To become a surgeon, you must spend a great deal of time in school and in hospitals as a resident. Surgeons earn extremely high salaries compared to the national average, but with these inflated earnings comes high tuition bills that are accrued while you are attending college, medical school, other special training programs and taking standardized tests. To truly exceed, you need to be sure that you have what it takes to inherently be a skilled surgeon. Read on, and learn about the steps that you must take to become a Medical Doctor or a Doctor of Medicine who specializes in invasive medical treatments.
Earn Your Bachelor's Degree
While there is not a specific major requirement for most medical schools, it will be helpful to take a science major that is heavy in science requirements while you study for your bachelor's degree. When you take courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physiology and more, you can show that you will be able to handle the medical school curriculum. You will have the option to space out the courses during your four-year career so that you are not stuck with a heavy load late in the program.
Prepare For and Take the MCAT
The MCAT, which stands for the Medical College Admissions Test, is extremely important when you apply to medical school. Admissions councils will review your test scores and your student record as an undergraduate to decide if you have the merit and the knowledge to pass medical school. Admissions are generally very competitive, so it is crucial that you prepare for the MCAT and schedule your exam date well before the admissions deadlines, according to Kaplan Test Prep.
Apply to and Complete Medical School
Once you have sufficient scores, you can start to apply to reputable medical schools. When you are applying, you must decide if you want to earn your Doctor or Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Medicine degree. They are similar, but when you take a D.O. program you will receive extra training on bones and muscles. You need to decide which training will lead to the highest earnings for you as a surgeon.
Complete Your Residency Program
Once you complete your classroom and clinical courses, the next step is to enter into a residency program. A surgical residency program can last anywhere from three to eight years, depending on where you want to specialize. It is important to choose a specialty and then review residency requirements before you can earn your license. After you complete the supervision period, you can then sit for your license so that you can practice in your state.
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The average salary for a general surgeon is $343,000 per year, but your salary could be much higher if you specialize in an area like orthopedic surgery, according to Forbes. It is very important to attend a very well respected school when you are studying to be a surgeon. You should meet with counselors, do homework on training programs, and really focus on school even as an undergraduate. If you are dedicated to school and you have what it takes to treat patients with invasive surgical methods, you can become a surgeon and enjoy what you do each and every day.