What Is Required for a Career in Surgical Critical Care?

Critical care surgeons work in intensive care units to help people with life-threatening injuries, diseases, or other conditions. This article explains what's required for a career in surgical critical care, including what it takes to become certified as a critical care surgeon. Schools offering Surgical Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Surgical critical care is a specialized field of surgery dealing particularly with the critically ill, whether they suffer from trauma, disease, or other issues. Critically ill people may have many different medical concerns and may be of any age, requiring wide versatility from critical care surgeons and their training. According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine, typical critical care issues can span a range that includes:

  • Cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks
  • Postoperative management
  • Sepsis
  • Shock from trauma
  • Respiratory distress

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay$240,440 (for all surgeons in 2014)
Job Outlook18% job growth expected between 2012-2022 for all surgeons and physicians
Key SkillsGood at communicating, compassionate, pays attention to detail, works well with hands, has leadership skills, is organized and patient, able to problem solve, able to stand for long periods of time
Similar OccupationsGeneral Surgeons, Family and General Physicians, Dentists, Chiropractors, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Veterinarians, Anesthesiologist, Psychiatrist

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Basic Qualifications

At the most basic level, becoming a critical care surgeon has the same requirements as any other physician or surgeon career: several years of medical school culminating in licensure by the state in which you're choosing to practice. Many employers expect and seek further certification among applicants for specialty positions in surgical critical care.

ABS Certification

The American Board of Surgery (www.absurgery.org) offers a surgical critical care certification demonstrating competency in critical care beyond the level that is expected of every surgeon. Eligibility to sit for the examination requires current certification in general surgery by the ABS, a current medical license, completion of a post-graduate program in surgical critical care, and a report on 50 patients whom you've cared for. The examination covers neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory physiology, trauma, pediatric concerns, and infectious disease. Once certified in surgical critical care, the surgeon must maintain certification via continuing education, professional evaluation, and other criteria.

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.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Abilene Christian University

    Abilene Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Abilene Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »