Friday, January 8, 2016

Should I become a general surgeon?

One of the rewarding things about blogging is receiving many emails from high school, college, and medical students asking about general surgery as a career.

I try to answer every one of their specific questions and direct them to posts that I've written on the subject.

A recent inquiry stimulated me to review all of my posts and put most of the questions about becoming a general surgeon in one place. They are about 500 words each. I hope you enjoy them. Here they are.

Is the solo general surgeon a dying breed?

What is the future of open surgery?

In what specialties can a surgeon be autonomous?

An applicant worries about the future of general surgery

Will automation affect surgeons' skills?

Going to medical school and becoming a surgeon when you are older

A medical student from the UK discovers surgery and has questions

Is it possible to live a full life as a surgeon?

Choosing a medical specialty is difficult

A med student asks, “Is surgery the right careerfor me?”

Which type of surgery residency should I choose?

Medical school and surgery

Choosing a Medical Specialty Is Difficult


Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping future surgeons choose. Nothing more than honesty, and that's what people need to see. I think they also need to understand that marriage and family is possible also, and under what guise that happens.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks for commenting and reading my blog.

Anonymous said...

Sir , I live in a third world country and I want to be a surgeon in USA. In our country there is a degree called M.B.B.S which is of 4 years of basic medical degree and then after completing that there is MD, FRCS ,FCPS etc degrees. I dont know the requirements of US medical school or college to complete my basic medical study there but USA is very expensive that's why I cant do that. My question is - After M.B.B.S can I study further in USA and have other high degrees and Finally become a surgeon? If Yes/No what should I do?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

You leave out some information that would better enable me to answer such as when you graduated from medical school, what school you attended, your age, and what you have been doing since you graduated.

I am not sure what you mean by "can I study further in the USA and have other high degrees." Other than an MD or PhD degree, there are no other high degrees.

A very detailed answer about what you can do with an MBBS degree can be found at this link:

Here is some information about the 2017 residency match

If you type "applicants" or "offshore" in the search field on this page (upper right), you will find a number of related posts.

Anonymous said...

In becoming a surgeon is it not good to have a hand tremors, right? Have you ever encounter to doubt pursuing to be a surgeon just because of little bit hand tremors which is somehow controllable at times?

Also, in becoming a surgeon is it truly expected to be good in memorization? What is your struggle as well as the great memories in med school?

By the way, I'm a grade 12 STEM student in the Philippines and really interested to become a surgeon so I can make a difference to the life of somebody and yes, to be a help to make them heal.

What is the best pre-med if I want to become a surgeon? Is it human biology or something like nursing major in surgical nursing? Or straight to bs surgery? Or none of these?

I am still confused in selecting the best pre-med in being a surgeon.

Anonymous said...

Is it also much easier to focus in studying for years to become a surgeon without being into a relationship?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

A fine tremor should not prevent you from becoming a good surgeon. By the time you finish your training, maybe all surgery will be done with the assistance of robots. The current surgical robot is able to correct for the presence of a tremor in the surgeon.

To become a doctor of any type requires a lot of memorization in medical school.

I do not know about the Philippines, but here in the US, the trend has been for medical schools to encourage applicants to major in something other than science. The theory is that well-rounded students might be more likely to be empathetic and therefore “better” doctors.

Good question about being in a relationship in medical school or surgical residency. I think it depends upon who you are in a relationship with. Someone who demands a lot of attention and instant gratification will probably not be a good partner. A supportive partner would be an asset.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

���� thank you for your feedback. I feel so grateful because you I receive answer to my question coming from a retired surgeon like you ☺

Yey. I'm good at memorizations ☺

I hope we have that surgical robot by that time here in our country. Just today, I started watching suture and I saw their hands was moving so calm yet fast.

May I ask what is the common course taken by most of medschool applicant in US? Is it fine, for example my major in college is culinary and I want to apply in a medschool?

Oh ok ok supportive partner is like understanding that I might have long hours in the hospital, that it is a normal for me to schedule things ahead. Like that? ☺

Uhm may I ask one more question,how will I manage to tell my mom that I want to become a surgeon ? (she doesn't even want me to take med course since we have financial issues so she can't support me that much because here in Philippines it is so expensive to apply in medschool).

Skeptical Scalpel said...

I don't think a culinary major would work in the US unless you took all of the required science courses with it. Even then, I'm not sure how it admissions committee would view it.

I'm afraid I can't help you regarding telling your mother that you want to be a surgeon. Medical school is expensive in the United States too. Here we take out loans which amount to an average of about $190,000 of debt per student.

parbal roy said...

I'm afraid I can't help you regarding telling your mother that you want to be a surgeon. Medical school is expensive in the United States too.

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