Have you ever considered becoming a surgeon? It is a rewarding, well paying career for the right person! This post will cover the surgeon job description and other aspects of this career. Many people are aware of the crucial role that surgeons play in various health care settings. This occupation has an excellent projected rate of growth, so this is a good career to pursue. This job might just be perfect for you if you have an interest in performing critical, potentially high-stress operations on people and caring for their health. You can work as a doctor in a hospital or outpatient medical center. Continue reading if you would like to learn more about how to become a surgeon.
Surgeon Job Description
The typical surgeon job description can be equally extremely stressful and incredibly rewarding. Surgeons typically work long, full time hours. They may need to travel from one medical facility to another. In some instances, they may need to work into the evening, overnight, or during the weekends. This may be the case especially if a patient needs an emergency procedure. Surgeons typically spend a great deal of time on their feet. They perform surgeries in sterile environments, and hygiene is of utmost importance.
Usually, a surgeon job description contains the following items:
- Gather information on the patients’ medical histories
- Closely examine patients prior to performing surgery
- Order diagnostic tests and analyze the results
- Create a treatment plan and surgical plan
- Work collaboratively with other physicians
- Answer patients’ questions pertaining to their health and impending surgeries
- Perform various types of surgeries on different areas of and parts of the body
Surgeons must use a variety of complex tools and equipment when performing surgeries on their patients. Some choose to typically specialize in specific types of surgeries and primarily complete those types of operations. Also, some doctors specialize in specific areas of the body (such as orthopedic surgeries, cardiovascular surgeries, ophthalmological surgeries, or neurological surgeries). General surgeons may need to perform surgery on any type of the body. Prior to surgery, they must order diagnostic tests that will provide them with detailed information on what they are operating on. They must make a plan of how they will approach the operation. These doctors may need to work collaboratively with others or with general physicians. Additionally, they may need to answer patients’ questions prior to surgery to inform and reassure them.
Typically, a surgeon is employed at medical centers, smaller hospitals, and outpatient medical facilities. This makes it easier for them to coordinate care with other physicians. As of the year 2012, there were 691,400 surgeons and physicians employed throughout the United States.
Surgeon Education Requirements and Training
The surgeon education consists of a bachelor’s degree (4 years to complete), followed by a medical degree (4 years to complete), and then another 3 to 8 years of internships and residency during which they gain additional experience working as a physician. A bachelor’s degree in biological or premedicine is common for individuals who want to become a surgeon or physician. Regardless of the chosen field of study, students interested in becoming surgeons must take classes on biology, physics, chemistry, English, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences. It can be advantageous for college students to gain experience through volunteer experiences or jobs in health care settings.
In order to gain admission into medical school, students must have excellent grades from their undergraduate studies. Admission into medical school is very competitive, so admission tests scores must be extremely high. Medical school applicants must also have excellent letters of recommendation. Medical schools typically conduct interviews with applicants and take into consideration the applicants personality, activities, and leadership abilities. The first two years of medical school typically consists of classes and lab experiences. As they gain more knowledge, they begin to get first-hand experiences with patients in medical settings. This typically occurs during the final 2 years of medical school. At this time, students go through rotations in various areas of medicine. Experienced doctors and physicians supervisor and guide them as needed. During this time, medical students gain experience with diagnosing patients and determining the best course of treatment.
Following graduation from medical school, students typically begin in a residency. This lasts anywhere from 3 to 8 years after the completion of medical school. During this time, physicians gain specialized experience and knowledge learning about a specific area of the body. The residency typically takes place in a hospital.
In each state, surgeons and physicians are required to seek licensure. However, requirements vary from state to state. In order to become licensed, these doctors must have completed medical school and their residency, and passed all required examinations. A surgeon or physician is only licensed after he/she passes a standardized national exam given to all physicians.
The median surgeon salary, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS)*, had a value of $355,865 per year in May 2012. This is notably higher than the average median for all occupations which was $34,750 per year as of May 2012. The median value is not the same as the value of the average salary (although the two can be rather close), but it just reflects the value located in the middle of the registered salaries. It means that half of all employed doctors have earned a little more than this value, and the other half of them earned a little less. The typical pay range for is anywhere from $300,945 to $422,350. The lowest earning doctors earned an annual salary of around $250,943. The highest earning surgeons earned an annual salary of around $480,882. It is important to note that the salary of a surgeon may vary based on how much experience he or she has, geographic region in which he or she is employed, how many hours he or she works, how good his or her reputation is as a physician, and what types of surgeries he or she performs or what areas he or she specializes in. For example, orthopedic surgeons may earn over $500,000 per year, whereas a general surgeon may earn around $343,000 per year.
These doctors typically work full-time, averaging at or over 40 hours each week. In some instances, they may need to work into the evening, overnight, or during the weekends. Irregular hours are typically required when a patient needs emergency surgery. These doctors may need to be on call in the event that a patient unexpectedly requires surgery. Although they are typically away from the hospital when they are on call, they need to be easily accessible. However, they do have breaks and vacation time.
Surgeon Job Outlook
The surgeon job outlook is excellent! According to The BLS, the projected growth of surgeons and physicians is 18% between the years 2012 and 2022. This rate of growth is much faster than the average of all other occupations. This anticipated growth is attributed to the expansion of the health care industry. As more individuals receive health insurance coverage, they will seek out medical services. This will contribute to the high demand for these doctors and physicians. The aging baby boomer generation will require health care services which will also contribute to the demand for physicians. In fact, some medical schools are enrolling more students in anticipation of the increased demand for doctors. As a whole, this will increase job demand and security for individuals who plan to pursue a career as a surgeon.