)? Also if I were to continue this process, what is the reality getting into medical school and fulfilling my dream of become a surgeon. My older sister is a senior in working for her biology degree and she said it is a lot harder than she anticipated and she is really smart! So it kind of scares me….haha 🙂

      Thanks in advance!

    18. My story is i need to get my record from domestic conduct expunged. Of i have my record expunged is there a light of hope to pursue my dream as a plastic sergeon?

    19. Hi! I am in the third year in high school now and I am really interested in being a cardio thoracic surgeon. I love circulatory system out of all system. I have a few questions for you. What should I do to prepare? What degree must I have? How many years of training to be exact? And what subject should I excel? Can you recommend me what books should I have?

    20. Hi! I am in the third year in high school now and I am really interested in being a cardio thoracic surgeon. I love circulatory system out of all system. I have a few questions for you. What should I do to prepare? What degree must I have? How many years of training to be exact? And what subject should I excel? Can you recommend me what books should I have?

    21. Hello, I’m 16 years old and I am really interested in becoming a surgeon. I have a 3.95 GPA and I am planning on taking some courses next year like medical terminology and intro to emergency health care. I’m not sure what courses to take exactly but I’m trying those. My main question is that I have a fear of needles… it is really bad and is there any way that I can become a surgeon with that fear? Thank you

      • Hi Kira – the short answer is “Yes”! Most medical professionals are not as brave when they are patients as one might expect.
        Just last week I had a very capable urologist in my chair – physically trembling when I cam closer with a needle!
        Fears are there for us to overcome them – not for them to influence our behavoiur. That actually goes for all negative emotions.

    22. Hi! I would love to become a surgeon one day so i would like to do an apprenticeship as a doctor now that i am 16. The only problem is that i live in Spain so i have to do it in summer for just 1 month and i have a B2 level in english so there are a lot of things that i would not understand.
      Do you think there is somewhere to go and do this apprentice?
      Thamk you!

    23. Hi! I would love to become a surgeon one day so i would like to do an apprenticeship as a doctor now that i am 16. The only problem is that i live in Spain so i have to do it in summer for just 1 month and i have a B2 level in english so there are a lot of things that i would not understand.
      Do you think there is somewhere to go and do this apprentice?
      Thamk you!

    24. Hi! So i would love to be a surgeon someday, I am 14 and I still have 3 and 1/2 years of high school so do. The thing is that I am and have always been really bad at maths, but I find biology, anatomy and physics very interesting. Do you think that could be a major problem for me? Thank you!

    25. Hi. I am a sophomore in high school but my grades throughout high school aren’t so great,I really would love to become a surgeon, I was wondering if I attended a community college for two years and get better grades so I can transfer to a university? Would it be a waste of time? And would the two years at a community college count for the years I need to graduate? And do they have classes for surgeons at community colleges?

      • Yes 2 years of community college will be a good idea- Community college do not offer any surgery subjects.
        You may get one year off from your premed degree – but I am speaking under correction though.

    26. HI. I am in my first year in college, trying to get in the program of surgical tech, I am also going to get my associates degree in biology. I would like to know if Biology would be the best way to start after getting my certificate as a surgical tech and if being a surgical tech will eventually help me into getting a better insight in this wonderful carrier as a surgeon, although I am not sure what I want to be specialized in yet. (Rafaella) Thank you

    27. hello! i’m a 3rd yr high school student from Korea and i really really want to be a surgeon someday. i’m already studying little by little but i don’t know what kind of book i should be reading and what i should be reviewing about. What kind of book should i read and study about first?? and how many years does it take all in all to be a surgeon?

    28. Hi,

      I am a 32 year old male, first year IMG MD student. I have been wondering how realistic being accepted to a General Surgery residency are for someone with my profile, assuming my Step 1 scores are within range. Prior to medical school, I graduated with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and worked with medical device organizations in a variety of roles (development, regulatory, sales) for roughly ten years.

      Thank you for any insight you can provide,
      Mark

    29. Hi,

      I am a 32 year old male, first year IMG MD student. I have been wondering how realistic being accepted to a General Surgery residency are for someone with my profile, assuming my Step 1 scores are within range. Prior to medical school, I graduated with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and worked with medical device organizations in a variety of roles (development, regulatory, sales) for roughly ten years.

      Thank you for any insight you can provide,
      Mark

      • Hi Mark – I probably won’t be of much help to you – as I simply don’t have enough insight into your specifics. With your background I would have thought that you would rather choose Orthopedics! In general – keep on pursuing your dream – the doors will eventually open for you. A.S.

    30. I really want to be a surgeon, but I’m afraid of how hard it is? How hard is the chemistry, physics? I have much more questions…

    31. I’m currently attending school for a doctorate of physical therapy, but have recently been very interested in pursuing surgery (probably orthopedic) as a career. I really like PT though and was wondering if you think I would be able to complete my degree and then go to med school after. I have also been considering switching to pre-med, but I am not sure I want to give up PT. Do you think it’s possible to work as a physical therapist while pursuing surgery as a second career?

    32. I’m currently attending school for a doctorate of physical therapy, but have recently been very interested in pursuing surgery (probably orthopedic) as a career. I really like PT though and was wondering if you think I would be able to complete my degree and then go to med school after. I have also been considering switching to pre-med, but I am not sure I want to give up PT. Do you think it’s possible to work as a physical therapist while pursuing surgery as a second career?

    33. I am from Nepal and I want to do surgery post graduate in USA,,, which would be the best way for me to go through???

      • Important note to all aspiring doctors outside of the USA
        We get masses of emails of students from India, other pats of Asia and Africa who would like to study medicine or specialize in the USA.
        In short – all countries have as their primary responsibility to assist citizens and their children towards an education – and the USA is the same – they train USA citizens almost exclusively – and only a few med schools will even consider outside applicants – and at a much higher fee (no federal subsidy for foreign students).
        Bursaries for foreign students to study medicine in the USA are virtually unavailable.
        My advice is – study medicine in the country of your birth – and make a difference there – or pursue emigration to the USA after qualifying as a doctor in your home country – the following websites my help:
        https://www.ecfmg.org/contact.html
        https://www.usmleworld.com/
        https://www.english-talking-medicine.com/practising-in-the-us.html
        https://www.faimer.org/
        Trust it helps!

    34. I am a 16 year old sophomore with a 4.0 GPA that works hard and knows exactly what I want to do as an aspiring surgeon. Is there any way I could get ahead of the game? Like good online courses to take while I do collegiate high school? Or what do you recommend?

    35. I want to become a surgeon in America, although I am currently living in England. Would it be possible to be a surgeon in America ?

    36. I want to become a surgeon in America, although I am currently living in England. Would it be possible to be a surgeon in America ?

    37. I’m about to finish high school and I will be 16 so would it be possible for me to be apply into a university? and again I think I want to go into surgery because I find it amazing how doctors repair problems people have in or on their body. I also watch a lot of surgical shows but my greatest problem is the fear of failing at achieving this goal and I’m also not a fan of reading so much. I also think I have a problem with remembering things learnt for a long period of time. So I really want to know if I should keep aiming for this goal.

    38. Hi Dr. Scheepers, I am a High school sophomore and I have outstanding qualities such as my knowledge and maturity which shows in tests and have always been interested in science and art and groomed my entire life to have a career like surgery. the types of surgery that I’m interested in pursuing are Neurosurgery, Plastic and reconstructive surgery, thoracic surgery, or general surgery. The one problem I have is that I have a 3.0 GPA.
      I live in Southern California and I would like know where I start in my surgical career at this point? What are the skills that I will need to have in the future and how do I better them?. What online and in state courses and learning opportunities are available to me right now? What things can I do to insure that I get into a good medical school and college? And lastly what would you or any other doctor do at this point to make themselves an outstanding candidate to be accepted into medical school? Thank you!

    39. I am a junior in high school. What kind of classes would prepare me for college. I’d like to get as much as I can out of next year because I was not able to choose my classes in the past

    40. I am a junior in high school. What kind of classes would prepare me for college. I’d like to get as much as I can out of next year because I was not able to choose my classes in the past

      • Premed degree 4 years, then medical school another 4 years followed by residency – your training after med school. Surgical residency varies from 5 – 7 years, and you can add more time on if you want to practice a surgical super/sub-specialty.

    41. Hi, I am a sophomore in high school, without a doubt, extremely interested in becoming an Oral Surgeon. I heard there were two ways to pursue this career.

      1. to go to a four year college, Take the Dental Admissions Test, if all goes well then off to dental school, residency, then take a written and oral exam to become board certified in Oral Surgery.

      2. to earn a dual degree, becoming both Dentist and Medical Doctor.

      My first question is what exactly is the difference between the two, other than earning 2 degrees in one and not the other? which path you would recommend? From what I understand, I will earn another degree and more experience from taking a double major. However, what exactly would I be getting myself into? Would it be too much work? Does that effect schooling expenses or the college i choose?

      Next, I would like to know what high school courses I should take in my remaining years. Should I take AP in those classes? And what college majors would be best for becoming an Oral Surgeon.

