Career as a Surgeon – How to Become, Courses, Job Profile, Salary & Scope
The major duty of a Surgeon is to perform invasive interior procedures on a patient’s body to address various issues due to illness or injury. They use highly advanced diagnostic data and precise operating tools to carry out delicate procedures. Nowadays, due to the advancement in the medical field, surgeons usually prefer minimally invasive surgery than open surgery, wherever possible. They work with a team of highly experienced general practitioners, skilled nursing staff, anaesthesiologists, surgical technicians, and other specialized surgeons.
Medical education in surgery aims to produce professionals who will deliver top-notch medical care and advance science via teaching & research. After completing the necessary training and postings, a surgeon must be capable of identifying the community’s health requirements, be competent to address medical and surgical issues, and be informed of any current developments in this field.
Steps for becoming a surgeon
Step 1: Complete your senior secondary school.
An applicant must complete senior secondary school from a recognized board with a minimum of 50% in each of the major subjects, Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, and English.
Step 2: Prepare and crack the NEET UG entrance examination.
The National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test for Undergraduates is the next task (NEET-UG). For admission to MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BUMS, BHMS, and other undergraduate medical courses at approved/recognized Medical/Dental/AYUSH and other Colleges/Deemed Universities/Institutes (AIIMS & JIPMER) in India, candidates must pass the NEET-UG single window entrance test.
To get admission to a medical college for an MBBS program, which is a prerequisite for becoming a surgeon, you must crack the NEET-UG exam with the required score and undergo counselling procedure.
Step 3: Complete the MBBS degree and an internship.
After getting admission into a medical college, get an undergraduate MBBS degree with a minimum aggregate of 50% and complete your one-year rotational internship included in the MBBS programme. Throughout your graduation, you must pay close attention to the lectures, practical sessions, ward postings, seminars, conferences, etc. since they form a solid foundation for your studies. It is the time when you come across the basics of all the specialties available in the medical field. At this point, you will be able to understand the subject of interest in which you want to pursue your PG degree.
Click here to get conceptual clarity in the MBBS subjects.
Step 4: Prepare and crack the NEET PG or INI-CET entrance examination
You must crack the NEET PG or INI-CET exam after earning your MBBS degree to get admission to medical postgraduate programs. NEET-PG is a national-level entrance examination for admission to the MS/MD/PG Diploma programmes at various government and private universities whereas INI-CET is a national-level entrance examination for admission to MS/MD/DM (6 years)/MCh (6 years) and MDS courses at the INI Institutes, which includes AIIMS, JIPMER, etc.
During the counselling process, an applicant selects the postgraduate specialization and the college based on the marks earned in the entrance examination. To pursue a career in the surgery specialty, an MBBS student must choose an MS degree with the specialization subject of their interest.
Step 5: Complete your PG degree.
Upon acceptance into a medical college accredited by the Medical Council of India (MCI), complete your three-year master’s programme and submit your PG dissertation. Conferences, symposiums, workshops, audits, clinical postings, clinical meetings, etc. are all part of a PG curriculum.
Step 6: Finish the residency programme and get licensed.
After earning your MS degree in any discipline (General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic, Otorhinolaryngology), finish your residency programme to earn your medical certification and acquire your license to practice as a specialized surgeon.
Step 7: Prepare and crack the NEET-SS entrance examination.
Further, after completing an MS degree, a doctor can pursue a DM, DrNB, MCh, or DNB course and complete their super specialization. An eligibility-cum-ranking test called NEET-SS is required as the only entrance exam for enrollment in a variety of DM/MCh and DrNB Super Specialty programmes. MCh is a post-doctoral medical qualification and is considered the highest degree in surgical science.
List of Surgical specialties
Here’s a list of the surgical specialties for an MS doctor who want to further pursue a super specialization in surgery.
- Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery
- Pediatric Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery
- Pediatric Surgery
- Surgical Gastroenterology
- Hepato Pancreato Biliary Surgery
- Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
- Vascular Surgery
- Surgical Oncology
- Endocrine Surgery
- Thoracic Surgery
- Gynaecological Oncology
- Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Orthopaedics
- Orthopaedics-Hand Surgery
- Paediatric Orthopaedics
- Head & Neck Surgery
Skills required for becoming a surgeon
- Medical students need a wide array of skills in their toolkits to pursue a career in surgery.
- You must have a steady hand and strong hand-eye coordination.
- Ultimate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
- Skilled in diagnosing and analyzing patients.
- Great knowledge of diagnostic procedures.
- Quick action response and decision-making ability.
- Highly strategic mind.
- Must have complete knowledge of the tools of the operation theatre.
- Must keep yourself updated with the advanced tools, techniques, and procedures to diagnose and treat any disease.
- Clinical expertise to obtain essential patient information, identify the issues, and provide solutions.
- Capacity to maintain composure and control under stress.
