If you've ever thought about becoming a pediatric surgeon, you may not have thought about how much time and work would need to go into achieving that.
In most cases, you will need to obtain a bachelor's degree before applying to medical school. Some medical schools even require a more advanced degree. If you didn't major pre-med in college, don't fret, there's still a chance as long as you've taken, at minimum, the following classes:
- 1 year of English
- 1 year of Biology
- 1 year of Physics
- 2 years of Chemistry
Before enrolling in medical school, you will need to take, and pass, the medical college admission test, or MCAT. Once you are enrolled in medical school, you'll generally have another 4 years of schooling to look forward to before you are able to earn your doctorate degree. The first two years of medical school will focus on science classes. The last two years of medical school are typically spent in a clinical setting.
Once you've graduated medical school, a surgical residency will need to be completed. Residencies typically range anywhere from three to seven years in length. Pediatric surgeons must first complete a residency in general surgery, which is generally five years in length. After completing the residency in general surgery, a two-year residency must be completed in pediatrics. Once you reach this point in your medical career, you can decide if you would like to specialize in a certain area of pediatrics, but this would require additional training. Those sub-areas could include:
- Neonatal surgery
- Oncological surgery
- Urological surgery
- Gastrointestinal surgery
Each state requires surgeons to be licensed. Though the requirements may vary by state, everyone is required to pass the test to receive licensure. This test may include written and oral portions to test your knowledge and skills with handling issues that arise with children. You will also need to check with your state to see how often you need to be recertified. Depending on your state, you may need to retest or even complete additional education and training.
According to doctor-salaries.com, the average pediatric surgeon makes around $385,000 each year, not including any bonuses that are received throughout the year. As always, salaries will vary depending on your location and experience.
Like many jobs, pediatric surgeons do receive benefits. The benefits could include a 401(k), a pension, disability insurance, health insurance, and paid time off.
If you're looking for a long-standing career helping children of all ages, and you're not afraid to put in the work, maybe becoming a pediatric surgeon is the right path for you.