      Lastly, I would enjoy hearing the steps you took to get where you are today as a successful doctor.

      Thank for you for your time. Much appreciated. And your advice will be very much considered.

      • Hi Amanda – as an Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon I appreciate your question.
        Becoming an “Oral Surgeon” with only your Dental qualification will restrict you to “Dento-alveolar surgery” – like removal of impacted wisdom teeth, Dental implant surgery etc.
        So it is highly recommended to do the dual qualification program (both medical and dental degrees). It will open up all the areas of cranio-facial, head and neck/oncology and facial cosmetic surgery fields to practice in. As a Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon one stand with one foot in medicine and the other in dentistry – so the dual qualification is in fact necessary in my opinion! Most programs will give one credit for the basic sciences – like anatomy, physiology and pathology – thus one do not have to complete all the required years in both dentistry and medicine and thus reduce the number of study years a bit. at the end of the day one works at a highly interesting and challenging part of the human body – I can personally recommend this career as immensely intriguing and fulfilling!
        Build a good resume stating straight away! This will help: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2no2jv33irfagrk/Med_Activiti_LogBook_v9.pdf?dl=0
        Best schools? One will have to do a bit of research on that one – where do you stay? Best major – Biology/Biomedical Science
        Also I would like to extend a personal invitation to our 2015 Summer Program: https://www.theapprenticedoctor.com/apprentice-doctor-tampa-fl-2015/
        Kind regards Dr Anton

    42. I am a 15 year old girl. I was wondering if a surgeon would like to be interviewed for an S.A.E (Supervised Agricultural Expierience) essay that I am doing for class. I have a few questions I would be delighted in asking , the questions are based on how you fancy the job you have diligently selected, what you specalize in, how long you have trained, would you highly suggest the career you have chosen and a variety of questions I am enlivened to hear the answers to.
      If you could reply soon that would be superb! Thank You,

    43. I am a 15 year old girl. I was wondering if a surgeon would like to be interviewed for an S.A.E (Supervised Agricultural Expierience) essay that I am doing for class. I have a few questions I would be delighted in asking , the questions are based on how you fancy the job you have diligently selected, what you specalize in, how long you have trained, would you highly suggest the career you have chosen and a variety of questions I am enlivened to hear the answers to.
      If you could reply soon that would be superb! Thank You,

      • Hi Alex – most surgeons are very busy people – but would usually not mind a short interview. I am an Maxillofacial and Oral surgeon and if you can ask all your questions – I can answer per email – but if you need a formal interview you may have to contact your local hospital and make an appointment with a surgeon. Dr Anton

    44. I would like some more advice on what I should study and classes I should take if at the end of this school year I’m going to be a freshman because I would really like to be a surgeon someday

    45. i really want to pursue my career of becoming a surgeon one day right now i am in form one this year and thanks for giving me the tips for becoming one and i will practice what you have told me.thanks so much

    46. i really want to pursue my career of becoming a surgeon one day right now i am in form one this year and thanks for giving me the tips for becoming one and i will practice what you have told me.thanks so much

    47. What exactly do you need to major in to become a surgeon? and is it necessary to be in a Pre-Med program in college?
      If so then what classes can I expect to take?

    48. How many years of regular college do you have to do before going to medical school to become a surgeon?

    49. Hi if i wanted to be a specialist in surgery what is the knowledge that i have to know, the attitudes that i have to have and the education needed to become one?

    50. Hello there. I am 12 years o,d and it has always been my dream to be s surgeon. What can I do now that can help me with my dream. Thank you in advance.

    51. Hello there. I am 12 years o,d and it has always been my dream to be s surgeon. What can I do now that can help me with my dream. Thank you in advance.

    52. I offered general arts in SHS.My electives were geography,economics,litterature and french.I now want to pursue a course in medicine and later further to become a surgeon.Please what do I do?

    53. Do you have toe great at math to become a surgeon? Should I take additional courses in college to learn more math to ecome a genreral surgeon?

    54. pls i need help and an answer to my question.a scholar specifically from nigeria with a university degree in orthopaedics/prosthetics(B.TECH)how do i gain access to a medical school in u.s.to study.aspiring to become an orthopaedic surgeon

    55. pls i need help and an answer to my question.a scholar specifically from nigeria with a university degree in orthopaedics/prosthetics(B.TECH)how do i gain access to a medical school in u.s.to study.aspiring to become an orthopaedic surgeon

    56. I am a medical officer in Orthopaedics department,with an intention to specialize.

      My question is,what is a proper way of being taught how to operate by your consultant?

      • The question is somewhat beyond the scope of this website – but in short: Various consultants have various ways and methods – the “rules” have not been casted in stone I am afraid. It is basic mentoring – an art rather than a science. All within the limits of mutual respect.

      • Anatomy is such a great foundation to surgery! The specifics of your future studies and possibly some acknowledgement for previous studies will depend on the specifics of your anatomy degree. Are you residing in the USA?

    57. Hi Doc I’m a 13 yr old and I am interested in heading down the road of surgery what can I do now to help me fast track and focus on getting there? thanks 🙂

    58. Hello Dr. Scheepers,

      I am from Vietnam and had just graduated from a US college last year with a Liberal Arts Degree in Communications. Because of the major, I only had 1 semester of general science (chemistry, biology, physics, and a few calculus classes). But when I went back to Vietnam and taught ESL at a small town, I saw the urge for good medical practices as well as medical helps to not only the local, but nation wide. I’m especially interested in general surgeon field. So, I desire to pursue medicine knowledge back in the States to help people back home. However, throughout my undergrad, I never plan on going for med school. This concerns me about whether I am a good fit for the program, especially since I have no work/volunteer background or science knowledge/experience to support my med school application. I guess I’m mentally not prepared and scared. Plus, tuition is also another big concern.
      Do you know any contacts, hospitals, or organizations I should reach out to for career advices as well as finances?

      Thank you so much.

      P.S Thank you for taking time to answer every questions on here. You’re cool.

    59. i want to know what classes must i take in high school to be a surgeon, specifically an “open surgeon”. I’d like to know so i can get used to the organs, meeting new people, and critical thinking.

    60. i want to know what classes must i take in high school to be a surgeon, specifically an “open surgeon”. I’d like to know so i can get used to the organs, meeting new people, and critical thinking.

    61. I need to inquire about how I could become an orthopedic surgeon. Furthermore I wanted to know what schools I must attend and what degrees I must acquire. lastly, i must personally receive my doctorate from Cambridge University.

      • Not so sure about the UK system – but shortly -firstly become a doctor – if you aim at Cambridge – then of course apply to their medical degree program (keep in mind that you will be up against enormous competition). After completing your medical degree you should apply for a registrar post in the orthopaedic department.

    62. Hello doctor, I have wanted to become a cardiothorasic surgeon for a while now and was wondering if grades in my gcses have a big affect on getting into medical school; or is it just your A levels. For gcses you take an exam and they put you in groups which can assist of double science or triple science depending on your results. Could not being able to do triple science (physics, biology, economics) affect getting into medical school or is it just your A levels which are important? I do not know whether I can do triple science or not however, I am always worrying about it which. Thank you.

    63. Hello doctor, I have wanted to become a cardiothorasic surgeon for a while now and was wondering if grades in my gcses have a big affect on getting into medical school; or is it just your A levels. For gcses you take an exam and they put you in groups which can assist of double science or triple science depending on your results. Could not being able to do triple science (physics, biology, economics) affect getting into medical school or is it just your A levels which are important? I do not know whether I can do triple science or not however, I am always worrying about it which. Thank you.

      • Hi Sibel. My comment is given under correction – as I am not fully acquainted with the UK requirement. But in short both are important – and if the med school selection committee has 2 applicants – one with double and one with triple science – I think they will gravitate to the triple science candidate in the majority of cases.

    64. Hi I’m 10 and I have bought the suturing kit and whenever I get a cut I practice but when I was practicing some of the sutures got stuck when I cut it. How do I get it out?

      • Hi
        I trust that you are following our guidelines of adult supervision for your age as per our instructions and warnings. Do I understand you correctly – did you use the sutures on yourself or on the fake skin? Did you use the Chromic or the Nylon sutures?
        Dr Anton

    65. I am a senior at Bonita and I am really interested in the medicine field and I was interested in becoming a surgeon. I hope to get more information about volunteer because I actually want to have experience with the hospitals and get used to the atmosphere before heading into my path of career.

    66. I am a senior at Bonita and I am really interested in the medicine field and I was interested in becoming a surgeon. I hope to get more information about volunteer because I actually want to have experience with the hospitals and get used to the atmosphere before heading into my path of career.

    67. Hello doc, am Raphael a pre-clinical finale student writing my first mb now, please if i may ask : what are the criteria for becoming a cardio-thoracic surgeon. Really want to do that. Thanks

    68. Hello, first i like all this great details of what being a surgeon takes it was very helpful for me since i am doing some research on this career that i want to pursue. so i have a question, what should be my major when trying to graduate from college? i was doing surgical technology but i am not sure if that is the most convenient because i reed that either pre med or biology could be one of the option. Thank you

      • There is unfortunately no exact answer. The specific major is not that important – with the understanding that the Premed requisites are in place for the MCAT. Having said that I would suggest Biology/Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry – something in the Life Sciences field.

