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What good comes out of being a surgeon? What’s some good advice for college, medical school, and especially internships and residency and just the overall career?

I want to become a surgeon and have wanted to for a very long time and don’t understand why so I’m wanting to know some good things that come out of the job because that’s what I plan to become, also please give me advice!!

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Madison’s Answer

Being able to fix a problem quickly with your hands, constant learning new techniques, many times quick/tangible relief of suffering/fixing a problem for a patient
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Shelia’s Answer

Becoming a doctor or a surgeon is an exciting journey you might want to embark on, especially if you have a deep love for the sciences. Ever thought about volunteering at a hospital? It's an excellent opportunity to experience first-hand what being a doctor involves and to discover what kind of doctor you might want to be.

A smart move might be to choose a college that offers a biomedical sciences program. This major will expose you to most of the diverse subjects you'll need to tackle in medical school. You'll need to shine in your studies, take up leadership roles and clock in hours at a hospital, clinic or doctor's office. My daughter, for example, worked as a medical scribe during her undergrad degree. You'll need to study for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and aim to score 510 or higher. Applying to multiple medical schools is a good idea. The application process involves writing a stellar personal statement, getting letters of recommendations, completing both a primary and secondary application and nailing the interview. Hopefully, you will receive multiple interviews where you'll have the opportunity to impress and stand out from the other applicants.

Once accepted into medical school, you'll spend two years of learning everything there is to know about the human body and how to diagnose patients (actors). Next, you spend the next 2 years on clinical rotations. You'll have to pass Step 1 to start third year and pass Step 2 for your fourth year. You'll rate which hospitals to attend for the clinical rotations in year 3. The different clinical rotations will help you decide if being a surgeon is right for you. Passing the medical boards is key to kick-start your residency. A general surgeon residency is 5 years. Wishing you all the best on your journey!
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Paul’s Answer

As a surgeon you help people care for and improve their health in ways they can not do without the outside help of others. You do so by physically altering the structure of their body, either by removing something that does not belong there or repairing a structure or organ which has been in some way damaged. So, when doing surgery you may literally hold a person's life or well being in your hands. This is a tremendous responsibility which allows you to do good for others that can be accomplished in no other way. In order to become a surgeon you need to first become a good doctor, which means both that you learn all the basics of medical care that all doctors need to know and that you develop the necessary interpersonal skills that let you relate to people in an intimate way, putting their needs at the top of your priority list. Learning the technical aspects of doing a procedure is in some ways a part of your reward for first establishing your caring relationship with your patient. The actual details of doing surgery require good hand eye coordination, similar to what you need to be good at sewing, carpentry or other skills that require manual dexterity. In surgery, this is often called having good hands. Be aware that for most people it is easier t o develop the dexterity to do surgical procedures than it is to develop the necessary frame of mind to take proper care of the sick or injured.
You may wonder how I learned this. I am a retired orthopaedic surgeon who spent more than forty years in practice, but I was taught this lesson by one of my first patients. She was an11 year old girl with an unusual cancer just below her knee. At that time this required an above the knee amputation to save her life. Caring for her helped me develop the perspective I wrote about above, andalso led us to a friendship which exists to this day.
Paul S. Treuhaft, MD, MA
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello C'Aira!

Choosing to be a surgeon is like embarking on an exciting journey that's full of rewards and fulfillment. Surgeons are the superheroes of the healthcare world, using their skills to perform surgeries that help diagnose, treat, and manage all sorts of health conditions. Here's a peek into the wonderful world of being a surgeon:

1. Making a Big Difference in People's Lives: One of the best parts of being a surgeon is having the power to directly better people's health and lives. Surgeons can relieve pain, cure illnesses, and improve life quality with their surgical skills. Seeing the smiles on patients' faces and the long-term benefits they get from your expertise is a feeling that's second to none.

2. Always Learning and Growing: The world of surgery is like a fast-paced thriller, always evolving with new technology, methods, and research. As a surgeon, you'll be on a lifelong learning adventure, keeping up with the latest in medical knowledge. This constant learning keeps your skills sharp and helps you give your patients the best care possible.