- Professional ethics, treating patients and co-workers with respect.
- Confident, emotional maturity, and compassion.
Responsibilities of a surgeon
A surgery student should excel at the following after his/her medical training:
- Diagnosis and proper management of common surgical diseases in a specific setting.
- Ensure that surgery patients receive proper preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up care.
- Identify circumstances that necessitate urgent or early surgical intervention and promptly refer patients to the best facilities.
- Provide advice and counsel to patients and family members on the need, dangers, and issues of surgery for the specific patient.
- Organize and deliver emergency resuscitation procedures in trauma and other urgent surgical scenarios.
- Coordinate and carry out relief efforts, including triage, in the event of a large disaster.
- Actively engage in Family Welfare Programs and other National Health Programs.
- Successfully carry out medical legal and ethical obligations, and ethically perform his specialty.
- Maintain current knowledge of newer methods and the latest developments in patient management.
- Actively engage in academic events held by the department by presenting in seminars, case discussions, journal clubs, and topic discussions every week, as well as by keeping a logbook.
- Develop and recommend strategies for the rehabilitation and prevention of patients in his expertise.
Job profiles for a surgeon
General Surgeon: A general surgeon is knowledgeable in each of the following nine surgical subspecialties, which include, the digestive system, contents of the abdomen, the breasts and other soft tissue such as the skin, the neck, and head, the heart and blood vessels, the system of the endocrine (hormones and glands), the surgical removal of cancer, surgery for treating traumatic injuries, the treatment of seriously unwell individuals who require surgery. This specialty requires a broad range of knowledge and abilities to handle all types of surgical crisis.
Oral and maxillofacial Surgeon: This field of medicine focuses on the surgical diagnosis and treatment of patients with illnesses of the mouth, jaw, face, and neck. Although you won’t require complete medical training for the specialty field of oral surgery, it is important to note. Your practice will assist in giving your patients healthy mouths. You may spend your time doing wisdom tooth extractions, treating accident-damaged mouths, or implanting teeth.
Plastic Surgeon: Plastic surgeons perform surgical bodily repair, reconstruction, or modification. This includes burn treatment and cosmetic or aesthetic surgery. Most of the time, we associate plastic surgeons with doing elective, cosmetic surgeries like mole removal or nose jobs. However, if you work in this sector, you could also do reconstructive surgeries on persons who have been in severe vehicle accidents, burn victims or those who were born with constrictive defects.
Ophthalmic Surgeon: This is the profession for you if you are attracted by one of our most sensitive organs, the eye. You may build a successful practice by using Lasik to restore eyesight or by helping people with a variety of conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma. Ophthalmic Surgeons perform refractive or laser surgery (including reshaping the cornea to rectify short-sightedness, long-sightedness, or astigmatism), Cataract surgery (involving replacing the eye’s lens), therapy to heal damage brought on by an eye injury, surgery to remove malignancies, such as melanoma, and surgery to correct misalignment of the eye or strabismus.
Heart/Cardiac Surgeon: Since heart disease is one of the most prevalent causes of mortality in India, surgical treatments in this sector are frequently addressed. You will assist patients in overcoming a range of issues, such as cardiac arrest, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, aortic dissection, obstructions, or murmurs. Typically, there are two professional specializations for cardiac surgeons, one is a Cardiothoracic surgeon and the other is a Congenital/Pediatric heart surgeon.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon: These surgeons focus on the issues related to the heart, lungs, oesophagus, and chest. It involves various surgical procedures, such as artery blockages in the heart, heart valve leakage, heart failure, lung cancer, oesophageal cancer, etc. The job also includes post-operative bleeding, stroke, infection, thrombosis, and intensive care.
Congenital/Pediatric heart Surgeon: They focus on treating structural flaws or defects that exist in newborns. Heart valve issues, perforations/holes in the walls separating the heart’s chambers, and other issues are some of the issues addressed by a congenital or pediatric cardiac surgeon.
Urology Surgeon: Urologists treat issues with the male and female genitourinary tracts. Using surgical methods, they can identify and treat diseases of the urogenital system, including issues with the kidney, bladder, and urine system as well as the sexual and reproductive health of males. This covers kidney ailments, kidney stones, kidney cancer, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and more. A urologist spends a lot of time examining and treating individuals with prostate problems or bladder cancer. Complex pelvic surgery, urogynecology, andrology, and pediatric urology are among the specialties.
Neurosurgeon: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems, such as congenital anomalies, trauma, tumours, vascular issues, infections of the brain or spine, strokes, or degenerative diseases of the spine, is known as a neurosurgeon. Surgery on parts of the nervous system, such as the brain, spinal cord, and extracranial cerebrovascular system is the emphasis of this specialization. They also focus on conditions affecting the peripheral nerves in the hands or legs. Neurosurgeons have areas of expertise in pediatrics, vascular nerves, epilepsy, or cancer.
Orthopaedic Surgeon: These surgeons employ surgical procedures to treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems as well as supporting tissues such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. If your arm was broken when you were a youngster, an orthopaedic surgeon may have examined your case. The majority of patients just need a straightforward cast, but as an orthopaedic surgeon, you can be charged with reassembling bones that have been crushed or broken by high-velocity bullets. Orthopaedic surgeons assist in reassembling the skeleton following an accident or replace joints with vital prosthesis and sports injuries.
Spine Surgeon: Doctors who treat disorders that damage the spine are known as spine surgeons. Spinal surgery is a specialty that both neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons can pursue. In rare circumstances, a combined team of orthopaedic and neurosurgeons may be used for specialist training. Spine surgeons treat a variety of health conditions such as Sciatica, Herniated discs, Degenerative disc disease, Spinal stenosis, Scoliosis or spinal deformities, Spondylolisthesis and Spinal fractures, infections, and tumors.
An MS student can enhance their surgical skills by enrolling in spine surgery online courses. One such excellent spine surgery course is Ganga videos on spine surgery. Orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons may learn about the most recent methods and techniques in the field of spine surgery from the Ganga Videos on Spine Surgery, a collection of spine-surgical videos. This professional course is designed and taught by eminent surgeons, Prof. Rajasekaran Shanmuganathan, Dr. Ajoy Prasad Shetty, and Dr. Rishi Mukesh Kanna.
It features more than 50 various spine operations, including minimally invasive and neurosurgical techniques, as well as treatments for spinal deformities, all carried out by renowned and skilled doctors. It includes 150 self-assessment questions, over 60 benchmark trials, 31 lecture notes, and 10 hours of video lectures.
The content of the course includes Positioning the patient for surgery, Surgical approaches to the spine, Basic skills in spine surgery, Basic surgical techniques, Cervical spine, Thoracic spine, Lumbar spine, Endoscopy and Minimally invasive surgeries, Percutaneous procedures, and Neurosurgical procedures.
Pediatric Surgeon: A surgeon who performs surgery on children for a range of conditions is referred to as a “pediatric surgeon. Surgery for preterm and unborn children, young children, and young people up to the age of 19 is the focus of this specialization. If you are a cardiac expert, you could also focus on developing hearts. Oncology, ophthalmology, and neurology all fit this description. Neonatal surgery, urological surgery, hepatobiliary surgery, GI surgery, and oncological surgery are among the specialties. One in ten pediatric surgeries is carried out by pediatric surgeons. Surgeons from other specialties who specialize in pediatric problems often do the remaining operations.
ENT surgeons: A surgeon who specializes in treating patients with disorders that impair the senses, including hearing, balance, smell, and taste, as well as issues with breathing, swallowing, and voice, is known as an otolaryngologist. They also treat the conditions related to the base of the skull and the interaction with the brain are among the head and neck tumours that they may also treat. Pediatric ENT, head and neck, voice and difficult airway, otology (ear), and rhinology are among the specialties (nose). ENT treats surgical and medical conditions and frequently deals with problems involving children.
Vascular surgeons: They specialize in the surgical diagnosis and management of disorders that impact circulation, such as artery, vein, and lymphatic vessel disease. Vascular surgeons work on the arteries and veins. All vascular system illnesses are covered in their training in terms of diagnosis and treatment. Carotid endarterectomy, angioplasty, and lower limb bypass surgery are common surgical treatments performed by them.
Salary & Scope of a surgeon
Becoming a surgeon is one of the highest-paying jobs in the medical sciences. The career attracts a handsome amount of salary. The average salary of a surgeon ranges from 8-20 lakhs per annum in the beginning. The salary of the surgeons differs owing to many factors and variables. Some of the factors include the type of specialty, location, experience, and more. In seven key contexts—private practice, academics, institutional practice, hospitals, ambulatory surgery settings, government service programmes, and uniformed services—surgeons may put their education, training, and abilities to meaningful use. If you are thinking to pursue a career as a surgeon, you will discover a myriad of career opportunities for the future. Surgery is a field that is continually in demand for professionals. Other surgical specializations exist in addition to general surgery, such as plastic and reconstructive surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery, dental surgery, and more.
A surgeon can open a hospital with expertise. Since many hospitals now provide surgery as a kind of therapy, it is simple for doctors who have finished their post-graduate training in general surgery to find employment. The area of recruitment for surgeons includes Health Centres, Hospitals, Laboratories, Medical Colleges, Medical Foundations/Trust, Non-Profit Organizations, Nursing Homes, Polyclinics, Private Practice, and Research Institutes.
A career in surgery requires dedication to a protracted and demanding training path, various license levels, a residency, and lifelong learning. These factors contribute to the lack of surgeon experts and the fluctuating demand for surgeons. This also ranks as one of the most significant justifications for a surgeon’s high compensation.
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