    69. Hello, first i like all this great details of what being a surgeon takes it was very helpful for me since i am doing some research on this career that i want to pursue. so i have a question, what should be my major when trying to graduate from college? i was doing surgical technology but i am not sure if that is the most convenient because i reed that either pre med or biology could be one of the option. Thank you

      • There is unfortunately no exact answer. The specific major is not that important – with the understanding that the Premed requisites are in place for the MCAT. Having said that I would suggest Biology/Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry – something in the Life Sciences field.

    70. Hi Dr. Scheepers! I have a few questions regarding becoming a surgeon. Right now I’m serving my second enlistment in the Navy and will be getting out early 2017. By this time, I will have just turned 27 years old. Is this too old to begin the process of becoming a surgeon? I should be nearing my bachelor’s degree but most of the classes have been for a meteorology degree. Which is my specialty in the Navy. Would a degree in meteorology even help with me getting into medical school? What degree do you recommend? As soon as I am discharged, I’m planning on going to University of Washington, in Washington state. I’m willing to do whatever it takes, but have no idea what my routes are. I would appreciate the info. Have a great day!

      Michael

      • It all depends on your level of commitment – but the short answer is that it is not too old – keep in mind that one gets paid during your residency years. The major of your bachelors is not important – as long as you are able to add the medical school prerequisite classes – to prepare you for the MCAT. In ideal circumstances one would do a bachelors with biology/biochemistry or genetics as a major… but it is not critical. Are there any chances applying to study medicine through the Navy? If you need a great premed coach to guide you through the details with advice and assisting with the finer decisions you are welcome to contact a friend of mine who is a premed coach – Don Osborne dono[at]inquarta.com.
        Best wishes for success!

    71. Hello Dr. Scheepers. I have a couple of questions regarding the field of medicine. Would you recommend the careers: Cardiovascular surgeon, Cardiothoracic surgeon, Orthopedic Surgeon, and Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon? I have heard rumors that the medical field is declining because of new technology (I agree that technology is definitely improving but in my opinion, the thought of the medical field not flourishing seems like hogwash). Furthermore, is it true that once one becomes an established O&M surgeon, one could enjoy up to 3 days off a week? In addition to my previous question, if this is possible for an O&M surgeon, is it possible for other surgical specialties as well? I do not wish to seem lazy, I was just curious if it was possible to sustain a decent home-life while thriving at the hospital. I’ve heard that if I want a home-life choose a different career; I can’t the calling to be a surgeon is too strong. It is all I can think about. I do understand (obviously not fully because I am just a high school senior) the sacrifices required for the path. I am willing to work my butt off to achieve my dreams. I have deviated from the topic (sorry). I apologize for the extended post but I have one more question: does the location of your undergrad matter to top-tier medical schools? I am currently planning to attend Hendrix university ( a small liberal-arts college with a 94% medical school acceptance rate).

      Thank you for your time doctor, I know you don’t have a lot of it 😉

      Lawrence Holt

      • Hi Lawrence
        Surgical disciplines thriving on trauma and emergencies – like trauma-, general-, cardiothoracic- and orthopedic surgeons – forces these surgeons to be on duty 24/7.
        As an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon I started of my career working very hard – but now I work (in my practice) 3 1/2 days a week and still do financially very well. Ophthalmic surgeons can do the same as well as e.g. plastic surgeons.
        I believe the location of your undergrad does matter – but for an expert opinion you can ask my friend Don Osborne who is a premed coach: dono{at}inquarta.com – Feel free to contact him for his opinion.
        Trust it helps
        Dr Anton

    72. Hello Dr. Scheepers. I have a couple of questions regarding the field of medicine. Would you recommend the careers: Cardiovascular surgeon, Cardiothoracic surgeon, Orthopedic Surgeon, and Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon? I have heard rumors that the medical field is declining because of new technology (I agree that technology is definitely improving but in my opinion, the thought of the medical field not flourishing seems like hogwash). Furthermore, is it true that once one becomes an established O&M surgeon, one could enjoy up to 3 days off a week? In addition to my previous question, if this is possible for an O&M surgeon, is it possible for other surgical specialties as well? I do not wish to seem lazy, I was just curious if it was possible to sustain a decent home-life while thriving at the hospital. I’ve heard that if I want a home-life choose a different career; I can’t the calling to be a surgeon is too strong. It is all I can think about. I do understand (obviously not fully because I am just a high school senior) the sacrifices required for the path. I am willing to work my butt off to achieve my dreams. I have deviated from the topic (sorry). I apologize for the extended post but I have one more question: does the location of your undergrad matter to top-tier medical schools? I am currently planning to attend Hendrix university ( a small liberal-arts college with a 94% medical school acceptance rate).

      Thank you for your time doctor, I know you don’t have a lot of it 😉

      Lawrence Holt

      • Hi Lawrence
        Surgical disciplines thriving on trauma and emergencies – like trauma-, general-, cardiothoracic- and orthopedic surgeons – forces these surgeons to be on duty 24/7.
        As an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon I started of my career working very hard – but now I work (in my practice) 3 1/2 days a week and still do financially very well. Ophthalmic surgeons can do the same as well as e.g. plastic surgeons.
        I believe the location of your undergrad does matter – but for an expert opinion you can ask my friend Don Osborne who is a premed coach: dono{at}inquarta.com – Feel free to contact him for his opinion.
        Trust it helps
        Dr Anton

    73. hi. i am 13 and ever since i was little i have wanted to become a surgeon. i was wondering what the best college for me to go to would be. i also wanted to know what a good teaching hospital would be. i know its silly im only 13 but i am ready to start figuring out what my steps to becoming a great surgeon are . i want to save lifes and help people.

    74. hi. i am 13 and ever since i was little i have wanted to become a surgeon. i was wondering what the best college for me to go to would be. i also wanted to know what a good teaching hospital would be. i know its silly im only 13 but i am ready to start figuring out what my steps to becoming a great surgeon are . i want to save lifes and help people.

    75. Hi, I’m a 17 year old and I’m a 12th grader and I want to become a surgeon since then and currently I’m taking a health career class that would allow me to work at the hospital and I was wondering what type of class would I need to take in college. Oh and by then way what is the best way to remember 350 medical terminology and 140 medical abbreviations because I need to remember them so I could pass the test so I could go to the hospital.

    76. Hello,
      My name’s Lour and I’m a senior in high school. This is my last year before heading out to college. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. Though lately it seems that almost anyone can work hard enough and become a local doctor after 7 years or so, I didn’t want that, not that their jobs aren’t appreciated or required but I’ve always wanted to do more than clicking screens and deciding what medicin a patient should buy. I’m one to like preforming operations and actually having a productive part in the patient’s healing. so I’ve decided, that a surgeon is exactly what I’ve wanted to be. It was never about the salary or having a good name. It was about witnessing those touching joyful moments when someone finds out that the person they care about the most, will be ok. To me, receiving those grateful smiles from patients or their worried relatives/friends would be what makes my job worth it. But my knowledge about the requirements of being a Surgeon was limited till lately. I never knew that it might take me 11-19 years of studying and learning. The thought of that honestly scares me, I am a dedicated person when it comes to perusing my dreams but I’m one who tends to like having fun too, and I’m one who’s looking for a long term marriage and relationship. I’m not sure studying that long and hard would help my case in those categories and honestly, I’m terrified of the thought of dedicating my whole life to perusing that one dream and tossing aside all the others like having a family and such. So in the end, I have one question for you, which I apologize for the long introduction before it but I had to state my concerns so you’d see how important this question is to me; Is there ANY way possible to reduce the years required to become a surgeon?
      If not, what can you advise me? Or is there any other career that resembles that of a surgeon with less required years yet something that’d be just as worth it?

      Thank you.

      • Becoming a doctor is still very very challenging – becoming a surgeon – even more so.
        Some of the answer depends on your age.
        When you become a medical professional – studying is art of life – the rest of your professional life.
        You mention the smiles – but keep in mind you will also see expressions of desperation, disappointment and pain.

