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Surgeon Courses and Classes Overview

Surgeon courses are offered at various levels ranging from undergraduate to advanced studies, but those who are seeking careers in surgery are required to go to medical school. Keep reading to get more information about requirements and course descriptions.

Essential Information

Courses for potential surgeons are typically offered through doctoral degrees in medicine and surgery. The various surgical sub-disciplines are explored so students understand the skills needed for orthopedic, pediatric, cardiothoracic or general surgery.

Undergraduate coursework lays the foundation for medical school and residency programs, where students of surgery will get more detailed instruction and experience working with and learning from experienced surgeons. Through such residency programs, students gain experience in the many different surgical fields so they know what to expect out of each area and can decide if they want to go into research or professional practice.

Here are some common concepts covered in surgeon courses:

  • Trauma
  • Critical care
  • Surgery principles
  • Pre- and post-operative care
  • Operative procedures
  • Surgical division and specialties

List of Surgeon Courses

Physiology and Anatomy

Courses in physiology and anatomy are necessary for all health care professionals, including surgeon programs. Students study how the body works, blood vessels, body systems, bones, muscles, joints and major organs. This beginning surgeon course ensures that students understand where major body parts are and can prevent serious surgical mistakes. Often, this surgeon class familiarizes students with medical terminology, including proper names for body parts, surgical procedures and surgical tools.

Surgery Clinical Course

In this first and second year surgeon course, students rotate through multiple specialties in surgery. They gain experience in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and pediatric surgery. This leads to familiarity with all aspects of surgery and encourages surgical competency. Although students only take part in minor surgical procedures, it provides practical experience and creates a foundation for when students begin more interactive surgeon courses.

Clinical Subjects in Surgery

Like the other clinical courses, this surgeon class familiarizes students with each field of surgery, including urology, pediatric and orthopedic, but through a lecture and research format. This course is taken over a period of two years at different levels of education, becoming more difficult as it progresses. Students demonstrate their understanding of surgical procedures through labs, tests and oral explanations. They often also study surgical research to become familiar with medical breakthroughs and changes in the world of medicine.

Surgical Electives

In elective surgeon courses, students choose a surgical field of interest and study it in detail. This often includes research, lab and hospital experience. Typically taken in a student's fourth year of a doctor of medicine program, these elective courses go into in-depth detail of surgical procedures and include caring for surgical patients and surgeons' responsibilities. Students can see practical applications of surgery and learn how it benefits patients.

Residency Training in Surgery

Residency programs for surgeons take about five years and they give students the actual, hands-on, practical aspects they need to become a full-fledged, licensed doctor. They gain practical experience using tools to perform surgeries, removing and inserting organs and communicating with doctors and nurses under the supervision of licensed professionals. This training period builds upon the skills students gain through their doctor of medicine program. Typically, universities pair students with residency programs at hospitals and clinics in the area; the residency program is paid. The hospital is liable for students.


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