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what is the best way to start the journey to becoming a pediatric surgeon?

I am just out of high school and very interested in the medical field #doctor #doctor

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Eriana’s Answer

You will need to complete an undergraduate degree, so applying to the college of your choice would be your first step. If you pick a college with an affiliated medical campus, and you do well, you will have a better chance of being accepted into their Medical Program. Whichever college you choose, I would suggest majoring in Pre-Med or biology to set yourself up for success in Medical School.

To give you a realistic idea of what you're looking at for this career, here is a rough outline of the steps to achieve this.

-4 years undergraduate degree
-4 years of medical school
-General surgery residency (5 years)
-Pediatric surgery fellowship (2 years)

It's a long road, but a worthy one! I hope this helps :)
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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. 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.

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you 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

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.


During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
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Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete.

After medical school surgeons complete a 5 year residency. Pediatric surgeons then complete a fellowship for subspecialty training.
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Rory’s Answer

In addition to these other answers, I will add that pediatric surgery is a highly competitive field, so there is typically a significant research component expected as well. Many people will take one or two years during medical school or residency just to do research in order to land one of those residency or fellowship spots.
Thank you comment icon icymi - research means conducting studies and publishing the results in a recognized, peer-reviewed journal (think JAMA or New England Journal of Medicine, for example). while most hospital-based doctors are expected to do this, someone in a competitive field will want to do longer, more involved, harder and more inventive ones in order to stand out & land that residency. top doctors have 50-100+ page biographies of their articles in their resume. Shannon Kelley
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Estelle’s Answer

Pick a major in college that really interests you so that you get great grades and strong letters of recommendation. During college, volunteer in the healthcare field (clinics, hospitals, mission trips are some ideas.) Shadow physicians during college as well. Keep track of the hours and experiences because they are important in your medical school application. Some clinics allow college students to scribe for the providers. This gives you great experience as well as familiarity with the vocabulary of medicine.
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Shivani’s Answer

Hi Keshaun,

The best place to start RIGHT NOW: expose yourself to the field by shadowing a general pediatrician. You get to see their daily visits and learn about the different types of sub specialties within peds.

Perks: Develop a good relationship with the general pediatrician for a potential letter of rec. Also this doctor can then refer you to another specialty peds doctor to shadow, such as surgery!
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