        During residency you will get a reasonable remuneration – so you will work and study concurrently.
        There is nothing like being a surgeon – so don’t water down your dreams.
        Very challenging and very rewarding!
        As a plan B have you considered PA – Physician’s Assistant (Surgery)

    77. Hello,
      My name’s Lour and I’m a senior in high school. This is my last year before heading out to college. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. Though lately it seems that almost anyone can work hard enough and become a local doctor after 7 years or so, I didn’t want that, not that their jobs aren’t appreciated or required but I’ve always wanted to do more than clicking screens and deciding what medicin a patient should buy. I’m one to like preforming operations and actually having a productive part in the patient’s healing. so I’ve decided, that a surgeon is exactly what I’ve wanted to be. It was never about the salary or having a good name. It was about witnessing those touching joyful moments when someone finds out that the person they care about the most, will be ok. To me, receiving those grateful smiles from patients or their worried relatives/friends would be what makes my job worth it. But my knowledge about the requirements of being a Surgeon was limited till lately. I never knew that it might take me 11-19 years of studying and learning. The thought of that honestly scares me, I am a dedicated person when it comes to perusing my dreams but I’m one who tends to like having fun too, and I’m one who’s looking for a long term marriage and relationship. I’m not sure studying that long and hard would help my case in those categories and honestly, I’m terrified of the thought of dedicating my whole life to perusing that one dream and tossing aside all the others like having a family and such. So in the end, I have one question for you, which I apologize for the long introduction before it but I had to state my concerns so you’d see how important this question is to me; Is there ANY way possible to reduce the years required to become a surgeon?
      If not, what can you advise me? Or is there any other career that resembles that of a surgeon with less required years yet something that’d be just as worth it?

      Thank you.

      • Becoming a doctor is still very very challenging – becoming a surgeon – even more so.
        Some of the answer depends on your age.
        When you become a medical professional – studying is art of life – the rest of your professional life.
        You mention the smiles – but keep in mind you will also see expressions of desperation, disappointment and pain.

        During residency you will get a reasonable remuneration – so you will work and study concurrently.
        There is nothing like being a surgeon – so don’t water down your dreams.
        Very challenging and very rewarding!
        As a plan B have you considered PA – Physician’s Assistant (Surgery)

    78. Very interesting, there are a lot of young people interested in becoming surgeons. I wounder if they will persue becoming surgeons after they find out how much time it takes and how much education costs. I actually never imagined looking into this before. I am a 27 year old single mother. I am currently enrolled and have just begun a Dental Lab Technician Program in a local college in my area. I live in Canada. I was doing a little research on-line regarding what areas I can specialize in. There is Prosthodontic, Conservation, Orthodontic and the one that really caught my attention, Maxillofacial technician. Now the information came from a UK web site. In Canada I would not be permitted in surgery room as a Tech. And so I am here reading on the steps to becoming a specialist. I have a background in Esthetics, and I live next door to a main Hospital and an Outpatient center where the procedures would take place. I am very interested in getting into this, just demoralized when it comes to finances and time. I think I will remain a general dental lab technician and work close to home allowing me to be with my daughter, and also allowing me to save some money to go back to school when she is older so that I can get into University. My time is not now, but I can plan well ahead!

      • Hi Daniela – you are so right – the road is long and difficult and many obstacles to overcome. Utter dedication and little time for yourself and your family. I would say to want-to-be-surgeons: start early – and build a respectable resume and be tenacious – and work very-very hard!
        Doing maxillo-facial prosthetic may fulfill that surgical void on your inside. Best wishes with your future…

    79. Hi, I’m Carolyn. I’m 13, and have wanted to become a sergeon for as long as I can remember. My family thinks it is a good occupation, and I do too. I know I want to start college the autumn after I graduate 12th grade. I think I would like general sergery. I do well under pressure, and I’m not grossed out easily. I am always taking interactive surgeryy games on the computer, and trying to learn more. The thing is, I don’t know where to start. How do I become a sergeon? What is the highest level of sergeon? How many years of college do I need to take to become the highest level? How much money does the average sergeon make? Will I have time for my freinds and family? It’s okay if you can’t answer ALL of my questions. (I know I asked a lot.) Thanks a lot! 🙂

      • Hi Carolyn

        The way to do it is to start early. Do your best academically and you can already start building a resume towards getting accepted at a credible university and medical school. Look out for opportunities to do volunteer and charity work. Although slightly advanced for your age – you may work through the Apprentice Doctor Course and Kit – see: https://www.theapprenticedoctor.com/pre-med-course-for-high-school-students-future-doctors/
        Although – in the mind of many people neouro-surgery tops the list of advanced surgery – there a so many challenging areas of surgery. For instance -Maxillofacial and Cranio-facial surgery is very advanced and often requires teams of surgeons to reconstruct victims of serious accidents, birth abnormalities and syndromes.
        Surgery will require 4 years of premed, 4 years of med school and 5-9 years of residency – a lot of years if you add up. Surgeons earn well and income per year may vary from $220 000 to $750 000 a year. On the down side if you give your career the time and energy required to succeed – you will have to be very disciplined to schedule enough time for family and friend, recreation etc. In reality the career of a surgeon often takes it toll on a marriage with a fairly high divorce rate associated with the profession.

      • Thanks so much for the help. You answered all of the questions I had, and that was great! Thanks a million for the help. 🙂

    80. I’m 14 now and I’ve wanted to become a surgeon ever since I can remember and I was wondering what other types of surgeon there are other than cardiac, thoracic, and neuro surgeons ect. I heard that there was type of surgeon that combined cardiac and thoracic surgery that i was interested in. Is that true? Please help. Thanks a bunch!

    81. I’m 14 now and I’ve wanted to become a surgeon ever since I can remember and I was wondering what other types of surgeon there are other than cardiac, thoracic, and neuro surgeons ect. I heard that there was type of surgeon that combined cardiac and thoracic surgery that i was interested in. Is that true? Please help. Thanks a bunch!

    82. Hi I’m Bella and I’m in high school abd I want to know how old could you be to become a surgeon? And how long would I have to study? When should I start? Thank you so much.

      • Hi it’s Bella. Um I wanted to know can I become a surgeon if I’m homeschooled? And one more thing how old were you when you became a surgeon? And thank you.

      • Hi good afternoon. I was wondering if I become a surgeon at 31 years old that’s ok? Because I want to become a surgeon at a young age and my father says that in your 20s that’s to young to be a surgeon. is it? Thank you. Oh and one more thing I really don’t know what kind of surgeon I wnt to be but I alleays wanted to be a surgeon. Any advice? And thank so much have a good night DR.

      • If you do the maths (4y premed +4y med +5y res) – you will note that most people only qualify as a surgeon at the age of 30 and up. You choose your specialty and super specialty only at that time – so don’t worry about the finer details now.

      • Hi how r u? So my mom wants me to ask you a question
        It’s about me. My left ear is, I don’t know how to explain this
        Um my left side of my ear is like it’s clogged like I can’t hear with my left ear I mean I can hear but really low and we tried to unclog it but we don’t know what else we can do it’s been this way for a long time and when I say a long time it’s been a year abd now my aunts ear is the same way. And she dosnt know what to do either. So I hope you can help me out and thank you very much mom and I thanks you so I hope you have a good afternoon.

      • Hi Bella – this is not a medical advice site – but I will make an exception once…
        This is just an educated guess – it may be congenital aural atresia (CAA) – and it is correctable with surgery – so an otolaryngologist is the person to consult.

    83. Hi I’m Bella and I’m in high school abd I want to know how old could you be to become a surgeon? And how long would I have to study? When should I start? Thank you so much.

    84. Hello!
      I just recently bought your suturing kit, because I want to get the practice in early. I’ve always wanted to become a doctor but instead ended up wasting two years studying business at university, then one year in art school. I wouldn’t say it was a waste because now I know what I definately want to do. I moved two months ago from Canda to the U.S. I’m currently attending college to get my AA, then next year in December I will transfer to an university to complete my degree. And after that, I will apply to medical school, and I hope I will get in.

      Unfortunately in my previous years I wasted time and didn’t study because I wasn’t interested in the subject, so now I’m having to pull my GPA up. But one thing I can guarantee is that I’m tenacious when I have a goal. Since starting college two months ago I’ve been doing good in my studies, I’ve joined several clubs, and even become the president of environmental club. However now I’m also looking into volunteer opportunities at a hospital, and also hoping to shadow a doctor.

      If I got the opportunity to shadow a doctor, how many times would it be and should I ask for a recmmendation letter or something afterwards? I’m not really sure about what I should do with any of the experiences I might get from various opportunities. Should I compile letters then give in med school application when the time comes? I would be very thankful if you could give me some tips on how to get an edge in and how I should keep track of my experiences so that I can show it when the time is appropriate.

      I am also very excited about getting the suturing set. Do you think it’s a good idea if I practice so early? I am determined to become a surgeon, and I’m willing to work hard to get that edge.

      • Don’t worry about the past – focus on the future!
        Keep good records and documentation – like testimonials – you need a good resume and supporting documentation to accompany your application to medical school.
        It is not most definitely not too early to start learning/acquiring medical skills – trust you will enjoy learning how to suture wounds! One of these days you will be able to order our Venipuncture Course and Kit! We have a special on our For Future Doctors Course and Kit for October 2013 – and you can get $20 discount by applying the coupon “FUTUREDOC” on checking out. See https://www.theapprenticedoctor.com/accredited-pre-med-course-for-future-doctors/
        Best wishes for a great future!

    85. hi, i am an anatomy student and am aiming to be a neurosurgeon.please sir,what are the steps to take after having a degree in anatomy.Also,the years of course of neurosurgeon at US and do i need to do MCAT atfer having degree in anatomy.thank you sir

      • Did you do the med MCAT prerequisites during your anatomy degree?
        Yes indeed you need a good MCAT score for the absolute majority of med schools for entrance – or rather a chance to enter.

