• Helping people with their medical problems, which are often very serious issues.
  • Someone who is interested in anatomy and biology would find this type of work to be interesting.
  • This is work for someone who likes to fix things.


  • This job can entail a lot of situations where one is under pressure, so the ability to remain calm is important.
  • You must be very good with your hands. There are a variety of different instruments, often small, that surgeons must use.
  • Surgeons generally must work long hours, and much of that is spent in large portions of time at the operating table.


A doctor that spends most of their time performing surgery on patients is known as a surgeon. A surgeon attempts to heal a medical problem for a person by operating on them usually while they are unconscious with a combination of drugs known as anesthesia. Sometimes, patients are given local anesthesia to the specific area they are being treated, and are awake during surgery. Surgeons can spend many hours with other doctors, nurses and operating assistants performing surgical procedures, standing for the majority of time.

Some of the procedures that surgeons perform can include operations that treat illness, injury or deformity. They also can perform preventive operations as well as cosmetic ones too. Orthopedic surgery, which is specific to the skeletal and muscular system, has become increasingly popular. To perform surgical procedures, they must use an assortment of tools, such as scalpels, forceps and clamps. Because of this, it is necessary for surgeons to have very steady hands.

Surgeons often practice general surgery, but they can also concentrate on a specific field or type of surgery, such as procedures that are for sports injuries or organ transplants. While many surgeons work in hospitals, it is not uncommon for them to work in private practice with other doctors providing surgical services to their patients. You can also find surgeons working in many different organizations, such as government entities, corporations as well as training medical students in universities.


Becoming a surgeon requires one to first become a medical doctor. This is a career path that takes a long time to prepare for, and medical school can be very challenging. A student must first get a four year pre-medicine degree from a university, and they must do well in their studies. To apply to medical school, they must take the MCAT, the medical college admissions test. Getting into medical school is competitive, and admissions committees will look at applicants based on academic merit and character. Once in medical school, students will spend four years in a rigorous program to prepare them to be doctors. After graduating, those wishing to become surgeons must enter a residency program that will specifically train them in surgery. Residencies can last up to six years.

Job Prospects

Surgeons are in high demand, and that means that the prospects for this occupation are very good. There is currently a shortage of surgeons, and this is not expected to change in the coming years as the population grows. Also, because people are living longer, there is increased demand for preventative and cosmetic procedures to be performed by surgeons.

Advancement Opportunities

Advancement for surgeons can best be achieved by concentrating on a specific surgery and becoming very accomplished at it. This is the way to increase pay in the field, because as a surgeon becomes renowned for a particular operation, doctors will begin referring patients and there will be great demand, often leading a surgeon to start their own surgical clinic to provide care for patients.