How to Become a Hand Surgeon

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A hand surgeon surgically corrects chronic conditions that affect the hands, wrist and arms. Anyone who wants to become a hand surgeon should prepare early and maintain good grades in high school. In turn, you may qualify for a scholarship or grant to help pay for expensive schooling.

Things You'll Need

  • Financial aid
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Medical degree
  • Residency
  • Fellowship
  • Board certification
  • Look into Federal student aid. Some people are hesitant to become a doctor or surgeon because they don’t want to deal with costly student loans. For this reason, look into your scholarship and grant options. If you can’t obtain free money, apply for a Federal loan. These have low interest rates, and repayment isn’t required until after graduation.

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree. Before you can attend medical school and become a hand surgeon, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree. Future hand surgeons normally major in science. Study hard and maintain a high GPA. A high GPA may qualify you for a scholarship to medical school.

  • Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Before you’re eligible to apply to medical school, you’ll have to take and successful pass the MCAT. Submit your scores along with your application to a school(s) of your choosing.

  • Apply to at least three medical schools. Getting into medical school is difficult. There’s a lot of competition and some schools accept a limited number of applications each year. To improve your chances of getting accepted, apply to at least three schools.

  • Attend medical school. Becoming a hand surgeon requires four years of medical school.

  • Complete a residency and fellowship. Upon completion of medical school, future hand surgeons have to attend a five to seven year residency in a specific area. Common areas include orthopedic surgery, general surgery and plastic surgery. Additionally, doctors have to complete a one-year fellowship.

  • Receive a board certification. After 10 or more years of advance schooling, doctors are eligible to take the board certification in hand surgery.

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