Embarking on the journey to medical school can seem intimidating, but don't worry.
1. Complete high school and make sure to relish your summer break!
2. Begin exploring which college you would like to attend for your bachelor's degree. Remember, medical schools generally accept any degree as long as you've fulfilled the prerequisite courses. Don't forget to indulge in some subjects that truly interest you! Medical schools appreciate applicants who are diverse and have interests beyond medicine, not just those who've ticked off the necessary boxes.
(I hold a bachelor's degree in biomedical science with minors in chemistry and sociology, and my med school buddies have degrees in English, Russian history, and Psychology.)
3. Enroll in as many courses as possible at your local community college to save on costs (ensure they're transferable to a university though)! Apply for financial aid via FAFSA. Some community colleges even offer programs that can help you transition to a nearby university.
4. Aim for and secure at least a bachelor's degree. Some individuals choose to pursue a Master's degree, such as in Public Health, but it's not mandatory.
5. Gear up for and take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Your college might be able to assist you with test preparation!
6. Get ready for and apply to medical schools (both MD (Medical Doctor) and DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) pathways lead to becoming a physician).
7. Complete 4 years of medical school (the first 2 years consist of textbook learning, while the last two years involve clinical rotations). Licensing exams are taken after the 2nd and 3rd years of medical school, with a final one during residency.
8. Apply for and participate in a residency program - this involves a few more years of training depending on your chosen specialty. (Take your 3rd major exam here.) On the bright side, residency is a paid position.
BEST OF LUCK! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!
While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare to be a Surgeon. Chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra, calculus and statistics will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.
Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration among team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a Surgeon, communication is essential and critical when dealing with hospital staff and patients. A college course in Public Speaking, Communication and English will help with one's communication and writing skills.
To become a Surgeon, a Bachelor Degree in Biology, pre-med or another science related field has to be earned at a college or university. Afterwards, a doctorate degree from an accredited medical school has to be obtained. The next phase will be training through a medical residency as well as medical certification and licensing.
For education and training, it will take up to 14 years to become a Surgeon. The Bachelor Degree will be between 4-5 years. Medical school will be another 4-5 years. Medical residency, medical certification and licensing can take up to 3-4 years.
Being a Surgeon can be a demanding and rewarding profession, especially depending if there is a specialized field or concentration. Remember, as a Surgeon, you are the professional who saves lives. Your patients are impacted by you.
While in college, here are some undergraduate degrees to major in order to become a Surgeon:
- Organic Chemistry
It will be best to seek advice from your high school guidance counselor as well as teachers to help you focus your interests for a specific major in college.
According to U.S. News & World Report, here is an overview of pursuing medical school:
According to U.S. News & World Report, here are the top colleges and universities to consider for Medical School:
- Harvard University
- John Hopkins University
- University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)
- Columbia University
- Duke University
- Stanford University
- University of California (San Francisco)
- Vanderbilt University
- Washington University (St. Louis)
- Cornell University (Weill)
- New York University (Grossman)
- Yale University
When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:
- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral
There are scholarships based on need, academic performance, school activities, sports involvement and community service. So, it will be to your advantage to seek out these types of scholarships. All of the academic staff at your high school that you interact with can write letters of recommendations for you based on what was just stated above. These recommendations can greatly help when filling out college and scholarship applications.
Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.
You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.
Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:
Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.
Best wishes for your education and career path as a Surgeon!
Here's a general roadmap on how to become a surgeon:
**1. Pre-Medical Education (Bachelor's Degree):**
- Start by completing a bachelor's degree in a science-related field such as biology, chemistry, or pre-medical studies. Maintain a high GPA and take prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
**2. Medical School (Doctor of Medicine - M.D. or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine - D.O.):**
- After completing your bachelor's degree, you'll need to attend medical school, which typically takes four years. Medical school provides comprehensive education in the medical sciences.
**3. Residency Training:**
- Upon graduation from medical school, aspiring surgeons enter a residency program specific to the surgical specialty they wish to pursue. Surgical residencies can vary in length but often last 5-7 years or longer. During this time, you'll gain hands-on surgical experience under the supervision of experienced surgeons.
**4. Specialty Fellowship (Optional):**
- Some surgeons choose to pursue additional fellowship training to specialize further in areas like pediatric surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, or plastic surgery. Fellowships can last 1-2 years or more.
**5. Licensing and Certification:**
- To practice as a surgeon, you'll need to obtain a medical license by passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). You may also pursue board certification in your surgical specialty through organizations like the American Board of Surgery.
**6. Job Search and Practice:**
- After completing your training and obtaining licensure and certification, you can start your career as a surgeon. You can work in hospitals, clinics, or private practice, depending on your chosen specialty.
**7. Continuing Education:**
- Surgeons must engage in ongoing learning and continuing medical education to stay current with advancements in medical science and surgical techniques.
Becoming a surgeon requires a significant commitment of time, effort, and dedication to your education and training. It's a challenging yet rewarding profession that allows you to make a meaningful impact on patients' lives.
To get started, focus on excelling in your high school coursework, particularly in science and math subjects. Maintain a strong academic record throughout your undergraduate studies to increase your chances of being accepted into medical school. Seek out volunteer or shadowing opportunities in healthcare settings to gain exposure to the field.
Additionally, consider speaking with guidance counselors, teachers, or medical professionals for advice and mentorship. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific goals and help you navigate the path to becoming a surgeon.
A surgeon is the person who is trained to treat any disease by operating upon it. For becoming a surgeon you have to get admission in a medical school followed by residency program of 3 years.
Thank you for reaching out to us, and what an excellent question you've asked! Can you envision yourself donning the white coat of a surgeon 15 years from now? If you can, then believe me, you're already halfway there!
Embarking on the journey to become a surgeon begins with enrolling in a premedical program. This could be in diverse fields like Psychology, Nursing, Biology, Physical Therapy, or any other Science major. These courses lay the foundation for your medical education.
Once you've completed your premed, the next step is to ace the entrance exam for medical school. This is your ticket to the world of medicine, where you'll get hands-on experience during your internship.
After your internship, you'll have to clear your Medical Board Examination. This is a crucial milestone on your path to becoming a surgeon.
But the journey doesn't end there. You'll then need to specialize in Surgery, which requires further education.
Yes, the road to becoming a surgeon is long and challenging. But remember, you're preparing to hold the precious lives of people in your hands. You're training to provide the highest standard of healthcare, and that's a responsibility that deserves immense respect.
So, Carla, if you can see yourself as a surgeon 15 years from now, then hold on to that vision. Because with determination and hard work, you can surely make it a reality!
Dino recommends the following next steps:
To become a surgeon, you will need to have a strong academic background. So you can start searching relevant colleges with a medical degree and that specialization.