    86. hi, i am an anatomy student and am aiming to be a neurosurgeon.please sir,what are the steps to take after having a degree in anatomy.Also,the years of course of neurosurgeon at US and do i need to do MCAT atfer having degree in anatomy.thank you sir

      • Did you do the med MCAT prerequisites during your anatomy degree?
        Yes indeed you need a good MCAT score for the absolute majority of med schools for entrance – or rather a chance to enter.

    87. i hope that i will be a good surgeon one day ,,,, i am in med school now in the last year ,,,, i will be Gp in GS dep to get more experience than i will be in my Favorite dep Neurosurgery dep ,,, i am from Libya but i am coming america i hope to live in Canada or USA …

    88. i hope that i will be a good surgeon one day ,,,, i am in med school now in the last year ,,,, i will be Gp in GS dep to get more experience than i will be in my Favorite dep Neurosurgery dep ,,, i am from Libya but i am coming america i hope to live in Canada or USA …

    89. Hello. My name is Jordan. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a surgeon until I saw how many people died each day that had a chance to be saved. I want to be a surgeon to help people. I barely graduated high school by a hair. I was 4 credits down and my friends told me that I am smart enough to graduate on time. I went to the counselor and she said that I could test out of a few online classes. And I did. She was very surprised and told me that I have the smarts to become something great. I might not be the most disciplined but there is nothing else I want to do for the rest of my life. But funding is the problem. I don’t come from a family that is well off. And the education is not very good, I think. I grew up on the Navajo Reservation and I have lived off government assistance almost all my life. Some people tell me not to get loans because of the rule of 72. I just don’t know where to go from here. But I am in a community college now and i think that is a good step to take. If anyone has any advise I would greatly appreciate it.

      • The Apprentice Doctor is primarily an informational organization – but I can send out you information to a couple of my contacts and see how they respond…
        In short keep on pushing – be tenacious – never compromise on your dreams and vision for your life!

    90. My name is Fama ,i hav jus started high school and hav taken science as my major n hav jus receive my first term result with straight a in biology chemistry and physic I have always wanted to be a surgeon am right now in Africa and will like to further my studies in the us..please can I know of any place I can attain a scholarship for worthy students like me …thank you

      • Hi Fama the short answer is “no”.
        Even for USA students scholarships are very difficult to attain – and is reserved for the best of the best. The USA government’s first responsibility is towards its own citizens – just like any other country in the world.
        Of course you are free to do your premed degree in the USA and then apply for admission to a medical school after writing your MCAT. If you are academically brilliant you do stand a chance to get some form of scholarship despite your non-USA status.

    91. My name is Fama ,i hav jus started high school and hav taken science as my major n hav jus receive my first term result with straight a in biology chemistry and physic I have always wanted to be a surgeon am right now in Africa and will like to further my studies in the us..please can I know of any place I can attain a scholarship for worthy students like me …thank you

      • Hi Fama the short answer is “no”.
        Even for USA students scholarships are very difficult to attain – and is reserved for the best of the best. The USA government’s first responsibility is towards its own citizens – just like any other country in the world.
        Of course you are free to do your premed degree in the USA and then apply for admission to a medical school after writing your MCAT. If you are academically brilliant you do stand a chance to get some form of scholarship despite your non-USA status.

    92. Hi there, I am 18, recently graduated high school and will be attending college soon, I just recently decided that I want to become a surgeon. The reason is honestly because I have always loved the environment of hospitals and being around people who are in need of help and being able to help just makes my life that much nicer. Well I do not know what to major in before starting my pre med classes, and I was also wondering what should I do to make myself a great medical school candidate? I do understand community service, and also I will be taking as many scienes as I can but most importantly the ones that are needed to pass the MCAT and get into medical school. If you could help with my post I would really appreciate it. Lastly, how do you ask or shadow a doctor I have not a clue of how to ask. Thanks.

    93. Hi there, I am 18, recently graduated high school and will be attending college soon, I just recently decided that I want to become a surgeon. The reason is honestly because I have always loved the environment of hospitals and being around people who are in need of help and being able to help just makes my life that much nicer. Well I do not know what to major in before starting my pre med classes, and I was also wondering what should I do to make myself a great medical school candidate? I do understand community service, and also I will be taking as many scienes as I can but most importantly the ones that are needed to pass the MCAT and get into medical school. If you could help with my post I would really appreciate it. Lastly, how do you ask or shadow a doctor I have not a clue of how to ask. Thanks.

      • Although one may major in literally any subject it is best to keep it to biology, biochemistry or related subjects.
        Increase you chances:
        Assist at charities of your choice
        Hospital volunteering
        Do/attend: Medical, first aid, and related premedical courses/conferences and camps.
        Consider: https://www.theapprenticedoctor.com/accredited-pre-med-course-for-future-doctors/
        If you can do – or assist a medical professional with research – will count for much.
        Good academic results with your premed degree
        High MCAT score
        Character/leadership/cultural activities/arts and music (they are looking for a balanced individual).
        Shadow – it is best if you know someone – or know somebody that knows a doctor/surgeon. Otherwise go to a doctor’s rooms and give a letter of request with information about you and your dreams – not all – but most doctors will be happy to assist.

    94. hi, im 14 years old. my dream is to be a surgeon. from today im memorizing important surgeries and important medical names. I would like to know what is expected from an intern at the first year. I am really interested in surgeries so I would love to hear back from you and decide what I want to do with my life at an early age to be sure and ready for up and coming years.

    95. hi, im 14 years old. my dream is to be a surgeon. from today im memorizing important surgeries and important medical names. I would like to know what is expected from an intern at the first year. I am really interested in surgeries so I would love to hear back from you and decide what I want to do with my life at an early age to be sure and ready for up and coming years.

    96. Hi, my name is Niki. I’m 16 years old and I live in Croatia. My biggest dream is to become a surgeon and to live and work in the US. I’m now a third year in a medical and chemistry high school in Šibenik (pharmaceutical technician). I’ve less than 2 years until college so I’d like to know if I’ve any chance to study and live in the States? And what should I do to prepare for it?
      Can you please help me? Thank you.

    97. Hi, my name is Niki. I’m 16 years old and I live in Croatia. My biggest dream is to become a surgeon and to live and work in the US. I’m now a third year in a medical and chemistry high school in Šibenik (pharmaceutical technician). I’ve less than 2 years until college so I’d like to know if I’ve any chance to study and live in the States? And what should I do to prepare for it?
      Can you please help me? Thank you.

    98. Sorry if this is a bit long but i have quite a few questions…. thanks in advance should you answer even just one honestly… but hi my name is Jamarr (Jay) And Im 18 recent graduate of las vegas’s Del Sol Dragons high and I’ll be attending community college in a week or two for a year then transferring to UNLV depending on when i can take this arm cast for my hand off… i never fully knew what i wanted to be and do exactly until recent… a surgeon saved my life performing surgery on my hand immediately preventing me from dying of major blood loss and i figured that’s something I’d love to push forward some day, saving lives and helping better the equality of life of and for others, but my family isn’t exactly rich or even wealthy and i hear medical school (assuming i get in) would cost me between 25 to 40 thousand dollars and i don’t know of any way to get that kind of money outside of scholarships not saying that i can’t achieve them but i know relying solely on that is a bit of a long shot. I also wonder if medical schools are accepting of dreads and can surgeons have dreads because i have them and they’re pretty lengthy but always kept neat usually in a pony tail yet there’s still a lot of discrimination i receive because of them always hearing how they aren’t professional but i have them for personal reasons that mean a great deal to me so please tell me if I’d have to choose between my hair and a career… after residency how much debt would i be in and how long would it take to pay it off? Do surgeons get paid monthly? What happens if a patient doesn’t survive or things don’t go well how do you tell that to families? Could i be more than one kind of surgeon? Could i take on another career because Im into art and wanted to become a tattoo artist or a cartoon creator maybe? What are the hours like? I’ve searched the internet and basically what I’ve heard surgeons and doctors live sad lonely lives because they work so much rarely see their family often get divorced because of it and negative things of that nature? And lastly going into college what classes should i be taking as a future surgeon?
      If you answer any sincerely thanks (;

      • Hi Jay

        Anything is possible with the right amount of resolve.
        Medicine – and more so surgery is a way of life – so it has a lot of advantages – but also a lot of disadvantages.
        One has to be very disciplined to avoid letting surgery dominate one’s life to the expense of the other important areas like family, leisure etc.
        Funding is a problem and your estimate is probably way conservative. If you add 4 years of premed and 4 years of med school you will most probably pass $100 000 – depending on the specific university/med school.
        A patient dying – is a crisis for all – and one never (and should never) get used to it. There is no easy way telling the family – apart from anticipation and communicating the possibility in time, in a discreet manner.

        Trust it helps – and best for your future!

