How Long Does It Take to Become a Surgeon?

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Becoming a surgeon requires four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school and four to eight years of specialized residency training. Prepare to spend a longer time in training to become a neurosurgeon or cardiovascular surgeon with information from a family doctor in this free video on medical careers.

Part of the Video Series: Medical Careers
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Video Transcript

Hello. My name is Dr. David Cathcart, and I'm from Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. A surgeon is another specialty field that a doctor might choose to go into. So first you would have to have four years of college after high school. Four years of college, four years of medical school, and then you are at that point where you decide which area you want to go into as a physician. So if you chose surgery I believe the minimum amount of time that one can do in general surgery is four years. So four years residency. And when I say residency, I'm really talking about that extra amount of schooling that's necessary, over and above, that schooling that required you to get to become a doctor. So when you are a resident, you are actually studying under other surgeons who are practicing their particular area of surgery. Whether it be General surgery, if its Cardiovascular surgery, I believe that going to be more time. I believe that it usually around eight years. Or Neurosurgery which is eight years or more of residency time, over an above the time it takes to become a doctor. So, again there are so many types of surgeons. When we think of surgeons in general, we usually think of general surgeons. And they are usually four years. Orthopedic surgeons are the type of surgeons that deal with bones. They are going to be going to school for probably four to six years after they become a physician. Again there are so many possibilities reduced back to just the surgical fields. Thanks for taking this time to explore medical careers with me. Again, I'm Dr. David Cathcart with Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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