To gain entrance into a competitive surgery residency, students must hold a medical degree and display strong performance on the medical licensure exam. During a residency in general surgery, doctors get hands-on supervised experience in many types of surgery situations with patients of all ages. These programs take at least five years to complete. A fellowship in pediatric surgery requires two years of work after the surgical residency. In a fellowship program, surgeons gain experience working with young patients and also serve as leaders for surgical residents and medical students.
Residency Programs in General Surgery
Residents work in hospitals performing patient care work and must be directly supervised by a licensed surgeon. Students are prepared to treat many illnesses and problems through a variety of surgical procedures. They receive most of their training through participation in surgeries. Areas of training include:
- Abdominal surgery
- Vascular surgery
- Surgical oncology
- Critical Care
Fellowship Programs in Pediatric Surgery
These programs provide the opportunity for a trained surgeon to learn specialized skills. Fellows work under the direction of experienced pediatric surgeons, while acting as team leaders for surgical residents and medical students, and conducting research. Participants acquire their skills through observation and clinical practice. Common surgical issues include:
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment of all types of surgeons could grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028. Salaries for surgeons are among the highest in the country - the average salary for all professionals in this occupation was $255,110 in May 2018, according to the BLS.
All licensed physicians are required to complete a significant number of continuing education hours each year. The specific number varies by state. Additionally, in order to become board certified, an examination administered by the appropriate medical specialty board must be passed. Maintaining such credentials requires completion of the examination every 10 years.
To become a pediatric surgeon, medical school graduates need to complete a general surgery residency followed by a pediatric surgery fellowship. Like all physicians, surgeons are required to be licensed, which is maintained through continuing education courses.