        Dr Anton

    99. My name is Karla, I am 18 years old. I’m currently attending a community college but i want to become a surgeon…. always have been. I don’t know where to start or where to go and I have never really paid attention in high school, so I just want to learn and want to become a Surgeon, i just don’t know where to start. Please help, thank you

    100. My name is Karla, I am 18 years old. I’m currently attending a community college but i want to become a surgeon…. always have been. I don’t know where to start or where to go and I have never really paid attention in high school, so I just want to learn and want to become a Surgeon, i just don’t know where to start. Please help, thank you

    101. Hi, I’m currently 15 years old. I’ve always wanted to become a surgeon since I was young, and now, I’m trying to achieve my goal. But, firstly, I don’t really know where to start.
      I don’t really know which courses I should take in my upcoming secondary school(grade 10).
      Also, I’m a little worried about living as an intern after I graduate from a university. Some people say that I won’t have a lot of free time to enjoy my life after I become an intern.
      By the way, how long is internship and residency?

    102. Hi, I’m currently 15 years old. I’ve always wanted to become a surgeon since I was young, and now, I’m trying to achieve my goal. But, firstly, I don’t really know where to start.
      I don’t really know which courses I should take in my upcoming secondary school(grade 10).
      Also, I’m a little worried about living as an intern after I graduate from a university. Some people say that I won’t have a lot of free time to enjoy my life after I become an intern.
      By the way, how long is internship and residency?

      • Becoming a doctor is really a way of life – with advantages and disadvantages. Time restraint is one of the disadvantages – especially during internship (first year of residency) and the years of residency – minimum of 3 years.

    103. Hi, my name is Niambi and I am 20 years old. All I’ve ever dreamed about as a child, was becoming a surgeon, a brain or heart surgeon preferably, still not sure as of yet. But I spent a lot of time trying out different things, being afraid of taking that big step and completing soo many years of school. Now, I’m ready to go on and get started. Before today, I was willing to settle as a Surgical Technologist, just to be in the operating room lol. Until, my adviser encouraged me to do what I’ve always wanted. He doesn’t specialize in the area of becoming a surgeon so, he advised me to look into the very beginning courses toward earning the bachelors degree so I can give him the list, and get registered for classes. I’ve would greatly appreciate it if you could inform me of the such courses. I have the idea that I need Biology, Chemistry, Science overall, but are there specific variations or anything for these courses? The last thing I want to happen, is for me to be in too deep into a class I don’t need, that I’m not even suppose to be taking. I want to take a few of the prerequisite classes at this community college then transfer into Wayne State U. Would you be able to help me out with this uncertainty of mine??
      Also, I have a few other questions relating to social aspect of the life of a Surgeon. Will relationships be difficult to tend to and take seriously to progress in? Will there be space or time in my life for those such things, or even children, several children at that? How difficult is the life of that student, as far as trying to keep up with loans, rent, bills, books, food, car notes, insurance, and car maintenance? My idea of a student in college striving to become a Surgeon, would be a very limited, and financially poor nearly, lifestyle. With so much dedication to school is there time for part time jobs, because I have two, keeping an independent roof over head? Because I really need to move out of my folks place but I’m not quite sure what i may be getting myself into to make such a step. Will there be time for side careers or minors, say for instance owning my own salon, because I’m now licensed as a cosmetologist. Additional hobbies, or projects? I’m pretty well versed when it comes to talent and I want to be able to display that and accomplish something just to avoid future regrets from my heart, but all the while, pursuing my long-term career, a Surgeon, something I can retire off of and keep a steady foundation in my life.
      And what about law suits, toward death or improper surgeries?
      Forgive my long message, I have so many questions, I just want to make sure ‘m on the right track and to prepare myself mentally for this choice in life I’m about to begin, tomorrow at that! (Is when I need to have these required classes given to my adviser) Hope to hear back from you really soon! Thank you!

      • Hi Niambi

        I will keep the answer short – I am answering questions simply to help students – but as a practicing surgeon my time is limited so I cannot reply in detail to all your questions.

        The “pre-med” classes required by virtually all schools in the US are as follows:
        “Freshman” chemistry along with the appropriate laboratory courses
        Organic chemistry along with laboratory courses
        Biology along with laboratory courses
        Physics along with laboratory courses
        English
        Calculus including advanced math classes and statistics.
        One can have a life outside of being a surgeon – but it takes a lot of planning and self discipline.
        Studying medicine takes a lot of energy and especially in medical school a part time job will simply be impossible.
        When applying to medical school – you will have to distinguish yourself from other students with a lot of extras e.g.:
        Hospital volunteering
        Charities
        Extra medical/premedical courses (see: https://www.theapprenticedoctor.com/accredited-pre-med-course-for-future-doctors/ )
        A research project.
        A good MCAT Score.
        As a surgeon you will be able to have a hobby – but a second career will simply be impossible in my opinion.

        For answers on academic and other details etc. I would pose those questions to one of the Student Doctor Network forums https://forums.studentdoctor.net/ .
        Don Osborne form Inquarta is a premedical coach and will also be able to help with some details https://www.inquarta.com/premed-club/ .

        Hope it helps!

        Dr Anton

    104. Hi, my name is Niambi and I am 20 years old. All I’ve ever dreamed about as a child, was becoming a surgeon, a brain or heart surgeon preferably, still not sure as of yet. But I spent a lot of time trying out different things, being afraid of taking that big step and completing soo many years of school. Now, I’m ready to go on and get started. Before today, I was willing to settle as a Surgical Technologist, just to be in the operating room lol. Until, my adviser encouraged me to do what I’ve always wanted. He doesn’t specialize in the area of becoming a surgeon so, he advised me to look into the very beginning courses toward earning the bachelors degree so I can give him the list, and get registered for classes. I’ve would greatly appreciate it if you could inform me of the such courses. I have the idea that I need Biology, Chemistry, Science overall, but are there specific variations or anything for these courses? The last thing I want to happen, is for me to be in too deep into a class I don’t need, that I’m not even suppose to be taking. I want to take a few of the prerequisite classes at this community college then transfer into Wayne State U. Would you be able to help me out with this uncertainty of mine??
      Also, I have a few other questions relating to social aspect of the life of a Surgeon. Will relationships be difficult to tend to and take seriously to progress in? Will there be space or time in my life for those such things, or even children, several children at that? How difficult is the life of that student, as far as trying to keep up with loans, rent, bills, books, food, car notes, insurance, and car maintenance? My idea of a student in college striving to become a Surgeon, would be a very limited, and financially poor nearly, lifestyle. With so much dedication to school is there time for part time jobs, because I have two, keeping an independent roof over head? Because I really need to move out of my folks place but I’m not quite sure what i may be getting myself into to make such a step. Will there be time for side careers or minors, say for instance owning my own salon, because I’m now licensed as a cosmetologist. Additional hobbies, or projects? I’m pretty well versed when it comes to talent and I want to be able to display that and accomplish something just to avoid future regrets from my heart, but all the while, pursuing my long-term career, a Surgeon, something I can retire off of and keep a steady foundation in my life.
      And what about law suits, toward death or improper surgeries?
      Forgive my long message, I have so many questions, I just want to make sure ‘m on the right track and to prepare myself mentally for this choice in life I’m about to begin, tomorrow at that! (Is when I need to have these required classes given to my adviser) Hope to hear back from you really soon! Thank you!

      • Hi Niambi

        I will keep the answer short – I am answering questions simply to help students – but as a practicing surgeon my time is limited so I cannot reply in detail to all your questions.

        The “pre-med” classes required by virtually all schools in the US are as follows:
        “Freshman” chemistry along with the appropriate laboratory courses
        Organic chemistry along with laboratory courses
        Biology along with laboratory courses
        Physics along with laboratory courses
        English
        Calculus including advanced math classes and statistics.
        One can have a life outside of being a surgeon – but it takes a lot of planning and self discipline.
        Studying medicine takes a lot of energy and especially in medical school a part time job will simply be impossible.
        When applying to medical school – you will have to distinguish yourself from other students with a lot of extras e.g.:
        Hospital volunteering
        Charities
        Extra medical/premedical courses (see: https://www.theapprenticedoctor.com/accredited-pre-med-course-for-future-doctors/ )
        A research project.
        A good MCAT Score.
        As a surgeon you will be able to have a hobby – but a second career will simply be impossible in my opinion.

        For answers on academic and other details etc. I would pose those questions to one of the Student Doctor Network forums https://forums.studentdoctor.net/ .
        Don Osborne form Inquarta is a premedical coach and will also be able to help with some details https://www.inquarta.com/premed-club/ .

        Hope it helps!

        Dr Anton

    105. hello, im a 1st year college student taking up BS Psychology. I want to become a surgeon., what can I do to pursue it after my four years course?

      • In short – complete your B degree – but ensure that you take the premed prerequisite courses.
        Write the MCAT and apply to med school (via AMCAS). In your 4th year you will have to choose a residency – apply for surgery.
        These are the basics – the reality is more complex though.

    106. hello, im a 1st year college student taking up BS Psychology. I want to become a surgeon., what can I do to pursue it after my four years course?

