How Do I Become a Surgeon? - Video

Surgeons specialize in treating injuries, disease and other problems through surgery. It takes a great deal of education and training to become a surgeon. In most cases, you will need to spend at least ten years of study before you can legally operate on a patient.

Education and Training

To become a Surgeon, you must first earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Although you do not need a specific type of bachelor degree, you do need to complete courses in English, biology, chemistry and physics. Many medical schools also recommend courses in math, biochemistry and organic chemistry.

After earning a bachelor's degree, you will need to spend an additional four years in medical school. The first two years of med school will take place in the classroom; the next two years will be spent working under the supervision of licensed physicians and surgeons in a hospital or clinical setting.

After earning a medical degree, surgeons must complete a surgical residency before they can practice on their own. Residencies can last anywhere from two years to eight years depending on your specialty.

Licensing and Certification

Surgeons must be licensed to practice in the United States. To obtain a surgical license, you must graduate from an accredited medical school, complete the required residencies and pass a state licensing examination.

You can also choose to become board certified in your surgical specialty. To become certified, you must complete the required residencies, demonstrate competence to an approved surgical board and pass a rigorous examination. Although certification is voluntary, it is highly recommended by most medical associations.

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