In the medical field, no other job elicits a lot of interest more than surgeons do. Switch on the TV and you will likely find at least one medical-based show. From dreamy and steamy surgeons causing their coworkers to swoon to a young savant doctor whose skills are being tested by his peers, there’s definitely a series out there for viewers to enjoy. Just like many physicians, surgical experts must undergo years of education and residency before they become chief surgeons in any kind of medical facility.
Becoming a surgeon
Anyone wishing to enter the medical profession is expected to complete a bachelor’s degree as well as finish medical school to earn a doctoral degree. The vast majority of medical colleges require applicants to provide extensive materials in order to be allowed to participate in the admissions process.
Earning a spot to enter medical school is no easy feat. It is no secret that applicants undergo a rigorous process. Along with this, candidates are expected to have completed undergraduate work which specifically includes chemistry, biology, English, and math. Many even go to great lengths to gain a competitive edge.
One known method is for prospective medical students to volunteer in local hospitals or clinics to gain ample experience in the healthcare industry. Additionally, applicants are asked to provide an official copy of transcripts, a copy of their scores for the MCAT, provide several letters of recommendation, and of course partake in interviews for admission.
Medical school, fellowships, and licensing
The road to becoming a surgeon involves four years of med school. During their first two years, students will spend a large portion of their time in laboratories and classrooms to gain practical abilities. Some of the courses they will be taking include anatomy, medical ethics, and pharmacology to name a few examples. The remaining two years are spent learning to interact with patients. These student and patient interactions are done under the supervision of experienced doctors in health facilities.
After receiving education in medical school, prospective surgeons are then required to complete a fellowship program. It is at this time that graduates can pursue a specific area of interest. Typically, residency or fellowships in hospitals can take anywhere between 3 to 7 years. Med school graduates can turn their learnings into practical applications during their fellowship program. Once residency is completed, individuals can then choose to pursue certification, licensing, and registration.
Depending on where a person is located, certain requirements are in place in order for a physician to qualify for licensing. All medical professionals are required to pass medical board licensing if they wish to pursue a career in the healthcare industry and to become full-fledged surgeons.
The amount of time alone that surgeons spend getting years of education and training piques the interest of many who are in a different profession. The job is awe-inspiring from the minute a person decides to enter medical school, up to the time they complete their licensure. More importantly, the complexity of work and their long hours leave many people amazed by a surgeon’s acumen and skill.
Qualities a surgeon must possess to be successful in the industry
Surgical procedures are not easy tasks. A lot of work and dedication goes into taking on the job of a surgeon. But having a strong desire and persevering are not the only things that a great surgeon make. There are actually several qualities that a person must possess if he or she wishes to find success in this industry. Here’s a quick rundown
#1 Amazing hand-eye coordination
It goes without saying that surgeons must have top-notch hand and eye coordination. A vast majority of surgeries require these physicians to utilize the smallest tools in order to access parts of the body and having impeccable motor skills is imperative.
The intricacy and complexity of each operation require controlled precision to produce the desired results. Practice can improve a surgeon’s skills, as well as finding recreational activities such as playing an instrument or joining tai chi sessions.
Lots of procedures undertaken in operating theaters can last hours at a time. Because of this, surgeons are on their feet for long periods of time and end up missing meals or losing out on sleep.
Other than having physical stamina, it is equally crucial for a physician to have mental endurance. Maintaining strong focus is part of the job and letting your mind wander elsewhere is unacceptable and can prove disastrous.
#3 Ability to adapt easily to any given situation
No matter how well a surgeon strategizes for an operation ahead of time, unforeseen events can cause these plans to go askew. Thus, surgeons need to be able to maintain their composure and at the same time, they must be able to easily adapt and adjust to the current situation. With so many unpredictable things that can crop up during a procedure, surgeons must always think on their feet and have a contingency plan.
#4 Natural born leader
Operating theaters house numerous equipment and medical staff. Like a conductor in an orchestra, the chief surgeon must be able to take the helm and lead his team. Leading does not merely imply giving out instructions, it is about ensuring that each person in the team plays their part correctly. Along with this, the head surgeon must be able to assess each team member’s strengths and weaknesses in order to customize a specific plan for everyone to comply with.
What makes a surgeon interesting
Save for the constant portrayal of surgeons in TV and movies as industry rockstars, much of the work a surgeon does is riveting. Surgical procedures are after all quite complicated, needing a lot of critical thinking and strategizing. Like many things in the healthcare industry, the area of surgery is one that is constantly evolving. Thus it keeps this medical field highly competitive and perpetually interesting to those practicing it, as well as onlookers who are inspired by work surgeons’ are able to put out. At the end of the day, there is something interesting and inspiring seeing how a surgeon dedicates their time and skills to help save lives.