      • In short – complete your B degree – but ensure that you take the premed prerequisite courses.
        Write the MCAT and apply to med school (via AMCAS). In your 4th year you will have to choose a residency – apply for surgery.
        These are the basics – the reality is more complex though.

    107. hey,
      I’ve always been interested in the body. I love seeing blood and watching surgeries online. (ones that i can actually find). Because of this, I’ve decided I want to put effort into being a surgeon. I have yet to graduate high school. I’m going into my senior year. I’ve been researching different types and I’ve finally narrowed it down to either a general surgeon or a trauma surgeon. I was wondering if you could tell me the differences in them? I want to be hands on and practice mainly open surgery. Which do you think would be right for me? Also, when i do become a surgeon and am doing my internship, do i get paid during that? I’ve always wondered, but couldn’t really find anything. Thank you so much for your help.

      • General surgeons these days perform a large number of procedures via scope surgery – so if you prefer open surgery you may want to pursue trauma surgeon – if you don’t mind the erratic working hours. Yes – one gets paid during your years as a surgical internship/residency – roughly $48 000 – $60 000 per year plus some other benefits.

    108. hey,
      I’ve always been interested in the body. I love seeing blood and watching surgeries online. (ones that i can actually find). Because of this, I’ve decided I want to put effort into being a surgeon. I have yet to graduate high school. I’m going into my senior year. I’ve been researching different types and I’ve finally narrowed it down to either a general surgeon or a trauma surgeon. I was wondering if you could tell me the differences in them? I want to be hands on and practice mainly open surgery. Which do you think would be right for me? Also, when i do become a surgeon and am doing my internship, do i get paid during that? I’ve always wondered, but couldn’t really find anything. Thank you so much for your help.

      • General surgeons these days perform a large number of procedures via scope surgery – so if you prefer open surgery you may want to pursue trauma surgeon – if you don’t mind the erratic working hours. Yes – one gets paid during your years as a surgical internship/residency – roughly $48 000 – $60 000 per year plus some other benefits.

    109. Hi there doctor. My name is Elisabeth and I don’t just want to be a surgeon, I am going to be a surgeon. I have known this since I was a young child, and as a highschool sophomore I am preparing to apply to college medical camps over the 2014 summer. Any reccomendations or programs? I am interested in cardio and neuro.

    110. I was a former Combat Medic. I am currently pursuing getting my Bachelors In Nursing. But my dream has always been to be a Surgeon. If by some chance I have some low grades in some science subjects, would re-taking them give me a better chance at being accepted into medical school? Science courses are very easy for me, although the stresses of PTSD have made me lose some focus. But I am on track to obtaining my LVN to BSN (2 year option). Any help would be appreciated.

    111. I was a former Combat Medic. I am currently pursuing getting my Bachelors In Nursing. But my dream has always been to be a Surgeon. If by some chance I have some low grades in some science subjects, would re-taking them give me a better chance at being accepted into medical school? Science courses are very easy for me, although the stresses of PTSD have made me lose some focus. But I am on track to obtaining my LVN to BSN (2 year option). Any help would be appreciated.

    112. hi my names jack and my question is what are the expenses will finantial aid cover my 4 year college and med school ?

    113. hi my names jack and my question is what are the expenses will finantial aid cover my 4 year college and med school ?

      • Financial aid isn’t so readily available as it might have been a couple of years ago. Scholarships usually kicks in in the 2nd or 3rd year – and are often based on exceptional performance. Aid may vary literally form 100% to a meager contribution of $1-2000 a year.

    114. HI ,my name is Nyamka from Mongolia ,so if get accepted into medical school do i have to decide my field of study before getting in it . I am interested in internal medicine and surgery , or the students choose the their filed at 2nd or 3rd year ?

    115. HI ,my name is Nyamka from Mongolia ,so if get accepted into medical school do i have to decide my field of study before getting in it . I am interested in internal medicine and surgery , or the students choose the their filed at 2nd or 3rd year ?

    116. Hey there!
      I’m Mike and I’m really interested in medicine.
      At the moment I can’t decide between Neurosurgery and Cardiac Surgery.
      I know they are totally different, but which one can be said is more interesting and intense?

    117. Hey there!
      I’m Mike and I’m really interested in medicine.
      At the moment I can’t decide between Neurosurgery and Cardiac Surgery.
      I know they are totally different, but which one can be said is more interesting and intense?

    118. Hello I’m very interested in pursuing a career in cardiothoracic surgery but recently I met a doctor who has more than one specialty. my question is, is it possible to specialize in more than one surgical field? Like for example specialize in both cardiothoracic and neurosurgery?

    119. Hello I’m very interested in pursuing a career in cardiothoracic surgery but recently I met a doctor who has more than one specialty. my question is, is it possible to specialize in more than one surgical field? Like for example specialize in both cardiothoracic and neurosurgery?

      • Combining two complementing specialties like e.g. internal med & endocrinology is of course possible and not too uncommon. Combining cardiothoracic and neurosurgery will be impossible for two reasons – firstly the many years of resident training will make it impractical and the medical board will simply not allow one registering for both for many valid reasons.

    120. Hello there!

      I am looking into either becoming a (pediatric) cardiac surgeon or cardiologist. As a college freshman, what should I be doing besides volunteering at the hospital to be getting my feet wet in the field? I would love hands-on experience, but don’t know where to start!

      Thanks for your time and insight.

    121. Hello there!

      I am looking into either becoming a (pediatric) cardiac surgeon or cardiologist. As a college freshman, what should I be doing besides volunteering at the hospital to be getting my feet wet in the field? I would love hands-on experience, but don’t know where to start!

      Thanks for your time and insight.

    122. Hello.
      I’m 16 y.o student from Ukraine. My dream is to become a surgeon in the future and it takes less time to study here, but the result is also different, so I want to continue my studies somewhere in Europe or Australia. I have currently graduated from high-school and took a year off to travel and study chemistry, anathomy and physics as I’ve been studying at a linguistic school and wasn’t given enough information and skills in required subjects. Anyway, here in Ukraine we have a pretty good course of virology. When I finish this course will I still be able to go to a medical school abroad, or it is necessary for my bachelors degree to be gained at a european university?
      Thank you in advance,
      Ivona

    123. Hello.
      I’m 16 y.o student from Ukraine. My dream is to become a surgeon in the future and it takes less time to study here, but the result is also different, so I want to continue my studies somewhere in Europe or Australia. I have currently graduated from high-school and took a year off to travel and study chemistry, anathomy and physics as I’ve been studying at a linguistic school and wasn’t given enough information and skills in required subjects. Anyway, here in Ukraine we have a pretty good course of virology. When I finish this course will I still be able to go to a medical school abroad, or it is necessary for my bachelors degree to be gained at a european university?
      Thank you in advance,
      Ivona

      • Ivona, I am simply unsure regarding the European medical school’s rules and admission regulation. My gut-feel would say that you stand the best chance after doing your bachelors degree. Anybody else that can offer some advice?

    124. Hey, I was just wondereing, is surgery a competitive field to enter? Will there be competition to get a spot as a surgeon? And if it is, what happens if you don’t get a place? Could you just fall back onto your doctors career or keep trying? Also, roughly how many years all together does it take to finally become a surgeon? Furthermore, I would like to know what happens immediately after you’ve completed your studies, like how do you apply for a job, and stuff like that. And finally, is it an emotional field to enter? And is it true that you can only be a surgeon if you have steady hands? Cause I doubt I have steady hands…

      • I will answer the question from a USA perspective.
        Yes it is competitive!
        If you don’t get a place as a surgical resident – you may apply for another discipline – like family physician or pediatrics.
        Time: Four years premed, four years med and five years surgery… plus more for other surgical disciplines like neurosurgery.
        One applies for a job by applying for available posts at that point in time – or looking at opportunities in private practice.
        Hands can be trained to be steady but one actually needs at least ‘fairly steady hands’ – 10 thumbs on each hand – don’t do surgery!
        Yes – one has to be emotionally strong to live with success as well as disappointments – like death and servery complications!

    125. Hey, I was just wondereing, is surgery a competitive field to enter? Will there be competition to get a spot as a surgeon? And if it is, what happens if you don’t get a place? Could you just fall back onto your doctors career or keep trying? Also, roughly how many years all together does it take to finally become a surgeon? Furthermore, I would like to know what happens immediately after you’ve completed your studies, like how do you apply for a job, and stuff like that. And finally, is it an emotional field to enter? And is it true that you can only be a surgeon if you have steady hands? Cause I doubt I have steady hands…

      • I will answer the question from a USA perspective.
        Yes it is competitive!
        If you don’t get a place as a surgical resident – you may apply for another discipline – like family physician or pediatrics.
        Time: Four years premed, four years med and five years surgery… plus more for other surgical disciplines like neurosurgery.
        One applies for a job by applying for available posts at that point in time – or looking at opportunities in private practice.
        Hands can be trained to be steady but one actually needs at least ‘fairly steady hands’ – 10 thumbs on each hand – don’t do surgery!
        Yes – one has to be emotionally strong to live with success as well as disappointments – like death and servery complications!

