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How do I become a surgeon?


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Richard’s Answer

After high school, get a college degree. No particular major in college is necessary but you must complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

Some medical schools require humanities and social/behavioral science courses.

Next, take the MCAT and apply to medical school. During Medical school you choose your specialty and apply to residency.

A residency consists of additional years of training after medical school. A typical general surgery residency will last 5 years.


It is also important to get good grades in college. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

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Grace’s Answer

Hi Olivia, to be a surgeon, do well in undergraduate college. You can major in anything you want, but make sure you take the pre-requisites that medical schools requires (biology, organic chemistry, general chemistry, etc.). Then score well on the MCATs (medical school entrance exam), then apply to medical schools. Medical schools applications also costly, so make sure you know what medical schools (safety and reach schools) you want to go, and apply to those. After medical school, you will go through the different medical positions: intern, resident, fellow, then attending. You will learn surgery in residency, but if you wish to specialize further, you can do more intricate surgeries during your fellowship. But overall, makes sure you never give up and keep working on your goals! Hope this helps!

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Rachel’s Answer

General surgery is a great field requiring a medical doctorate. This means that you will have to complete college with a bachelor’s degree as well as all of the Pre-med requirements (1 year biology, 1 year inorganic chemistry, 1 year organic chemistry + labs, physics, calculus, and biochemistry). GPA should probably be 3.5 or better (preferably >3.8). You will also have to score well on the MCAT. Once accepted to medical school, as long as you pass your classes and perform reasonably well during your four years of medical training, you can apply for a general surgery 5 year residency. Following that, you will likely apply for a 1-3 year fellowship. This career path requires 14+ years of school after high school but is very fulfilling and challenging work.

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David’s Answer

You take an undergraduate track in the sciences: bio, chemistry, that sort of thing. And you do really, really, really well. Then you prep for and take the MCAT and get a really, really, really good score. Then you get into medical school and do really, really, really well. Then you do rounds in the various medical specialities. Then internship, then residency. It's hyper competitive.

David recommends the following next steps:

Do an informational interview with a surgeon. They have egos and love to talk about themselves.

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