Schools for Trauma Surgeons

Review the educational requirements for becoming a trauma surgeon. Find out what you'd learn in medical school, and read about the specialty training you'd need to pursue after earning your M.D., such as general surgery residencies and trauma surgery fellowships. Get info on choosing a medical school and finding surgery residencies and fellowships. Schools offering Surgical Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Becoming a trauma surgeon requires a few educational programs, including medical school and completion of a fellowship. See how to find a program that's right for you, where residencies are offered, and what they comprise in the article below.

What Training Do I Need to Become a Trauma Surgeon?

Trauma surgery is a medical specialization that concentrates on the surgical repair of damage caused by injury or pathology. To become a trauma surgeon, you need to complete an undergraduate degree and four years of medical school. You can also expect to spend 3-8 years participating in an internship, a residency and possibly a fellowship. For a specialty such as trauma surgery, the postgraduate education period could be closer to the high end of that range.

Which Medical Schools Specialize in This Field?

While the medical school portion of your education would not involve a trauma surgery specialization, the relationship of the medical school you attend and the teaching hospital where you do your internship may have some role to play. The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) lists eight teaching hospitals as approved sites for acute care surgery fellowships as of 2012 ( These fellowships are 2-year programs that would come at the conclusion of a typical 5-year general surgery residency.

Which Schools Offer Doctor of Medicine Degree Programs?

You can find a doctor of medicine degree program at a number of diverse universities, such as the following:

  • Duke University School of Medicine delivers a Doctor of Medicine degree program
  • Tufts University School of Medicine houses a Doctor of Medicine degree program
  • University of Minnesota offers a Doctor of Medicine degree program

Which Schools Offer Trauma Fellowship/Residency Programs?

Various universities give students a chance to complete a trauma fellowship or residency program. Below are a selection of them:

  • University of Pennsylvania hosts a Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program
  • University of Maryland Medical Center provides a Trauma Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has a General Surgery Residency program

What Classes Would I Take?

In medical school, you might start with two years of studies on anatomy, chemistry and physiology; the next two years involve rotations through a variety of medical settings and specialties under the supervision of experienced physicians. Here, you could learn to take patient history, diagnose illness and injuries and prescribe treatment. After acquiring technical surgical skills in a residency, you can focus on trauma-specific training in a fellowship program. In a trauma fellowship, you can participate in cardiac and pediatric rotations. You could work with burn patients and learn about emergency surgery, thoracic surgery methods and acute care. Your fellowship can help you acquire the skills needed to treat trauma conditions in most parts of the body.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a School?

When choosing a medical school, you can look for programs that are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 129 medical schools were accredited by the LCME in 2008 ( Acceptance to medical school could be influenced by both your Medical College Application Test (MCAT) score and letters of recommendation. You can also seek residency programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). According to the AAST, to enter a trauma fellowship, you'll need to have completed a residency approved by the Residency Review Committee of the ACGME.

To become a trauma surgeon, you will need to complete a doctoral degree program in medicine, which is a commonly available program. After completion, there are residencies and fellowships available to you designed to provide experience in the field and help you acquire the necessary hands-on skills.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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