    126. Hi doctor ,
      I am from India and i want to become a Neurosurgeon . I am planning to give my SAT soon and i will also be giving the SAT Subject test for Biology . I wanted to know what all does it take to becoming a doctor in the USA , the majors in the universities and related stuffs . How long do you think will it take to become a neurosurgeon ? But the thing is that i will only be able to attend a university in the US if i get a scholarship . Are there enough scholarships for international students pursuing undergraduate studies ?

      • The USA medical schools select candidates based on the premedical degree results and on the MCAT test results. There ore virtually NO scholarships available to international students – and studying in the USA is usually a lot more expensive to international students compared to USA citizens.

    127. hi… since a young age I was interested in medicine. unfortunately during my A level year I had a lot of personal problems that kept me away from my studies. I wrote the exams but didnt get satisfactory results. I refuse to give up. I need some advice on how to proceed. should I repeat my A levels or continue to college?

    128. hi… since a young age I was interested in medicine. unfortunately during my A level year I had a lot of personal problems that kept me away from my studies. I wrote the exams but didnt get satisfactory results. I refuse to give up. I need some advice on how to proceed. should I repeat my A levels or continue to college?

    129. Dear Dr.

      I am currently finishing high school with high grades in all the top sciences in order to pursue a double major in Biology (ecology), and in astrophysics. I understand what it takes and what I need to do to become a surgeon. My question relates more to the psyche of the particular lifestyle; how do you cope with what you’ve seen; with the pressure you have to deal with daily? You’ve seen a side of life that is a dream for some, but a nightmare to most. What am I getting myself into pertaining to the mental tribulations that only a doctor (specifically a surgeon) faces.

      Thanks for your time.

      • One grows into the psychological maturity to deal with the pressures and specifics of being a surgeon. During the years of internship one gets mentored – and that includes the psychological components of being a surgeon. Two very challenging areas for surgeons are – dealing with surgical compilations and dealing with death.
        This is a very short answer on a subject that can easily take a book to cover in detail.

    130. Dear Dr.

      I am currently finishing high school with high grades in all the top sciences in order to pursue a double major in Biology (ecology), and in astrophysics. I understand what it takes and what I need to do to become a surgeon. My question relates more to the psyche of the particular lifestyle; how do you cope with what you’ve seen; with the pressure you have to deal with daily? You’ve seen a side of life that is a dream for some, but a nightmare to most. What am I getting myself into pertaining to the mental tribulations that only a doctor (specifically a surgeon) faces.

      Thanks for your time.

      • One grows into the psychological maturity to deal with the pressures and specifics of being a surgeon. During the years of internship one gets mentored – and that includes the psychological components of being a surgeon. Two very challenging areas for surgeons are – dealing with surgical compilations and dealing with death.
        This is a very short answer on a subject that can easily take a book to cover in detail.

    131. Hi, I just read what you posted and my dream is to become a pediatric surgeon. I have always wanted to help people to make their life better especially children. I’m 17 years old and I’m currently learning the basic of biology, chemistry and physics in high school. My grade is roughly around B+ to an A. I was wondering how long exactly does it take to learn everything to become a surgeon? And what qualification do I need to do that? Does it cost a lot to pursue my study? If it does can I get a scholarship from the government or the university? Is it true that I have to give up my social life to become a surgeon? Thanks 🙂

      • I was wondering how long exactly does it take to learn everything to become a surgeon?
        Four years premed, four years med and five years surgery… plus more for other surgical disciplines like neurosurgery.
        And what qualification do I need to do that? Does it cost a lot to pursue my study?
        One needs a basic medical degree and a five year residency in surgery – and yes – it is costly!
        If it does can I get a scholarship from the government or the university?
        Yes – usually based on academic excellence – scholarships are very competitive to get.
        Is it true that I have to give up my social life to become a surgeon?
        In theory “no” but in practice surgeons do spend long hours operating, consulting and attending to more and more admin that goes with the job – leaving preciously little time for socializing.

    132. Hi, I just read what you posted and my dream is to become a pediatric surgeon. I have always wanted to help people to make their life better especially children. I’m 17 years old and I’m currently learning the basic of biology, chemistry and physics in high school. My grade is roughly around B+ to an A. I was wondering how long exactly does it take to learn everything to become a surgeon? And what qualification do I need to do that? Does it cost a lot to pursue my study? If it does can I get a scholarship from the government or the university? Is it true that I have to give up my social life to become a surgeon? Thanks 🙂

      • I was wondering how long exactly does it take to learn everything to become a surgeon?
        Four years premed, four years med and five years surgery… plus more for other surgical disciplines like neurosurgery.
        And what qualification do I need to do that? Does it cost a lot to pursue my study?
        One needs a basic medical degree and a five year residency in surgery – and yes – it is costly!
        If it does can I get a scholarship from the government or the university?
        Yes – usually based on academic excellence – scholarships are very competitive to get.
        Is it true that I have to give up my social life to become a surgeon?
        In theory “no” but in practice surgeons do spend long hours operating, consulting and attending to more and more admin that goes with the job – leaving preciously little time for socializing.

    133. hello, I am currently studying a BSc (HONS) in psychology, and as I very interested in the mind and how it works I have previously studied anatomy, and find that I have more of a keen interested in it. would it be possible after completing my degree to go to medical school which I would then like to become a surgeon?

    134. hello, I am currently studying a BSc (HONS) in psychology, and as I very interested in the mind and how it works I have previously studied anatomy, and find that I have more of a keen interested in it. would it be possible after completing my degree to go to medical school which I would then like to become a surgeon?

    135. Hi…
      I really want to become a surgeon, I would love to save people’s lives and after watching Grey’s Anatomy, I was even more convinced that surgery is for me…
      But, my I’m not strong in biology and chemistry,, Im currently writing my IGCSEs and those are my weak subjects…I really want to be a surgeon, but since my grades aren’t good do you think that shows I may not be up for it, or do you think I should still look into it?
      And, I wouldn’t mind giving up my social life for surgery, I don’t have one anyway,but would I have time for my hobbies like music or art or even time to just relax and watch a movie, if I were a surgeon?
      Finally, as a surgeon, do you think it’s worth it? What do you love most about being a surgeon and do u still find time for relationships, a family?
      I’m 17 and have no idea what job I want to do, I’m drawn to surgery but unfortunately I might not be good enough…it seems I’m never good enough for anything
      Sorry,…I would be very very grateful to hear from you…bye and thanks so much!….Marie

      • Life is all about balancing all the things that are important to you. Of course this in itself is very challenging! Surgery is great as it offers one the opportunity to work at a high level with both your brain and your hands. Solving diagnostic challenges is very satisfying – and seeing patients getting better after a surgical procedure is great! One also works with other highly qualified medical professionals – all adds up to a fulfilling career. But the sacrifices are often substantial – you will have to up your academic excellence in Biology and Chemistry!

    136. Hi…
      I really want to become a surgeon, I would love to save people’s lives and after watching Grey’s Anatomy, I was even more convinced that surgery is for me…
      But, my I’m not strong in biology and chemistry,, Im currently writing my IGCSEs and those are my weak subjects…I really want to be a surgeon, but since my grades aren’t good do you think that shows I may not be up for it, or do you think I should still look into it?
      And, I wouldn’t mind giving up my social life for surgery, I don’t have one anyway,but would I have time for my hobbies like music or art or even time to just relax and watch a movie, if I were a surgeon?
      Finally, as a surgeon, do you think it’s worth it? What do you love most about being a surgeon and do u still find time for relationships, a family?
      I’m 17 and have no idea what job I want to do, I’m drawn to surgery but unfortunately I might not be good enough…it seems I’m never good enough for anything
      Sorry,…I would be very very grateful to hear from you…bye and thanks so much!….Marie

      • Life is all about balancing all the things that are important to you. Of course this in itself is very challenging! Surgery is great as it offers one the opportunity to work at a high level with both your brain and your hands. Solving diagnostic challenges is very satisfying – and seeing patients getting better after a surgical procedure is great! One also works with other highly qualified medical professionals – all adds up to a fulfilling career. But the sacrifices are often substantial – you will have to up your academic excellence in Biology and Chemistry!

      • In addition to what Dr Schepeers has advised, I would strongly recommend that you take a look at University requirements for the medical school entrance as the majority of universities hold thresholds at even GCSE level.
        As entertaining as it is, Greys Anatomy does not entirely represent the real life as a surgeon. If you are really keen on surgery, shadowing a surgeon at your local hospital might be a good first step. Obviously, medical school will also offer many opportunities to gain experience in surgery.
        Good luck 🙂

    137. Hi, my name is Bonquisha, and I was wondering why does it require so much schooling to become a doctor?

      • Hi Bonquisha,

        There is an enormous amount of information you have to learn, and if you’re going to be responsible for other people’s lives you have to know what you’re doing.

    138. Hi, my name is Bonquisha, and I was wondering why does it require so much schooling to become a doctor?

      • Hi Bonquisha,

        There is an enormous amount of information you have to learn, and if you’re going to be responsible for other people’s lives you have to know what you’re doing.

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