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The job description for surgeons varies depending on what environment they are practicing in. Many surgeons find themselves in a multifaceted career that allows them to put their skills to good use in a combination of workplace settings. Although the workplace settings may vary, one factor remains the same: the surgical profession is one of responsibility and leadership. The surgeon is responsible for the preoperative diagnosis of the patient, for performing the operation, and for providing the patient with postoperative surgical care and treatment. The surgeon is also looked upon as the leader of the surgical team.
During the course of an operation, the surgeon must make important decisions about the patient’s health, safety, and welfare. Furthermore, the surgeon must work to ensure cooperation among the other members of the surgical team, which typically includes another surgeon or qualified person who acts as the surgeon’s assistant, the anesthesiologist, and operating room nurses.
There are seven major settings in which surgeons can put their education, training, and skills to valuable use: private practice, academic medicine, institutional practice, hospitals, ambulatory surgery settings, government service programs, and the uniformed services.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, surgeons and physicians are expected to experience a significant rise in job opportunities in the coming years. Overall employment was expected to grow 14% from 2014-2024. The increasing demand for surgeons is attributed to the continuing development of healthcare and associated industries and a growing elderly population. Surgeons are some of the highest-paid professionals of any occupation. In May 2015, the BLS reported that surgeons earned an average salary of $247,520. Before entering medical school, aspiring surgeons must complete undergraduate school to earn a bachelor’s degree. These 4-year degrees do not have to focus specifically on medicine; however, curricula should focus heavily on the physical sciences to prepare students for the strong emphasis on science in medical school. Courses in anatomy, biology, chemistry, math, and physiology may be beneficial. Some medical schools admit students after only three years of undergraduate school.
With bachelor’s degrees, students are prepared to attend medical school and pursue Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees. M.D. degree program curricular are generally divided into two years of foundational medical courses followed by two years of clinical clerkships. During clerkships, students work directly with patients, applying classroom instruction obtained in the first two years to diagnose illnesses and provide healthcare.
After medical school, students typically continue their medical training in residency programs, gaining practical experience in a chosen specialty under the supervision of licensed physicians. Some specialties include general surgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, or urology.
According to the American Medical Association, these programs can last 3-7 years depending on the specialty, though general surgery residencies typically take five years to complete. Surgeons who wish to focus their careers on sub-specialties of the profession must complete an additional 1-3 years of post-doctoral training in fellowship programs.
Along with extensive, formal training from an accredited medical school, all states require surgeons to obtain medical licensure. Licensure entails passage of the United States Medical Licensing Examination or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam. Surgeons must also become board-certified in surgery and any subspecialties by the American Board of Medical Specialists or American Osteopathic Association. Surgeons are generally required to complete continuing education credits throughout their careers to maintain licensure and certification.
A surgeon mainly focuses on operating on patients and requires a bachelor’s degree, medical degree, and licensure.
To sum it up being a surgeon is very exciting and the different kinds of surgeons all have a special job and they do it well. To succeed in this career you have to have a lot of confidence and patience, it will get you far.
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