3. Respect and Recognition: Surgeons are like the rockstars of the medical world, highly respected for their specialized knowledge, technical prowess, and commitment to patient care. The many years of hard work and training that go into becoming a surgeon add to the prestige of this profession. Plus, surgeons often receive recognition through awards, publications, and leadership roles in medical groups.

If you're thinking of stepping into the world of surgery, here are some handy tips:

1. Academic Preparation: Aim to shine in your undergraduate studies by keeping your GPA high and taking science courses that matter. Also, try to get a taste of the healthcare field through volunteering or shadowing experiences.

2. Medical School: After your undergraduate degree, it's time for medical school. Get ready for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and apply to accredited medical schools. Make the most of your clinical rotations in medical school and try to get some surgical experience to see if it's really your thing.

3. Residency and Fellowship: After medical school, you'll need to complete a surgical residency program, which usually lasts five to seven years. You'll get hands-on training and slowly take on more responsibility in the operating room. Some surgeons also choose to do additional fellowship training to specialize in a certain type of surgery.

4. Networking and Mentorship: It's important to build a strong network of mentors and colleagues throughout your career. Look for chances to connect with seasoned surgeons who can offer guidance, advice, and support as you navigate your education and training.

5. Work-Life Balance: Being a surgeon can be tough, both physically and emotionally. Make sure to take care of yourself and maintain a good work-life balance. Find ways to manage stress, get support from colleagues or mentors, and make time for fun activities outside of work that make you happy.

Remember, becoming a surgeon takes dedication, grit, and a real love for helping others. It's a tough but extremely rewarding career that lets you make a huge difference in people's lives.

Top 3 Reliable Reference Publications/Websites:
1. American College of Surgeons (https://www.facs.org/)
2. Association of American Medical Colleges (https://www.aamc.org/)
3. The New England Journal of Medicine (https://www.nejm.org/)
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi C'Aira,

Choosing to become a surgeon is like embarking on a rewarding adventure, filled with countless benefits and opportunities. Surgeons are like superheroes, improving people's health and happiness by diagnosing and treating various medical conditions with their surgical skills. Let's explore some of the amazing things that come with being a surgeon:

1. Making a Positive Impact: As a surgeon, you're in a unique position to directly make a difference in your patients' lives. Successful surgeries can relieve pain, restore abilities, and even save lives. The joy of making such a positive impact is one of the most fulfilling parts of being a surgeon.

2. Keeping Your Brain Active: The world of surgery is like a never-ending puzzle, always challenging and evolving. Surgeons need to keep up with the latest breakthroughs in medical science, technology, and surgical techniques. This ongoing learning process ensures that surgeons are always mentally stimulated and engaged in their work.

3. Financial Security: Surgeons usually earn good money, thanks to the extensive education, training, and expertise their job requires. While money shouldn't be the only reason to choose surgery as a career, it's nice to know that surgeons often enjoy a comfortable income that can provide financial security for them and their loved ones.

Now, let's look at some helpful advice for each step on your journey to becoming a surgeon:

1. College:
- Concentrate on building a solid foundation in science and math, as these are the building blocks of medical education.
- Look for opportunities to do research or volunteer in healthcare settings to get a feel for the medical field.
- Keep your grades high and strive to excel acadically to boost your chances of getting into medical school.

2. Medical School:
- Pick a well-respected medical school with a strong surgical program.
- Make the most of clinical rotations to get hands-on experience in different specialties, including surgery.
- Cultivate good study habits and time management skills to cope with the demanding workload of medical school.

3. Internships and Residency:
- Brace yourself for long hours, high stress levels, and a steep learning curve during your internship and residency.
- Learn as much as you can from experienced surgeons and seek their guidance whenever possible.
- Jump at every chance to participate in surgeries and gain practical experience.

4. Overall Career:
- Keep your knowledge and skills fresh by attending conferences, workshops, and staying up-to-date on advancements in surgical techniques.
- Hone your communication skills to interact effectively with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.
- Take care of yourself and strike a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout.

Remember, becoming a surgeon takes dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Stay motivated, passionate, and focused on your goal throughout your journey.

Here are the top 3 authoritative reference publications or domain names I used:

1. American College of Surgeons (https://www.facs.org/)
2. Association of American Medical Colleges (https://www.aamc.org/)
3. Medscape (https://www.medscape.com)

May God bless your journey!
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